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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

So much good food!!!!

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??

Things I am proud of

So there have been a few things that have made me feel good about myself lately above and beyond the actual weight loss, and I would like to touch on them here.

Okay, so the first thing is the fact that I am USING ALL MY FOOD!  I can safely tell you that I have never in my life bought and entire bag of grapes/snap peas/apple slices/etc and eaten the entire thing.  I have the best of intentions while shopping and often grab lots of healthy options…that then sit and rot in my fridge basically untouched, while I eat all kinds of other bad options. 
You guys!  I am actually finishing healthy food in my fridge and not throwing it out!  This is a pretty big deal for me as the throwing out of healthy produce was a weekly event in my house.  I have to say I’m really proud of this.  I have actually been able to throw away empty bags and then put that item on the shopping list to get more!

They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit.  I am actually CRAVING food that is good for me.  I love how I feel lately!  Even though I am sleep deprived due to the show and am totally PMSing right now, I am in a much better place mentally than I have been in years.  I can only attribute that to the fact that I am eating more whole foods and less crap.  That is HUGE.   If I actually get my ass in gear and start exercising, I will be invincible! 

Speaking of that….today I actually thought about how much I’d love to start running again once the show goes up.  I obviously know that I wouldn’t start out running again, but the thought of getting outside and walking after work made me insanely happy.  Starting the Couch 2 5K again is my goal.  The thought popped into my head today and it made me feel so good.  The show goes up on the 10th and after that I get my weekdays other than Thursday and Friday back and I honestly can’t wait to get out on the track again.  Fresh air and that amazing feeling you get after a work out?  Sign me up!

I am taking responsibility for my food prep when I get home, no matter how late, before relaxing.  It might lead to me staying up a bit later, but at least my food is done when I go to bed and I don’t sit like a Zombie at midnight wondering where my time went and still have nothing to bring to work for snacks the next day.  The ultimate goal is of course to meal prep on the weekends for the rest of the week, but that ship has sailed until this Saturday as that is the first day I will have off of rehearsal and work.  So I’m still proud that even if it takes me a half an hour a night, I avoid playing on my computer or watching TV to wind down until I get my food prepped for the next day.

I’m finding ways to fix things.  Tonight I had a late play rehearsal and my husband had a late band rehearsal.  He got home about an hour before I did and felt bad that he didn’t have anything for my dinner so he made up a box of Kraft Mac N Cheese.  He heaped it into a giant bowl and left it for me.  I LOVE the blue box more than most foods.  I know it is so nasty for you.  It’s florescent orange cheese for crying out loud, but it is so yummy!  And bless his heart for cooking for me even when he was tired and didn’t want to.  But as soon as I got home I began to think of ways to fix this meal.  First it needed portion control, than it needed protein and a veggie.  Mind you, this was all after eleven o clock because it took me a half an hour to prep my oats and snacks for tomorrow.  There wasn’t much in the fridge.  Finally I settled on a boca burger that was frost bitten but still good and a small package of “sauced” vegetables from the freezer.  So I scraped the “leftovers” of my small portion of mac N Cheese into a container and stuck it into the fridge and nuked the veggie and boca patty.  Boom.  Just as satisfying with less carb hangover and calories.

I am sure there are more but it is late and I need to go to bed if I want to maintain any sort of good mind frame.  I will continue a list and write about more later.

 

2 Blogs in on day???

Okay, I know that I already blogged today but dude, I have to brag for a second.

Tonight was supposed to be our sound tech rehearsal for Godspell.  What that means is that not only was it our first time together with the live band, but we were also supposed to all get our mics and test against the soundboard with our sound tech guy.  Well, it turns out our sound tech guy bailed on us and our replacement couldn’t make it tonight.  Also, this was the first time for the band playing together all as one unit so it took them two hours after we got there to get their stuff together.  We just speed ready lines in the front lobby.
The reason I am telling you all this is because techs are typically late night rehearsals, the director had promised everyone pizza before the whole thing fell apart, and she held true to her promise.
So while she brought in six pizza pies from Papa Johns with a vat of garlic sauce packages, it smelled so crazy good.  I told myself that I would eat my little half pita sandwich that I brought and my snap peas and if I was still hungry I would eat one slice.
Needless to say I was not still hungry, so I didn’t have a piece.  While my cast mates ate with great vigor and went back for seconds, I instead posted a pic on Instagram about how I was being good and was rewarded with all kinds of encouragement.  That helped a LOT! 
I know it’s not much, but it was a huge step for me.  Normally I would have dived head first into that pizza and bathed in it.  I’m really proud of myself that I have managed to get my willpower back and it is sticking. 
Of course my period is coming up rather quickly so that will be a huge test, but I think I’ll do okay.  As long as I am prepared.
Tonight I got home around nine and the first thing I did before relaxing was make my breakfast, lunch and snacks for tomorrow.  That is what I have to do each night no matter how late I get home, otherwise I am setting myself up for failure. 
I feel like I’m finally getting on the right path.  I even entertained the thought that as soon as the show goes up, I might start my running training again.  I haven’t run in at least three years, but I know that when I did I felt amazing and eventually looked great too.  The timing seems right.  It will be after daylight savings so it will still be light out after work.
I really love the idea of it, we’ll see if I put it into practice.
Anyhoo, that was my brag for the night.  I feel like I earned it.  🙂

Life and Weight updates.

So I know I said I would update on the flood situation, but there was really nothing to update.  Around three that afternoon my husband arrived home from work early so we could clear out his musical equipment from the basement.  We had moved a lot of his guitars last month when we were at risk for flooding but since the river was due to get higher that night, we also moved out his PA system and a bunch of amps.  In other words, the heavy stuff.
Around four we got a message on our phones that we were under a mandatory evacuation. 
We sat around and weighed the odds.  I had been checking the hydrograph all day and so we did some math and decided we were going to stick it out.  We had full view of the river and knew that if it got to a certain point we would just grab the pooch and hit the road to my husbands parents house a few towns over.
We stayed up and watched and waited.  I should note that my anxiety level is normally high on a good day, but this day it was through the roof.  The dog could sense it and she was extra nervous and needy as well.  My poor husband.
We finally decided to get some sleep and set an alarm for midnight which was when the river was predicted to crest.
Long story short, the river came VERY CLOSE to overflowing the bank.  My neighbor that lives across the street on the river side, had a couple of inches flowing over his concrete porch, but then it started to recede. 
So I wasn’t happy with all the drama it caused, but in a way I’m kind of happy that we now have a benchmark to know how high the river has to get with the hydrograph to know when we will start flooding.  It kind of takes the guess work out of it for next time. 

Anyhoo, that was that.  Onto the weight stuff.  As of yesterday I am officially down 7 Lbs in a month.  This makes me very happy.  Not just for the loss, but because I am finally starting to feel the motivation again.  For two years or maybe even longer, I was floundering.  Just gaining and gaining and not caring because I had zero desire to do anything about it.  That led to more depression which led to more not caring and eating, and it was just a vicious cycle that I couldn’t break.
I’m really getting into eating more whole foods and less processed crap, and I’m even enjoying it.  Who knew?  The key, of course, is being prepared.  I had gotten really good last week and prepping all my stuff for the week in advance.  The next two weeks are going to be harder as we are going to be going into hardcore rehearsals before the show goes up.  That means more late nights and less time to prepare.  So having said that I am into eating less processed crap, I do foresee a lot of frozen dinners in my future when I get home at ten at night or later.
Still though, I am going to try my best to stick with my daily routine of overnight oats or yogurt for breakfast, a pita sandwich for lunch and fruits and veggies for my snacks.  My new fave combo btw is red seedless grapes and colby jack cheese bites.  OMG, so yummy!
So that is about it, just a quick update.  I’m just glad to feel the motivation and willpower again.  It’s been a long time, and I’m glad to welcome them back into my life. 
Remind me of this next week when I am sleep deprived and just want to eat that doughnut.  😉

 

Updates and some flooding.

Okay, so my weigh in on Friday was a big fat zero weight loss, but no gain so I still consider that a win.  I’m still down five pounds in three weeks and that is totally acceptable to me.  I need to remember that this isn’t a race.  Every single time I have lost a significant amount of weight, I always seem to remember it as just falling off in no time.  Then I go back and look at my journals and calendars and realize that was never the case.  It has been and will always be a slow and painful journey.  I always have those “wanting to give up” moments because I have not become instantly skinny.
In other news, we will probably evacuate our house tonight and head for higher ground as all the recent rainfall has put our house at serious risk of flooding.  So much for the drought in California.  Hey, don’t get me wrong.  After last years fires, I’m more than happy to have rain and lots of it…just maybe not all at once?
Our house sits right on the river and most times of year it is a beautiful thing.  Nothing better than sipping a cup of coffee out on the back deck with the sun shining, birds chirping and a babbling brook in the background.  Seriously, it’s a little slice of heaven on earth.  Until we get too much rain, like we have this winter.
In January, we had a lot of rain and were very near evacuations.  In fact the sheriff knocked on our door at two in the morning to let us know there were voluntary evacuations happening at that time.  We were probably within a foot of the river flooding. 
Right now we are probably two or three feet away, but the bad news is that this time there isn’t really going to be any break in the rain until tomorrow night so more than likely, the water is going to continue to rise.  🙁
The husband is currently at work and I’ve got a bag packed for us and he dog, ready to go at a moments notice.  I’m not especially worried about LOSING the house, I’m guessing more than anything our basement would get the brunt of the flooding, but we live on a one way dead end street and we are at the very end of it.  Therefore, we need to keep ahead of the water as far as washing out the road, or we are stuck here for who knows how long with no access to get to work or anywhere.  That is where the sense of urgency lies.
Thankfully, we have a place to go.  My husbands parents live a couple of towns over so we won’t have to worry about having to take the dog to a hotel or anything.  It’s important to see the good things in all this chaos.
So more than likely, I will be away from my laptop for a few days.  I will have my phone and my Ipad so I will try to update as anything happens.  Of course, I just went shopping so I have a fridge full of good for me foods that might go to waste in the meantime.  Not sure how the weight in is going to be this week after a few days of eating at my in laws.  They may not have many good choices in their fridge.
That’s about it from here.  I’m going to go load up the car.
Stay dry and make better choices!  I’m going to try to.  🙂

What I didn't eat on Valentine's Day.

So today was a day like any other day.  I got up later than I wanted to and had to rush around getting ready for work.
I got to work just in time and fixed myself my coffee and my water and dove right in.
A couple hours later a co-worker arrives with an Enchilada Casserole.  An hour after that my office manager comes in with donuts, cupcakes and cookies.  Also, another co-worker came around and delivered little V-Day bags of candy on everyone’s desks. 
I heard that the casserole was bomb, the cupcakes yummy, the donuts divine and the cookies okay.  I wouldn’t know, because I DIDN’T EAT ANY OF THEM!
I was quite proud of myself.  I had my greek yogurt and tablespoon of granola along with a banana for breakfast.  For lunch I had my meal that I had prepped this weekend that consisted of a brown rice and lentil mixture, a piece of fish, a half a yam and a mix of non starchy veggies.  It filled me up and I didn’t feel tempted.
I got home and found my husband was cooking up some ramen type dish with chicken and cauliflower.  Now, the chicken and cauli I can get behind, but the noodles will have to go. 
I love my husband to the moon and back, but he doesn’t share my need to be so rigid on the diet.  He is more of a wing it and what he creates in the kitchen is a pinch of this and a handful of that…which is great.  I’m lucky that he even cooks at all, but for dieting and counting calories, it’s not so good.
So, the noodles are going to be replaced with a little bit of brown rice and the rest will remain the same. 
What all this points to, is that after a year or more of having zero desire or motivation to diet, I seem to finally have it back!  I contribute this to launching the Youtube channel and this blog to hold myself accountable.  I can’t even tell you the last time I have cared about what I put into my mouth.  I mean, I CARED, but I still ate it anyway.  There was never any hesitation. 
“I shouldn’t eat th-” NOM NOM NOM!
It feels so good to finally have some power back over my own body. 
It’s going to be a long road and I am aware of that.  So many times today I wondered why I couldn’t just have one bite of one of those delicious morsels in the break room, but I didn’t do it! 
It’s the small victories that pave the way to the big ones.
Next time I plan on scolding myself on the fact that I seem to think that weekend calories just don’t count…
STAY TUNED!

Small Steps

So I weighed in on Friday and that weight was a whopping 272.4.  That is so scarily close to 300 that I’m floored and frightened.  However, I feel that I’m in a good place right now and making good decisions.
The husband is on board for the diet.  I just ordered some meal prep containers from Amazon.  I need to buckle down and learn my choreography for the play I’m in so that means automatic cardio every night after work that I’m not at rehearsal.  I’ve dusted off my fitbit that I bought but never used because it was just too depressing.  Most of all, I just finally feel that spark of motivation again.  I’ve gone so long without it that I was beginning to think I would never get it back.
Hubs and I just booked a quick weekend trip to Vegas in May for our birthdays last night.  That gives me a bit of a goal.  I’d like to lose about 20 pounds before the trip.  I think that is fair.  20 pounds in 3 months is fairly doable if I step up my game right?
Anyhoo, it makes me excited to be excited, if that makes any sense at all.  🙂
We had rehearsal tonight and I stopped at the gas station for a large bottle of water as I usually do.  I also usually grab some sort of bad snack to have at said rehearsal.  Some sort of muffin or pastry because this “gas station” gets really good baked goods delivered daily. 
Today I looked for something to eat, but couldn’t justify the calories at all knowing I had packed a banana, a nectarine and a small page of rice cake chips in my backpack before I left the house.  So I just bought the water and left.  I had the nectarine and the banana at the rehearsal but didn’t have time to eat the chips.
I call that a small victory, wouldn’t you?
My fitbit is charging as I type.  My husband made yummy veggie and chicken omelets for dinner and I’m looking forward to starting a new way of life.  🙂