Thursday, December 30, 2010


Hard as it is to believe, I had to postpone my Medifast Initial Consultation that was to be today at 4:30pm because of the weather. In Arizona! Which is known for the fabulous winter weather. Today, tonight and tomorrow are all due for hard freezing, and roads have been closed up in Northern Arizona, and while the sun is shining in Southeastern Arizona... the drive back would be later and colder and more dangerous.

Luckily, I was able to arrange to work earlier hours on Monday, and can make an appointment in the early afternoon... which will keep me on schedule for starting the program on Tuesday, January 4th!

*  *  *
20 years ago this month I graduated from Pepperdine University. I had an absolutely amazing college experience; I really really did. I still owe many dollars because of it, and I ponder often where I'd be financially without all the student loan debt. I would not have had some amazing experiences had I gone to a less expensive institution, and so I can't really be objective... Argh! What am trying to say?!

Not that long ago, I used to resent the debt and how (in hindsight I was feeling like) I'd had no real say in where I ended up for college. But, I think I've let that feeling of powerlessness go - and have accepted (like a real grown-up, I think!) my choice as my choice, no blame - and to absolutely be thankful and loving toward everything about that time of life.

Yay! This is kinda a big a-ha realization for me... Woot!! Always nice to let go of negative stuff.

*  *  *
In other news... my employers like me so much they gave me a $2 an hour raise... I don't work that many hours in a week, and it only gives me an additional $52 (pre-tax) extra per month... But Hey! It is a huge raise after only 6-1/2 months, and if I do end up having to move on to obtain a real full-time job, it is a nice percentage of my wage and will look good to possible future employers!

Since I'm going to beginning a new phase of eating and lifestyle -- which some might consider stressful (ya think?!!) ... maybe I can stay for another two months before really having to knuckle down and search for a higher-paying job... in the meantime, perhaps I'll market the singing for senior living facilities thing a bit more strenuously ♪ ♫ ♪ ....

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Feeling Groovy

Not really.

I'm in a mood. Fell asleep on the couch after eating cheese and crackers, which I shared with himself, and when he went to make dinner he didn't even offer to share what he was preparing. I didn't make it known that I wanted some, and no mind-reading going on in this house... and he's been working hard all day... and I still have dishes in the sink and haven't done much today in the way of house chores. And I know I'd feel better if I did something in the house.

But in my mind he should have offered. And the fact that he didn't upsets me. But will I do anything about it? Will saying anything do any good? Do I need to bring it up, because it'll only make him angry and won't change anything, and somehow I'll end up feeling bad (worse).

Not really hungry, but angry. No real reason to be angry, but it is a feeling I'm feeling and instead of eating, I think I'll go for a short, brisk, cold walk with Rascal, KOTH (King of the House), then put on comfy clothes and do some kitchen work.

Tomorrow I drive to Medifast Clinic for the initial appointment, which makes me feel better already.

There's Nothing Like An Arizona Sunrise

I've been waking up around 6am pretty consistently since September-ish... I started in January of this year with a friend calling me in the morning to help me establish this new habit of getting up at the same time every morning; despite the time I went to bed.  I had the thought in the summer that I should get up slightly earlier every morning, so that I would eventually get up early enough to see the sunrise... I really enjoy that pre-dawn show that is usually a slow, gradual glorious display of nature. It can be a time to sip a hot cup of tea, contemplate the day, give thanks for the blessings we have, and be intentional with what the day will be and accomplish.

So below is the range of sunrises for January through December, 2011... with a picture of this morning's sunrise from my backyard. My hope is that I'll be up early enough every morning to be dressed and go out in the street to better capture a particularly pretty morning (no neighbor's houses interfering)... and have the dog on a leash and we get our daily 15 - 20 minutes or more walk around the neighborhood in.

Jan 1, 2011 7:25 AM
Jan 31, 7:19 AM

Feb 28, 6:53 AM

Mar 31, 6:14 AM

Apr 30, 5:39 AM

May 31, 5:18 AM

Jun 19, 5:17 AM* Earliest of the Year
Jun 30, 5:20 AM

Jul 31, 5:38 AM

Aug 31, 5:58 AM

Sep 30, 6:17 AM

Oct 31, 6:40 AM

Nov 31, 7:06 AM

Dec 31, 7:25 AM

This was at 7:21 this morning.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Quick Post While It Is Still Today!

A good hint I got today... when I start craving... 'Not Now'

"Not Now" doesn't meant not ever... it just means not now.  A good thing to remember.

Today was a procrastination day... which means tomorrow will be a frantic deadline day.
Ahhh.... the adrenaline of a deadline looming!

Monday, December 27, 2010

6 Changes in 2011

Inspired by this post here.

and the Method is Here.

It always frustrates me when I read blogs that don't tell you what the link is you're going to... so the first link is to an explanation of "The 6 Changes Method" at (by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits blog) and the second link is to the "how it works" simple explanation. There is a lot more on that website, and I think 2011 is a good time to create some better habits!

For Me, I like Leo's list for 2009 going into 2010...
  • Daily exercise.
  • Healthy eating.
  • Waking early.
  • De-cluttering and simplifying.
  • Reading.
  • Creating each day.
Today My list for changes this year will be:
  • [#1] Lose Weight (Medifast through the clinic and one-on-one counseling)
  •  Sing Every Day (practice, vocalize, learn a couple measures of new music)
  •  Daily Exercise (walking, using the bands I got, jumping rope, Tai Chi and using the elliptical once I'm down to 280 lbs are my thoughts at this time)
  • Organizing/De-cluttering a piece of my life every day
  • Waking up at the same time every day
  • Keeping My House Presentable (I like Flylady's concepts and ideals - especially the one that you can do anything for 15 minutes)

This list can totally change as I go through the year.  It totally helps thinking about only one at a time, focusing on one change for two months... my usual practice is too many things all at once and becoming completely overwhelmed and quitting everything.

My priorities may change after some more contemplation... the order of the list may certainly change. Losing weight won't stop after two months... but the habit of eating smaller amounts, being satisfied with small amounts every few hours... should be established... the habit of being healthier first by losing weight will not change, but I give myself permission to perhaps juggle priorities this year as I go through this process.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Boxing Day

It isn't that I haven't thought about blogging... I just have been preoccupied with other things... chorus was busy over the Christmas Season, I was catching up with chorus commitments I'd neglected, lots of little meetings and quite a bit of social time, too :-).  My new quartet auditioned for the chorus (music team) and passed -- in order to be an official quartet of my chorus -- and therefore we can represent proudly Sweet Adelines around the community, and then December absolutely sped by!!

As this blog is meant to be about the journey of weight loss, fitness and self-improvement in general ~ the big thing on my mind has been the offer made by my step-dad in November to pay for the Medifast Weight Loss Program for me.

Before talking more about Medifast and what that means, I needed to speak to him and mom about expectations and how it would work between us.  They have heard lots of ads on the radio station they listen to in their area; about how it is supervised by medical professionals (since I have not heard the ad myself, I don't know if the ad says doctors...) and when you do the program you have nutritional counselors and you check in once a week. So, in conversation with step-dad and mom, I told him when I'm having a hard time, I'm going to call him and rant/rage about it, and he can be one of my support people... and we agreed to see what progress I've made in 3 months.  I told him I want to lose 150 lbs, and is he in for paying for it until that point? He said yes.  Knowing the history of my family, I want to put something in writing or email stating as much, in order to avoid misunderstandings and hurt feelings and to also hold me as accountable as possible on my end of the bargain - which is to  l.o.s.e.  t.h.e.  w.e.i.g.h.t.  full stop. The End.

I found out that the Medifast website is something sort of different than the centers... it looks like you can do the program by ordering food and webtools, and the website doesn't seem to say anything about how the centers are run differently. Weight Watchers has the same thing, and I sucked at that website only thing. I know I need the one-on-one accountability.

I called the center that seemed to have the most convenient hours and closest location to me from where I'll be driving from... and the gal I spoke to said that I wouldn't be going through the website at all-- that I go to the center once a week (and that is an additional $8 a week), though I probably will be doing a phone check in once every other week, since driving up weekly is a little unrealistic with my schedule and budget.  She said that the average website-only user sticks with the program only 5 weeks; that the centers have a higher success rate.

I know from my 25-lb weight loss experience back in the summer of 1988 with Diet Center and DAILY weigh-ins, I did really well with that outside accountability. (Examining why I can't keep a commitment to myself will be part of my emotional journey this year, I'm sure)

So, I made an appointment to go back up there on December 30th in the will meet me there. There will be an hour spent with me by a Nutritional Counselor (will be interested to see what exactly that means) finding out more about me and which program of theirs would work best. The gal on the phone said I'd be sent for blood tests etc... and I'm sure a weigh in.  I pick up my food from the center, and pay them there -- which is one main reason why mom is coming along.  I plan to begin on Tuesday, January 4th, 2011.  Starting a diet on a Sunday or Monday just basically sucks on all levels emotionally.  I'm excited about it, and am very eager to meet with the person at the center to find out even more information.

In the meantime, I went and bought some elastic bands to work out with -- I want to be able to travel with them and they are light... and a jump rope. I have a tai chi DVD that I've not watched yet, a walking DVD that I want to also do, and I have an Oxycise DVD that I want to put in and take a look at too. Tomorrow morning I'll start walking the dog in the mornings again, and get back to getting up at a regular time despite the time I went to bed... and I need to restrict my television to one day a week.  I never watched this much television before I got married, and 12+ years of bad bad habits need to be reversed.

2010 has been the year of epiphanies; 2011 needs to be the year of follow through.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Despite "Failure"

Well... I didn't lose the weight by my birthday. I am disappointed in myself, yet, I am feeling good emotionally. There are other areas where I've accomplished some things that I've been meaning to do for a long time, and I am down 5 lbs.

I've walked more in the past three weeks than I have in a long time -- I didn't go to bed early enough last night to be able to get up with a good attitude this morning - but will tomorrow.

I put up the Christmas tree -- still have to put the lights and decorations up, but my mother raised me to not put the Christmas decorations up or out until the house is clean... so I dusted, and mopped a little, vacuumed and then Shampooed The Rug in the living room... I'm so proud :-).

I made terrific Turkey Soup with the leftover turkey from our friend's Thanksgiving. I planned two really productive Quartet Rehearsals, and am doing chorus work that I've been putting off for months.

I finished hubby's laundry, and have finished mine -- still have sheets to wash and the electric mattress cover to put on the bed; but will do that after I get to that half of the house.

I went up to see my mom overnight the night before Thanksgiving and we had a nice dinner and it was good to spend time with her for a short time on my birthday... and my step-dad gave me a generous monetary gift for my birthday... and I learned that he had offered to pay for Medifast if that is something I want to pursue... so; I've been a little pre-occupied with thinking about doing that.

A friend of mom's has done really well on it, and that it is supervised by a doctor; isn't a liquid diet and yet large amounts of weight are lost quite quickly... all of that amounts to me thinking about it very seriously. Hubby is on board; and the fact that it takes the planning and counting out of the equation... so it just leaves me with fighting the mental fight... not easy, but seems like a good idea. There are a number of weight loss blogs about Medifast -- and I think it will be a great way to lose the first 100 lbs, at least! I think the Black/White and no gray area aspect of it will help me a lot... kind of like when you wear a school uniform you never have to worry about what to wear to school, ya know?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The First 5

From Monday the 8th of November to Monday the 11th of November I was down 5 lbs. This 5 lbs is one that is lost and gained pretty consistently -- so while it always feels fabulous; I know it is not an actual representation of weight lost. If 2 or 3 lbs is lost NEXT Monday (the 22nd) I will feel like I've actually lost some weight.

My day yesterday was a rough one... emotionally and eating-wise.  I had a counseling session in which I was told (for the second time in a  year), that I live in fantasy. Hrmph. Maybe I do. But eating 2 tacos at Jack in the Box (twice! The second time with a small curly fries) isn't the best way to process my absolute disagreement with my counselor's take on my life philosophy.

I shared my belief of  'do what you love, the money will follow' (attributed to Malcolm Forbes, I think) --and she completely shot it down. I didn't spend 15 minutes explaining that I know just loving something enough and doing it will not automatically cause the skies to flood with money to rain down on me.... but rather, to me it means find meaningful work that can lose yourself in because you feel passionate about it. Follow your bliss, as Joseph Campbell says.

When you follow your bliss... doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else.” ~ Joseph Campbell

And a Follow Up Explanation by him...

The way to find out about happiness is to keep your mind on those moments when you feel most happy, when you are really happy — not excited, not just thrilled, but deeply happy. This requires a little bit of self-analysis. What is it that makes you happy? Stay with it, no matter what people tell you. This is what is called following your bliss.” ~ Joseph Campbell

So, what does this have to do with my weight and eating? Everything. To stick with (succeed!) the goal of losing weight - a big huge goal of 151 lbs means a long road to travel, full of emotional ups and downs and inward exploration that will be a B i G-fAt-HaIrY-D e A l for me to conquer the sabotage of myself by dulling my emotions with food. I've been seeing a counselor for a little over a year because of what she thinks is bi-polar behavior, what might be ADD, but really for whatever it is that prevents me from "being successful" in a career job making a decent living. I haven't ever been in a job for more than 3 years. I get bored... I hate the mundane routine and repetition of 'same thing, different day, different people.'

I am most certainly an instant gratification girl -- and losing weight is most certainly not an activity that satisfies that childish demand. I'm not lazy - I do a lot.  For things that I care about.

My response to not liking what she said resulted in a 76.5 point ww day. (Which blows the Flex Plan Weekly Allowance Points out the window until Thursday!) I did walk one lap around the park (.62 miles), and spent some time praying asking for discernment and wisdom with what was said to me today. I am a Christian, and I believe God has a plan for my life - mainly to do with the talents He's blessed me with (to which I keep saying no and running another direction). So perhaps today I'll keep the points to a minimum by drinking juice for my blood sugar and eating salad and veggies... while I continue processing my life so far.

Friday, November 12, 2010

First Mini Goal

My birthday falls on Thanksgiving Day this year.  It happens every so often; and I love it. I love Autumn; I love that everyone gathers to celebrate my birthday *hee hee* -- I know that isn't the real reason, but it feels like it; so I soak it in! 

Yesterday was Veteran's Day - (nod of huge thanks and appreciation to all who have served; and all who have had those who served in their family for the American Flag and all it stands for) - and two weeks exactly before I turn 43. I thought... two weeks to lose 8-10 lbs would be a good start to this journey. (From Weight Watchers experience, I know my first 5-7lbs lost during the first week when following any eating plan isn't necessarily a true reflection of weight loss; but it has happened every time before, so I'm hoping it'll happen again this time!)

And my excuses are slowly falling away... excuses such as:
  • I need new, better, excellent walking shoes
Thanks to my wonderful hubby, himself; I bought some brand new Skechers -- which I've never worn before. They Rock! Literally and yes, the other way too!! Stood on the chorus risers Tuesday night with much less back and knee pain than normal athletic shoes! Only my ZCoils do better!
  • It is too hot, and too early!!
I froze last night going to bed; the temp in my house right now is 61F... Perfect Weather for walking! Plus, my good friend P calls me in the morning and we're holding each other accountable in walking each day. I don't want to be asleep or still in bed when she rings, so it helps knowing the phone will ring sometime between 6am and 7am.
  • I don't have a good Pedometer
Himself bought me a great pedometer a few years ago, and I asked him to replace the battery so it would work again. Done!
  • I Am Afraid. (See this post from another blog of mine)
I have my "walking bag" now - carries the pepper spray, tissues, a flashlight, and water when the weather heats up. It is the place to keep the dog's leash, my sunglasses & the afore-mentioned pedometer. It has taken 3 years to get back out to walk the dog by myself.

Two weeks of walking and counting points (on my own, not going to WW meetings or online stuff... just tracking what I'm eating)... I can do that. It doesn't overwhelm me. It isn't an unforseeable goal in the distant future. I'm an instant gratification girl... I need short goals and rewards, with a map of the entire journey in a drawer that I can pull out anytime to be sure I'm on track.  Because ... knowing where I'm going is a better way to ensure arriving at my planned destination.  Reward for losing the two week goal? Let me get back to you.

Lyn, over at Escape from Obesity posted yesterday that New Year's Day is 50 days away. Where will you be? Not a physical location, but a mental state. And if you're planning to lose weight, or get fit, or whatever the goal may be... why wait? As Gandi said, "The future depends on what we do in the present."

My First Major Goal: To Lose between 35 and 40 lbs before April 7, 2011.
4 months + 25 days
145 Days = 20 weeks

To me this goal is too far in the future... so much time, so much work... every. single. day. And such a little reward (only - maybe - 35 lbs?!?) -- this is when visualizing that a pound of butter is a lot of fat, and 5 pounds of anything weighs a considerable amount... and my loaded up backpack (10 - 12 lbs) is still even more... so it *is* a big deal - and a big accomplishment. When I get there.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I Want...

To sit in a chair and not be afraid it will break.
To have a normal sized towel that will wrap around most of me.
To sit in a stadium seat without having to shuggle & wriggle just to sit sideways without my back touching... and then have bruises for days.
To be able to walk up a flight of stairs and still be able to have a conversation.
To be able to sit on the floor and rise up again without it being a big, long, embarrassing process.
More energy.
To walk every day.
To be able to run 40 - 45 minutes a day.
To be able to use the normal seat belt in an airline seat.
The tray table to be able to come all the way down and not touch any part of me.
To look forward to physical exertion.
To eat without guilt (because I'm eating healthy, and exercising regularly).
To always eat like I'm going to sing and perform... because then I never overeat.
To shop for clothing in *any* store *I* want.
To look at pictures of myself without shame, or sadness... but rather with some pride with what I've accomplished.
To be honest with myself during this process.
To be thankful for everything I've gone through; and everything I have yet to go through.
To know in my soul that the number on the scale does not define me.
To view self-discipline as freeing, not as constraining.
To discover the anger... face it... and then forgive and release.
This to be it. The last and final time.

To Lose 151 pounds -- and never find it again.