Friday, April 30, 2010

It Takes A Lifetime

I'm so glad it's Friday, what about you?

I think I'm just excited for our anniversary overnight and special dinner.  We need some completely down time, even though it will only be around 24 hours!

I am testing for my Purple Belt at Muay Thai tonight.  This is only the second time I've had to test in front of the senseis and I'm nervous.  I get so wrapped up in the thought that I might not be perfect that I usually make myself a little bit sick.  I will be so glad when it's over and I can feel like the weekend has begun.

Once again I really appreciate all the thoughtful comments on yesterday's blog.  Figuring out what to do so that the body will respond is so hard.  The only thing I'm sure of is that I need to make a couple changes (like limiting my splurge day) and that whatever the changes may be they have to be permanently liveable for me.

What do I mean by that?  During some blog surfing yesterday, I ended up reading several blogs where the writers were talking about the massive amounts of exercise they're doing.  I always get excited when I see someone who is changing their life, but when I see that they are exercising 2 hours a day, I always wonder if they can sustain that.  It worries me because what if your body gets used to that to the point that you'd have to do it FOREVER. 

Sean Anderson's trainer wrote a really interesting comment on his blog where he had written about missing his exercise (and he was sort of beating himself up over it).  Here is most of it because it's flat out great advice!

Second, and more important. You said you never missed a workout in the first 365 days. OK, so super. But there does come a time after you've done all the hard work and learned the lessons where you get to sometimes have an off week. You didn't go and eat your way through the week and then follow it all up with 18 ice cream cones. You had a busy week and couldn't exercise. That's life. Life gets in the way.
You want to make sure that the majority of the time you're doing the right thing.
That's what you (we)'ve worked so hard for. The ability and priviledge of living life as a normal weighted person. Most normal weighted people absolutely cannot fit 5 good workouts in every single week of life. It's just not realistic.
Make a plan, stick to the plan to the best of your ability and occassionally when it doesn't work out, move on.

I think I'm going to take her advice to heart for myself and I hope you will too!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Four O'Clock in the Morning

On Thursday evenings, I try to take double Thai Boxing classes.  It's 1 hour and 45 minutes of pretty hard exercise so I generally "sleep in" to around 5:45 then get up and get ready for work.  I had one of those unplanned, mid-life hormone caused, wake ups at 4 this morning.  I really did try to go back to sleep but just couldn't so I got out of bed at 4:30 and decided to dress for a walk.  It has been really windy here the last couple of days but the wind hadn't picked up yet so I headed out the door by 5:15 (gotta have my coffee!).  When I got outside, dawn was breaking and it was truly gorgeous, if a bit chilly.  I felt completely energized and decided to woggle, which is my version of something that isn't quite a jog but is a teeny bit faster than a walk.  Imagine my shock when I got home and saw I had done 3.35 miles at a 12:30 pace.  Sheesh!  Sometimes my 'runs' are only about a minute/mile faster than that.  I think I shoulda been a speed walker! 

Anyway, complete YAY for unplanned exercise!

I've been thinking about my eating plan and have decided once I get past the next two weekend eating events I am going to track my "splurge" day and keep my calories around 1800.  Something's gotta give if I want to make my pound per week goal by July 17th. I only eat around 1400 calories a day now so I can't imagine cutting that down, say to 1000 or 1200 as I have suggested to me, especially with the amount of exercise I do.

The eating event coming up this weekend is my 18th wedding anniversary.  There is a very expensive but delicious steakhouse that Mr. Helen has been wanting to go to, ever since we went to the one in Washington DC in 2008 after my marathon. It's a fancy, schmancy adult a la carte sort of place, perfect for an anniversary.  Because it's around an hours drive, I made us a reservation at a hotel so we don't have to drive home, and a reservation at The Capital Grille for a late dinner.  He is going to be completely surprised.  I think after the events of the past couple of weeks this will be just what the doctor ordered.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Living Up to My Name

As you know, last week I signed up to be part of Fight to the Finish. This is the end of week 1 for that. Here’s today’s weigh-in, in which I live up to my name, Doing A 180:

This is a loss of only .2, which could be water for goodness sake. Frustrating! I had a good week in terms of eating and exercise. It should be more. As I had these thoughts this morning I realized that today I am faced with a choice: let my emotions overtake me and give in to food or Fight to the Finish! I choose to Fight.

I know it’s not about the scale, the numbers but people, I gotta tell you, I am sick and tired of doing this to be fit and healthy. Sorry Mish, because I know you want us fighters to realize it’s more than weight loss, and I have been doing some self examination on some issues, but I want to weigh less dammit!!

This past week, I’ve been thinking a lot about motivation. Because, even motivated it’s very easy to sidetracked by life and its activities and stressors. For example, as I mentioned last week I am faced with the next several weekends being full of eating events. So how do I stay motivated?

My biggest motivation in this journey is my health (but I want to weigh less, dammit!). As we age, we all tend to develop some issues - both genetic and otherwise. In the last 10 years of my life I have ended up on blood pressure meds and thyroid meds. I tried hard to stay off the BP meds but the doc told me "It's genetic." Because there is a lot of heart disease in my family and my BP wasn't low enough after I tried for a year to lose weight and exercise more, he felt there was no choice. Right now I'm in a battle with cholesterol - also genetic. So far, I've managed to keep my good cholesterol so good that my overall ratio is excellent, so no meds. But every single living sibling in both my mother and father's families are taking meds for that. All I can do is fight. My thyroid, well, I expect that to be a lifelong battle, even with the meds. All of these issues are underlying motivation to try to be/do my best.

Once in a while, however, something else comes along that adds a bit of a spark to my motivation. (Background: Mr. Helen has thus far resisted the Facebook phenomena. The result is that many of HIS high school friends have become friends with me on FB so they can keep in touch with him. It’s sort of funny.) Last weekend there was a discussion going on about running in to people and one of the friends reminded folks that the high school is doing an All Class Reunion on July 17th. They do this every 5 years or so and they are lots of fun! Sometimes there are 3 generations of one family at the reunion. Hors d’oeuvres, drinks, dancing – it’s a great night out.

I suddenly realized that July 17th was only eleven weeks away from this weekend! My brain started going crazy… is it possible for me to lose 100 pounds in 11 weeks?!! I wonder if I could get emergency entrance onto the Biggest Loser?!! Just kidding. Seriously, it did make me think, what can I do in eleven weeks?

So, once Fight to the Finish ends, I’m going to be in Helen’s All Class Reunion Challenge. A personal challenge to be the best I can be in eleven weeks, in front of all Mr. Helen’s old girlfriends – lol!! And, I’m going to say it out loud: I want to weigh 170 lbs. by July 17th. I know that should be easy but my uncooperative body is going to make it a real challenge. In any case, I’ve got reinvigorated motivation.

Tell me; what motivates you – a vacation, an “ex”, an event?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Taking A Minute

First to say thank you to all of your thoughts and well wishes and prayers concerning my sister-in-law.  You guys are the best.

I don't want to be a downer and I hope you won't take it this way but I wanted to take a minute to honor my brother-in-law.  On April 28, 2009  (which was a Tuesday and why I'm thinking about this today) at 2:30 in the afternoon while sitting at my desk at work, I got the phone call that changed our family dynamic forever.  It was my 33 year old baby sister crying and choking so hard I could barely understand her... I could hear sirens so I started screaming "What's wrong?! What's wrong?!"  She choked out "Gary, hurt on the excavator, come to the hospital, please.  I need you."  With distance and traffic and school busses, it took me 30 minutes to get there.  By the time I arrived, he was gone.  Actually, he was probably gone at the house but when the paramedics got him untangled from the excavator and the tree his color came back and it seemed that he took a breath.  So there was hope on that ambulance ride.  Taken away once at the hospital.

I have no understanding of these things, I just have to believe that for whatever reason, it was meant to be this way.

Gary was a wonderful family man and provider.  He was the sort of guy who planned and executed. When he graduated from high school he knew he wanted to be an airline pilot so all of his education went towards that goal.  At the time of his death he was a pilot for UPS.  His propensity for planning was the gift that keeps giving as he left my sister well taken care of financially.  However, it sometimes got in his way as my long suffering sister dated him for 7 years while he put his life plan into action.  Funny thing, about a month after they got married, he came home from work and found her waiting and said, "Why I ever waited so long to marry you, I'll never know - this is the best thing ever!"  In all they had almost 14 years together but I'm most glad they had almost 7 years of marriage  because their love gave us Jacob and Grace (here with my sister).

So today, even though the "official" anniversary is tomorrow, at 2:30 I will observe a moment of silence and prayer and remember Gary, thankful for who he was and what he gave to our family.

In Loving Memory
Gary L. Peil

Beloved Brother-in-Law and Friend
Never Forgotten, Always Loved

Monday, April 26, 2010

Highs and Lows

We had a great long weekend even though, for the most part, it was a working weekend.

The family room is 99% done.  The 1% that isn't finished has nothing to do with the room itself, it has to do with me deciding we need to de-crap the area.  So I have 3 more totes to go through and purge and it will be 100% done. It was so nice having the new pickup because we even were able to get some of the garage cleaned out and make a dump run.  The old family room carpet went down on the garage floor - it actually looks a little fancy in there now.

My daughter contacted us over the weekend to say she has decided she wants to make her first trip home in her new car in a couple weeks.  One of her cousins is having a housewarming, plus it's Mr. Helen's birthday and Mother's Day.  It will be so much fun to have her here for all the festivities!

I'm loving my new "no tracking using old trackers" plan.  Every day I go to my notebook and find whatever we're having for dinner in there and then use that page.  Back in 2007, I even tracked my splurge days so I can even do that if I feel so inclined.  It really has helped my attitude about it all.

We celebrated my mother's 71st birthday yesterday by going to a seafood buffet. It was yummy.  This was a particularly important celebration because her birthday dinner last year was the last time we were with my brother-in-law before his sudden death 3 days later.  Mom didn't want to do anything but I insisted.  Gary would have wanted us too, he would want us to move on.  I told her that it was important for us to realize that we could celebrate HER and that we'd survive and still be breathing when all was said and done.  It turned out to be a wonderful get together and my sister did just great.

I'm sure by now you're wondering about the low.  Unfortunately, our weekend ended with some really awful news. Mr. Helen's sister, who is the same age I am and lives in Michigan probably has less than a few months to live. She has been battling ovarian cancer since 2002 - and winning the battle.  Then right before Christmas her bloodwork started showing bad numbers and low platelets so she started having transfusions. In February she started having to be transfused many days of the week so more testing was done. Her diagnosis is that she has chemo-induced leukemia. They've decided there's nothing to be done as she is not strong enough for a bone marrow transplant.  Even though she has lived in Michigan for 25 years, she wants to come home to die. I'm hoping that she doesn't get so sick that she's unable to travel. I think Mr. Helen is going to fly out and drive her back. He is beside himself at the thought of losing his little sister and goes back and forth between tears and anger. It's just so sad.

I know that we will get through this too.  Some how, some way.  I'm always amazed at the resiliency of the human spirit.  The one good thing about being in the valley, is that once you get through, there's a mountain top waiting.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Boy oh boy did I want to eat everything in sight yesterday.  I was just flat out having a hungry day.  When I'm at work I find that easy to control because what I have there is what I can eat.  Once I'm home, different story.

I left work early so we could go get the new vehicle.  Believe it or not this is the very first brand new vehicle Mr. Helen has ever owned.  Whenever we've purchased a new car before, it was always mine.  Let me tell you he was like a kid in a candy store, a boy with a new toy!  His excitement was contagious.

Anyhoo, we went straight from that to Muay Thai class.  Sometimes I do a double on Thursday but with all the excitement and rushing around I didn't feel I had the energy so I came home.  Mr. Helen is the Sensei so he had to stay to teach the rest of the evening.

The minute I got in the car to drive home I could feel my thoughts wandering towards food.  Mind you, I'm certain it was because I WAS hungry.  Some of it, I'm sure was also because I was tired.  By the time I got home I was in a "to hell with it" mood and thinking about the wine and chips and cheese and all sorts of things that were not in my food plan.  I went so far as to put a wine glass in the freezer to chill while I took my shower.

After cleaning up I came downstairs and opened the fridge and immediately had the thought that I could eat whatever and no one would know - because Mr. Helen wasn't home.  OOOOOOOHHHHHH that's closet eating!  Bad, Bad, BAD Helen!!

I reached into the freezer, took the wine glass out and put it away.  Then I stood in my kitchen preparing my planned meal and talking out loud about how I wasn't going to have a First Round Knockout in my Fight to the Finish! People, I am telling you I literally talked myself out of sabotage!  Of course, once I ate I calmed right down and was fine.

I'm off today.  I've already had a glorious 50 minute run this morning and I'm getting ready to begin the process of finishing putting my family room back together.  It will be so nice to have things settled.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.  Don't forget that it's OK to use sheer willpower to win your fights.  Eventually as you win each battle, the war will be yours!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A (Wo)Man with a Plan

Do you hear the Hallelujah Chorus?  You should because I'm singing it as loud as I can. Got the call around 11:30 am yesterday - they found Mr. Helen a truck! I think I immediately lost around 5 pounds of stress. Isn't she a beauty? I think I'm going to name her Blue Belle.

photo is from the Build Your Own feature on, but that's the truck he's getting, color and all

She (and her payment) have arrived and we will be picking her up this afternoon... just in time for us to load her up with all the crap we're going to clean out of the garage!

Maybe that karma I felt yesterday really has kicked in and things are starting to align again. (Shhhhhhhh).


I've decided I'm switching my weigh-in day back to Wednesday for the Fight to the Finish Challenge, which is what it was before the Perfect 10 Challenge at the beginning of this year. I just don't think I can handle more than one weigh in per week. So, no weigh in from me tomorrow.
Know how I've been whining talking about being sick and tired of tracking food?  Last night I came up with a plan!  Back in 2007, when I was first cleared to try to lose weight after my hypothyroidism diagnosis, my doctor asked me to keep track my food and bring her my journal every two weeks when I came back to weigh in.  I guess she wanted to see what I was doing in case I wasn't losing any weight.  I went looking for a free online food journal and that's when I found Sparkpeople.  I kept track there and every two weeks I would print out my food charts and take them in.  Because I can be quite anal organized, I also printed a second copy and threw them in a 3 ring binder.  Last night, I was unpacking a box of books (yep, still working on the family room) and I came across the binder, which I had forgotten about.  I took a few minutes and looked through it and saw that I had great success at managing a healthy balance of food and I was definitely losing weight.  It occurred to me that I could just randomly pick any given day and I'd have a pre-set meal plan, within weight loss portions, that I don't have to track.  There are about 10 months of food charts for me to choose from with plenty of variety.  Pre-made menus!!  Since they're mine, it's all stuff I usually eat anyway. 

So, I am a (wo)man with a plan and I don't have to re-plan or track - the best of both worlds.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Never Say Die.

Even though things around my life have been one big suckfest, I know in my deepest of deepest that I cannot quit.  What on earth will happen if I do?  Will I get big as a house? Will my hereditary tendencies take over and lay me down will illness?  I REFUSE TO LET THAT HAPPEN!!

I am joining a 6 week challenge that was originally set up between Mish of Eating Journey and Ryan of No More Bacon.  Here are the original details:

When: Tuesday April 20th-Tuesday June 1st

Weigh-in Postings: Every Wednesday
Goals: Ryan: 225lbs, Mish 170lbs
Measurement of Success: Largest % chunk lost per week (ie Ryan losses 8% of his remaining goal weight and I lose 3%, he wins)
End Success: Largest overall % of goal weight difference achieved at the end of six weeks

So I'm sort of thinking of this as Ryan and Mish are the Main Event and the rest of us are the Warm Up Fighters.  I'm sort of thinking about this as me vs. my thyroid!

For me, this means either an additional weigh in each week on Wednesday, or changing my weigh in day to Wednesday.  Interestingly enough, you guys know I don't like to weigh myself more than once a week but this morning, because I felt fat and bloated I drifted to the scale.  Sure enough, my weight is up from my last weigh in.  That's not to say that it wouldn't be back down by Friday for my regularly scheduled weigh in because we all know there are plenty of ups and downs during any given week.  Somehow, because I don't normally weigh in on Wednesday, but I did today, and I signed on to see Mish's reminder about Fight to the Finish, and I really like short term goals/challenges, I sort of felt like the stars had aligned and this was my sign.

So today and for the next  6 weeks, my motto will be "Never Say Die" and I will Fight to the Finish!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday Ten

Big shoutout to Chris Oursler who has lost 100 pounds!!! If you missed Chris’ post commemorating her 100 pounds lost mark, you need to read it: It will help you remember why you are doing what you’re doing.

Thanks for all your support yesterday. I’m feeling a bit better. Or maybe it’s just resignation. In any case, it felt good to sort of scream out loud and that’s one of the things I love about blogging.

Still no vehicle for Mr. Helen. Yesterday the dealer called to tell us they had searched all of New England and New York and New Jersey (which is as far as they can go) – that’s 8 states people - and found 4 trucks. 3 of them were sold already and they were trying to get the 4th one but weren't hopeful. So, these types of pickups sell like hotcakes but they don't make enough of them.

The news this morning announced that the state I live in has the highest pollen counts in the entire country. Yay?

In her race recap report, Shelley talked about how she hated the first mile of her race and how the left (negative) side of her brain tried to talk her out of continuing. This issue is the exact reason I prefer distance over 5Ks. When you run a 5K you really need to go all out from the get go. Run as fast as you can. For 3.1 miles. When you run longer races, you can use the first mile or even two to settle into your pace and then run for your life. I always say I run like a crockpot. The longer I go, the hotter and faster I get.

I have been trying Twitter. I’m really not good at it so we’ll see how long it lasts. I like reading better than tweeting. MizFit twits all the time!! More than anybody else I follow!! Then I see her comments all over the blogs! How on earth does she find the time?

This post sparked a whole bunch of thoughtful comments. I thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them but was particularly struck by Journey Beyond Survival’s comment “Hubbend is mum on the way up and a cheerleader on the way down.” Because that sort of describes how it is with me and the Mr. since my thyroid diagnosis. I was also intrigued and forced to think by Paul’s comment. Maybe the Mr. thinks he is supporting me? Hmmmmm….. It was so interesting to read a man’s point of view. If you haven’t seen his comment please do go back and read it.

I looked at the calendar yesterday and realized we have some sort of eating event every weekend for the next 4 weekends straight. It seems like we’re moving into the summer party season earlier than usual this year. I need to strategize for all this. Tel me what you do.

I’m thinking about going back to a paper food journal. Just writing down what I’m eating and not thinking about calories, fat, carbs, etc. Just for a change. I think my brain needs a break from so much information regarding my food. Funny that’s a scary thought to me. I’m afraid of losing control. Eating too much.

Is intuitive eating something that can be done WHILE trying to lose weight? I see lots of maintenance people switch to that. It just seems to me that if you are overweight, “intuitively” your body would want to stay at that weight therefore you would eat accordingly. Anyone out there eating intuitively and losing?

What are your random thoughts today?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Something's Gotta Give

We spent all day Saturday (well from 10-5) trying to find a vehicle for Mr. Helen.  He has always driven the older car so we've pretty much had only 1 car payment at any given time during our years together.  I appreciate that about him:  the fact that he wants 'better' for me.  Unfortunately, the time has finally come where his car died (it was 17 years old!) so now we are going to have 2 car payments for a while.  Because he has always sacrified, I want him to have what he wants.  He really isn't asking for much.  He just wants a simple little pickup truck.  Due to the fact that we already have one car payment, of course our finances are limited.  But we had no idea it would be this hard to find something.  It's like everything the dealers bring in is blinged out and cost $50K.  Maybe other people can afford that but we just can't.  We even looked at used but I resisted because I don't want him driving another old vehicle with 75,000 miles on it - that costs 15K to boot! So it took all day, then at the very end of the day we found something that maybe would work.  But of course, it's not in stock.  He's going back this morning to see if they can find one. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

My family room still isn't back together.  It's like the flood made it the gift that keeps on giving.  I want to give this gift back! Between full time jobs and other obligations we can't seem to get it finished.  We've been working on it as much as possible for two weeks but with limited time it's taking forever (and we've had vehicle shopping in the mix too).  Mr. Helen finally came home from work yesterday and said, "I took off next Friday and Sunday so that I could get 4 days in a row to just finish this room and get it back together. Plus maybe we can get the garage cleaned out too."  Which means I need to take Friday off to help.  I hate using my vacation days for stuff like this.


Not to mention that we finally discussed thoroughly that we really can't afford a vacation this year.  I mean a go away, leave it all behind sort of vacation.  Once we get through the emergency expenditures on the family room and vehicle, we still have to reroof our garage.  Sometimes it stinks being a responsible adult.


I want to believe all this uproar is not affecting me, but truthfully it is.  Mentally and physically.

Definitely I've been fighting "stinking thinking" all weekend.  Have felt like I was in a downward spiral that I couldn't stop.

I keep feeling resentful about food tracking and exercise.  I was sooooooo busy yesterday working on our family room yet felt guilty all day long that I skipped doing any form of "exercise."  That's just dumb but I couldn't shake the feeling.  Then I sat down at the computer to input my food and found myself muttering and cussing and slamming the keyboard because I feel so MAD that I can't seem to get enough of a grip that I can just eat and not track and not worry that I've overdone it.  For goodness sake it's just food!!

Additionally, I know for a fact my hormones are messing with me (the female ones, not the thyroid) because I can tell by the way I feel... like crying for no reason at all - or for every reason.

The key will be to get through all of this without stress eating and skipping exercise - or somehow managing to not beat myself to a pulp if I mess up.  Because really, what I want to do, is go to bed and sleep.  Or at least lay there and read a book while sipping on coffee.  Surrounded by a cocoon of blankets and pretending that none of it is going on.

I'm tired.  Pooped.  Exhausted.  Something's gotta give.

Friday, April 16, 2010


There is a lot of truth in the statement that it's not how bad you screw up, it's about how well you recover.  It's true in sports, it's true on your job, it's true in life, it's true in general.  But it's really true in our weight loss journey.

My recovery both in my life - with the flooded family room and all - and in my journey to my best me has been going well this week.  (Except for that dinner debacle on Wednesday.... shhhhh, I don't want it to hear me and bite me in the butt.)  I got proof when I stepped on the scale this morning:

I couldn't seem to get a photo without the glare this morning but the number is 178 and that's 2.8 pounds down since last week As Katie J. said in one of her recent weigh in posts, I wish it wasn't weight I've lost before but ahhh well, let's just keep moving on.

I got my exercise back on track this week as well.  Even did double Thai Boxing classes last night (that means I workout out for an hour and 45 minutes!) then got up this morning and had a lovely 5 mile run.  Yes, I'd say I'm in full recovery mode.
Speaking of the Wednesday debacle, Shelley asked me if the mini burgers were cooked in butter. I don’t know, but they did have a smear of Pimiento Cheese on them and I mean a smear. Believe me Shelley, I was shocked to find they were 880 calories/58 g fat because the two of them together weren’t any bigger than a normal sized cheeseburger.  Did you know that a  McDonald’s cheeseburger only has 300 calories/12g fat? Once I did get around to looking at the nutrition facts Ruby Tuesday's, regular size burgers run anywhere from 1200-1500 calories - so I guess I still did better by choosing the minis. Sheesh!

I am looking forward to the weekend.  Hopefully we will be able to finish the recovery efforts in our home and really be settled back in.

I hope all of you are continuing in your recovery efforts whatever and whereever they may be!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Salad Bar Blew Up in My Face

You know I am a planner.  It's good for me though because it helps me feel in control, especially during times like these last few weeks where everything feels out of whack.

Last night when I arrived home, Mr. Helen was doing yet more research on the pickup he wants to buy.  He had gone after work to look at one but was disappointed in the quality of the interior and had realized that he may have to give up some more Benjamins in order to get what he really wants.  Cha-Ching!

Generally he has my nephew every Wednesday but because of the car business he didn't, so he suggested, spur of the moment, that we go grab a bite to eat.  Since it was his idea, I let him pick and he picked Ruby Tuesdays - a chain.  Normally we tend to stay away from the chains and would support a local restaurant but he'd made up his mind he wanted one of their burgers so that was that.  Usually, I would get online and look up the food and nutrition facts, etc. but it was already late and he was ready to go so I decided to try and wing it.  Harder with this restaurant because we don't go there much but I figured I could do it.

Here comes disaster.  We get there and sit down and I wander off to look at the salad bar that I'd seen coming in.  When I get back, my sweetie had ordered me a Cosmopolitan because they were having a $5 special on them and he knows I love them.  OK there's a couple hundred calories. Hmmm, I really should get the salad bar so I can control what I eat.... but I want meat.... oh they have mini burgers (sliders) and there's only 2 of them and it comes with a choice of a soup or the salad bar!  And I now want a burger too because I've read the descriptions of all of them.  OK mini burger and salad bar.

Faithful followers, I am sorry to report that not only did I eat the mini burgers, I did not see that they came with fries and I ate those too and I lost it with the salad bar.  Are you kidding me?  Well crap.

When I had gone to glance at the salad bar I was thinking there were lots of fresh veggies and they had some light and vinaigrette dressings.  And I glanced only.  By the time I got up there, Mr. Helen had asked me to get a big salad so we could share - good he wants veggies - but could we puhleeze have blue cheese dressing?  Sigh.  Then when I got to the end I noticed they also had 3 kinds of pasta salad, 2 potato salads, cottage cheese, a creamy broccoli salad with craisins, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.    Until I saw that stuff, I had forgotten how much I l-o-v-e it.  Besides, I had a green salad with chicken for lunch, right?

Oh friends, how we justify our wanderings!  Sad to say, this morning I went and got the nutrition facts for what I ate:  200 calories for the Cosmo!!! 880 calories for the mini burgers!!  185 calories for the french fries on the side!!  And, I can only estimate around 500 for the salad bar - I figured 100 for the main green salad with the blue cheese dressing (because I ate less than half of it) and another 400 for the cottage cheese, pasta salad and potato salad. A whole days worth of calories in one meal!!

Of course, to top it all off, I woke up starving this morning, which is what always happens if I overeat at night.  A rumbling tummy when really all I want to do is just forget food today to make up for my 1765 dinner debacle.  Thankfully, I had only eaten beautifully prior to this so my total calories for the day came to 2539. 

They say confession is good for the soul, so please feel free to use the comments section to confess your worst or most recent food debacle.  If not, perhaps you'd like to read another one.  Biz had the same sort of thing last night and wrote about it today.  Although looking at her blog, I wish I'd had her food!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

No Theme Music

I don't really have a threaded, themed post today - just want to chat. A couple of you emailed me privately and asked some questions so I'm going to answer those first.

Why did you say '4 months' instead of 3 months or 6 months or 1 month as a timeframe to buckle down? The answer is right in the post if you picked up on something else I said.  Summer.  I'm a summer girl.  I feel and do best in the summer.  Four months from today would be August 14th.  Almost the end of summer.  What if I buckle down for the summer?  Hmmmmm...

Why haven't you told anyone you know that you blog?  Do you have fears other than not feeling free?
Well, yes I do as a matter of fact.  It's hard for me to explain this and I'm sure even as I try, it will not come out right.  My weight is a big issue between me and my husband.  You see, I'm married to the high school football hero, "most popular" "best all around".  I think he had an expectation that he would have arm candy for a wife. And he did have some very pretty girlfriends, no doubt about it.   But not just fluffy arm candy - athletic, beautiful arm candy, with proportioned bodies.  Cross Halle Berry with Gina Carano and the man would die a happy death.  Anywhoozle, I started the blog to be accountable and to acknowledge my weight instead of ignoring it.  If he was reading, for sure, I would not be posting it. Here's why.  In April of 2007 I ran a Quarter Marathon Race and won the Athena Division.  Athena Division is for any woman who weighs more than 150 lbs.  At the time I was at the lowest I've been since my thyroid diagnosis - around 158.  I was SO PROUD of winning that division because, as it happened, I was also the oldest person who ran in that division and I beat several 20ish and 30ish people.  I struggled with whether or not to tell him - because we don't discuss my weight.  Since I knew he wouldn't know what Athena was and I'd have to explain, I hesitated.  But my 20ish year old friend who I ran with (and beat in that division) said, "You need to celebrate. The hell with him and his hangups!"  So, I told him.  His reponse?  "What do you mean you weigh more than 150 lbs.?"  I finally asked him to stop telling people about it because this is what he would say "Helen won a division in the Quarter Marathon, even though she weighs more than 150 pounds." 

I don't want to make it sound like Mr. Helen is a bad guy, because he's not.  And, the issue has been a lot better since I got my thyroid diagnosis.  (He realized I wasn't sneak eating or just stuffing my face and not giving a damn.) So the best course for us has been to just not discuss it.  Keeps things calm.  I think any one of you in a relationship knows that you've got to pick your battles and this is not one I can fights right now.

So for now, that's one of the reasons I don't purposefully tell anyone.  Who knows, maybe there is someone I know out there reading but they just haven't commented yet.   Or maybe if I told they'd be like Miz' family and not even read.  At this time, this feels right for me - I need accountability and I need to be 100% honest, which I'm able to do with all of you. I love my bloggy peeps for that!

I had a fabulous run this morning - just glorious.  I managed 5 miles in 53 minutes which is about as fast as I've run lately.

Last night at Thai Boxing, the room got so hot we steamed up the mirrors and I felt slightly nauseous.  Which means I was definitely working out hard.  It was a good workout that turned great.  At the end of class, the Sensei called me forward and invited me to test on April 30th for my purple belt!  There are four areas students are graded on and I got 3 "excellents" and 1 "good".  Aarrrgghhh!  I want all excellents!  Then he gave me a star for perfect attendance.  I felt like a fairy princess who can kick ass by the time we left.

Eating has been good all week.  Of course, I feel so much better and then I wonder how many times it will take me to get it through my thick head that I DO feel better when I eat better?

Not that life has been stress free.  I'm just victorious because I haven't allowed any seepage!  Up until Saturday Mr. Helen has been driving the very first car we bought after we got married.  Yes, folks, an almost 18 year old Dodge Shadow.  My daughter and I had started calling it the blue bomber in the past few years and I flat out started refusing to drive the dumb thing a couple years ago.  Literally, the driver's side seat was propped up with a stick because the levers had broken.  I may be married to the one man on earth who doesn't care about cars.  We were out running errands Saturday, using that car because we needed to haul a computer desk, and the brakes went.  We were 25 miles from home.  He got us there and we found out Monday that the repair would be around $1200 - more than the car is worth.  So, we've been trying to share a car this week while he s-l-o-w-l-y looks at the pickup he has been wanting.  We both work days and in opposite directions from our house.  It has been challenging.  Oy.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday Ten, The Question Edition

Things to ponder.
Pick a question or two or ten and hit me up in the comments please.

Do your immediate friends and family know you blog? And read your blog? Mine don’t and I wonder if I would feel as free to express myself if they did.

Do you ever read other people’s comments on a blog you’re commenting on and think, “Oh that’s really good” or “His/her comments are always so nice and on point” and then think “My comments are crappy?” I do. A lot. I’m often tempted to erase, erase, erase.

If you could do/be anything you wanted, right now, what would you do/be? I would be a sports nutritionist and a physical therapist. Or, I'd be retired. :-)

How many times a day do you work out? It sort of annoys me that whenever I admire how fit someone seems and talk with them about what they do, I find out they work out twice a day, most days, for at least an hour at a time. It’s all I can do to get in ONE good workout a day most days – no more than an hour or so.

Do you plan your exercise or do you just try to be active in some way every day? I'm a planner and don't very often deviate from my plan.

Do you have anything you eat but don’t “count?” Like gum or mints or….? Back in my WW days, I had a leader who refused to count any fruit unless she ate more than 2 pieces in a day.

Do you have a "dangerous" eating time of day? Right when I walk in the door after work.  A couple years ago I became acutely aware that I was using food to relax/unwind.  Crazy but true.  I have to pay attention otherwise I find myself grabbing a handful of this or that.  There goes that seepage again...

If money was no object, would you have any cosmetic procedures done? I would. Several probably, but most definitely a tummy tuck and my eyes.

Do you have a season when you seem to be able to better tackle and reach your goals, weight loss and otherwise? For me, it’s definitely summer. Maybe it’s the fresh produce, maybe it’s just that I feel so content and happy that I don't sabotage myself by filliing up my feelings with food.

Finally, here's the main question I’ve been asking myself for the last couple of days:

What would happen if you just buckled down
 (no swerving, no splurging, no side trips)
and committed to 4 months of giving this weight loss thing your all?
(Still trying to answer this one myself.)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Stay the Course

My past couple of weekends have been nothing like I expected. In any area of my life! I can’t believe how discombobulated everything has been due to our family room flood. A monkey wrench was thrown into the works and it was all we could deal with. I am ready for some normalcy.

This past week we had begun carpet shopping, going to the big box stores and some flooring stores as well. The carpet that was in the family room had previously been purchased through a company that comes to your home to give estimates so we figured we’d see what inflation had done to the price in 4 years. I set us up an appointment on Saturday morning with the carpet people. They came and after some negotiating, we ended up buying the same carpet we had before! Honestly, we really liked what was there and it was only 4 years old. We were pleasantly surprised to find it was still available and the price hadn't gone up much at all in 4 years (well, after negotiating). They're installing this afternoon which meant all of a sudden my weekend became a huge scramble to make sure we were ready for the installation. This meant painting. I hate painting, especially when it’s all trim work like baseboards and door trim – ugh. But, I got it done.

We’ve also been wanting to get rid of this huge old armoire that the computer sat in - we inherited it with the house but have never liked it. It's so big Mr. Helen literally has had to disassemble via hammer and saw it to get it out of the room. We're really not even sure how the previous owners got it down there - and maybe that's why they left it!

Anyway, all that activity meant my only exercise was my class Saturday morning. Unless you can count 8 hours of painting as activity? It should count based on how my glutes and shoulders feel today.

Hopefully, by the time I get home today the carpet will be in and we can begin to re-combobulate.

One really good thing is that even with that discombobulation and the extra things we suddenly had to do, I determinedly stayed the course with my eating. No more seepage!!

Shortly before we diconnected the computer yesterday I signed on briefly and took a gander at some blogs.  Jack Sh*t did a post about being on track and working out what permanent weight loss is all about. He rarely does serious posts but when he does it’s a home run. If you haven’t read it, you should What really struck a cord with me in that post was this:

“Now during even my busiest, most off-kilter weeks, I figure out a way to carve out time for exercise in some form or fashion. Now when I find myself in a situation where I eat and drink more than I should, I recognize it for what it is: an anomaly, an aberration, an exception to the rule.”

Which is what it’s really all about, whether you’re a work in progress or a work in maintenance. Life is going to handle us all unexpected events - things that make it hard to eat and exercise correctly.  Recovery is just as hard and how you treat the unexpected abberations that life hands you will affect your journey to goal.  We don't have to be perfect, we just have to stay on track - or get back on track sooner than later.

Friday, April 9, 2010


This morning after I weighed myself I started thinking about flooding verses seepage. I think it was because my scale is in the downstairs bathroom where we had our water last week.

There has been a lot of discussion in our area about whether or not it pays to buy flood insurance if you’re not required to. We actually did a bit of investigating and found that it probably isn’t worth it for us. There are so many requirements that have to be met before water in your house is called “flooding” that it’s nearly impossible to meet those requirements.

Besides, our family room didn’t actually flood. What we had was seepage. Seepage is defined as a slow trickle that works its way in. Basically, the water table got so full from the torrential rains we’d had for a week, there was no where else for this water to go. So it seeped in.

The issue with seepage is that just like a flood; it can eventually cover large areas and ruin everything in its path. It spreads; it just spreads slowly but surely. And if you can’t find where that trickle is, it’s impossible to stop. When I first found the water, it was only about 2/3 of the way across the room. We couldn’t figure out where it was coming from so we used the wet vacs to try to dry the carpet. But, it was steady and determined and by Thursday morning we had an actual little lake across our family room carpet.

So it goes with our weight loss journeys. When I have a big unexplained jump in my weight, I compare that to a flood. It happens fast and is unexpected – nothing I can do to control it. The rest? Well that’s just out and out seepage.

All those extras, you know? Eating 20 crackers instead of the 17 that is the portion; having 1 ½ glasses of wine; 1 extra slice of bacon on the BLT; free styling with the block of cheese instead of measuring out a portion, etc. etc. You get the idea. They creep up slowly but in the end, the damage is the same as a flood because they end up covering a large area. The next thing you know, you have to buy new carpet.

I chose to weigh in today because I need to know what has been going on and where to go from here. A couple weeks ago I had that sudden jump in weight – my personal flood – and I wrote this post about the trials and tribulations of the thyroid. This weigh in? Well I’m up – but only by a pound. That’s seepage. Totally seepage. Only occasional food tracking. Too many extra bites over the last couple weeks. Not enough exercise. It all adds up to seepage. Yes, I’ve been under some very stressful circumstances, but the fact remains, if I don’t control the seepage, I end up all wet.

It’s just a number, but a number I needed to see so that I’ll pull out the wet vac and put it right where the slow leak is; get the seepage under control before there's too much damage.

Here you can see the water creeping across the room.
Look at the floor in the distance to really see a puddle.

Pretty much every day for 5 days we would get it dry-ish then wake up to puddles and the whole carpet soaked again.  Darn seepage!

The result of my personal seepage

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Be Inspired to Make the Right Choice!

Early this morning, I read The Daily Diary of A Winning Loser. A lot of us in blogland follow Sean Anderson. He’s inspirational. He has been at this for over a year now and I’ve lost track of how much weight he’s lost but it’s over 200 pounds. Not only is his weight loss Ah-Maz-Ing but his writing is pretty good too. He often goes back to last year’s post and re-reads it and then puts a snippet in his current blog. His Day 570 post  had a sentence somewhere in the middle that hit me right between the eyes:

I know that thyroid conditions can hamper weight loss, as can certain medications. All I can say is, hang in there, don't give up, and consult your doctor. If on the other hand, you know you haven't done everything you could have so far, then whatever you do from this point forward, don't beat yourself up! Put it behind you and move forward. Have a long talk with yourself, re-evaluate your motivating thoughts, assess your self-honesty, and most importantly---Do not make things difficult.

As a thyroid patient I have worked hard to not let that be an excuse. But – and there’s always a “but” isn’t there, because it sometimes takes me sooooo long to get weight off, 3 years in it has become easier to slack a little here or there. Not beating myself up is something I need to work on - hard.

I need to make a choice that I want to and WILL move forward!

I need to make the choice that it’s not okay to be “only” 25 or 30 pounds from my goal.

I need to make the choice that me being the healthiest I can be is worth giving up that little extra dab of food.

I need to make the choice that nothing else can get in the way of me making my goal.

Perhaps, if I make these choices I can be done by the end of this year – or at least close to it. Not to say that it won't be hard, because it just is with the thyroid crap.  But, at least I won't be making it more difficult than necessary.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Sum of My Being

I've had an almost perfect morning... one that felt more normal than they have in the last few weeks.

But it actually started yesterday. Had a very balanced eating day, followed by Thai Boxing last night. For whatever reason, I was just “on.” I felt good and my form and technique were en pointe. Even Mr. Helen commented about it as we drove home.

Then, this morning, I got up and ran. Only 4 miles but 4 enjoyable miles. It was like running in early summer with our higher than normal temperatures. Gorgeous. Plus I was a bit faster than I have been, so yay for that.

Made tonight's dinner already! I had some homemade pesto leftover from another recipe that I tossed with three-cheese tortellini and then added some grilled chicken breast. That will be so yummy with a salad. Yes, it was easy but still it felt nice leaving my house knowing I don’t even have to think about it.

Packed healthy breakfast and lunch to take to work.

Got to work on time!

Just feeling good.


A couple of you have asked me if any of our loss from the flooding will be covered by insurance and unfortunately, that’s a no. Even if we had flood insurance (which we don’t because it’s not required for us) there’s a question as to whether or not we would have been covered because some of this flooding was considered ground water. The water table was so full, after the rain sunk into the ground there was no place for it to go but people’s homes. There are teams from FEMA here and if our county is declared a disaster area we may be able to claim our damages through that. We’ll see.

Shelley and Katie J commented yesterday that they think I should skip the scale this week and I’m considering that. One of the reasons I don’t want to skip is because I was supposed to weigh myself Good Friday to see if I made my goal of 176. The scale was scooped out of the flooded area and banished to the garage (by Mr. Helen) and I couldn’t find it so I missed my weigh in. Not that I wanted to find it as at that point I was still stressed out and wet vaccing. But, I do so want to make another short term weight loss goal to reach by the end of my dojo Biggest Loser Challenge on May 1st so I’m leaning towards weighing in and taking whatever that scale says with a grain of salt.

Interestingly enough one of the contestants on last night’s Biggest Loser episode had a low weigh in (“only” 2 pounds) and was talking like everything was worthless because of that. Bob and Jillian right on her and Bob said something like he wasn’t going to let her wipe out all the hard work she’d put in and negate everything based on one weigh in because it did not reflect her journey.

I’ve been thinking about that all morning. The sum of my being is not about one weigh in, is it?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tuesday Ten

Record setting temps are drying us up around here.  Seeing the sunshine is just exactly what the doctor ordered to calm the soul after the flooding.  It has been lovely to get a taste of summer in April and I will be sad to see the temps drop back to 50ish normal by the weekend.

We ripped up the carpet up last night.  Poor Mr. Helen had the hardest time.  It was like he had labored so hard to save it, he couldn't bear to let it go.  On the other hand I was chanting "rip it out!" "rip it out!"  because I already had visions of lovely new carpet.  Plus it had started to stink!  Within an hour of it leaving, the house already smelled better.

I've been getting back outside for my runs.  For whatever reason, they have been painfully slow.  Can't figure out why but my legs just feel heavy like it's hard to pick them up.  I used to run 9 minute miles and wonder if I'll ever get there again, what with weight gain and age and all.

I love NCAA basketball and was especially thrilled that Duke was in the Championship game last night!  However, due to the West Coast, the tip off was not until nearly 9:30 over here on the right coast.  I made it 'till halftime and had to go to bed and trust that Duke would win.  THEY DID!!  But I missed a good, close game.  I told Mr. Helen that means I'm officially an old fart.  He said, "Or it means you get up every freaking day at 4:15 to run!"  OK.  I'll go with that.

My eating has been off for two weeks now.  I can't really explain it because I know I'm not overeating.  Those who follow me know I don't believe that any given food is bad necessarily.  What I do believe is that eating needs to be balanced and mine has not been.  Between the latest upsurge in my weight and this "off" eating, I am sure it does not bode well for my trip to the scale on Friday.

I feel like I need a new approach to get my eating right.  I've been doing the same thing for 3 years now.  When my thyroid is balanced, it does work and I lose weight, albeit slowly.  But more and more I'm sick and tired of counting calories and weighing and measuring food.  I'd love to try eating intuitively but I'm TERRIFIED that I'll gain back what it has taken me so long to lose.

Finally, I'm cheating a bit on this because the Final Four of the Tuesday Ten are blogs I think you should go read if you haven't already:

Chris at A Deliberate Life had a blip on her scale and wrote about it.  When It Gets Hard is one of the best posts I've seen describing what that does to us mentally and how not to let it take over.  Also, in her post on April 1st she used a phrase I've been thinking about for the past few days "I feel like I am chipping on Granite with a spork."  Which one of us hasn't felt that way?!

Roxie's post today.  Love that phrase "disordered eating."  That's me for the last two weeks - Miss Disordered Eater

Steve at 265 and Falling has Exposed himself.  He's a better man than me.

266 has made her goal!  Please go say congratulations because everyone who makes goal should get a ton of comments! Make sure you scroll down and look at her progress pictures on the sidebar.  Amazing.

And that's my random thoughts for this week.  Share some of yours with me!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Wade in the Water

You know chilly water is dark and cold
(I know my) God's gonna trouble the water
You know it chills my body but not my soul
(I said my) God's gonna trouble the water

(Come on let's) wade in the water
Wade in the water (children)
Wade in the water
God's gonna trouble the water

Since last Wednesday at 5 am my home has been inundated with water.  We lost count of how many gallons we took out.  Unfortunately, because it is a finished family room in our basement, the carpet and padding was soaking the water up so we were unable to use pumps.  We wet vacced for two days.  Then on Good Friday, I found a professional to come in and use super suckers.  When he finished he looked at me and said, "You still have water coming in." I wanted to cry but I knew we wouldn't have been able to tell where it was or if it was still coming until we got most of the water out.  After he left on Friday and Saturday we basically kept the two wet vacs running - 1 sucking at the source of the problem and the other on the rug when it would get squishy wet.  By Saturday night Mr. Helen declared that the leaking had stopped and that he was sure we'd not wake up to ponded carpet on Sunday morning. Thankfully, he was right. Let the drying begin!

Easter Sunday was the first day that we didn't spend our entire awake hours using wet vacs.  We ventured out to church and then spent the day with both families.  This year, Easter truly represented new life and resurrection for us as we look diligently towards counting our blessings and looking at this whole incident as an opportunity to make some changes.

It looks like we have to replace the carpet and get an engineer to figure out how the water got in so we can fix that.  The professional carpet guy said all that wet vaccing we did saved the walls, furniture and electronics.

While we feel sad over our loss, it is not nearly what others in our area have suffered. Entire homes and business are gone, roads are closed, bridges are washed away.   It's hard to describe but it you would like, take a look here: This is the photo gallery from my local newspaper. There are professional and reader submitted photos that will blow your mind. Just click on anything that says flood. Our newspaper also runs a Peeps contest each year and those photos are there too if you want a laugh!

So, we are drying out and moving on. Many thanks to all of you who stopped by and gave me some bloggy love on my Drive By post. I was able to read your comments on my iPhone. Mr. Helen gave me a hard time about spending so much on a phone but it ended up being our internet since the computer was in the waterlogged part of the house. Even Mr. Helen agreed that phone paid for itself over the last 5 days.
I am looking forward to catching up with all of you - and getting back into as much of a routine as possible.  Little things make me happy these days... ironically, through all of this stress, I had no desire to overeat.  Now, if I can just hold on to that and get my exercise back on track...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Means

New Life!  Resurrection!

I'll be back tomorrow with a real post of some sort... in the meantime, these are the tulips I got to cheer myself up. You enjoy them too!

Happy Easter Bloggy Peeps!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Driving By

Sorry peeps but this is just a drive by.  Mr. Helen and I are part of the epic flooding taking part in the Northeast US.  We went to bed at 9:30 on Tuesday all dry,  and when got up at 4:30 Wednesday to workout, I  found our finished basement family room flooding.  I'm talking wall to wall carpet here people. 

We spent 14 hours wet vaccing yesterday and are at it again today because, of course, all the professional companies are completely booked until next week.

There are entire sections of towns closed down and you may have heard that a whole section of I-95 - a major highway - is closed. 

Definitely lots of people worse off than we are... I'm eternally grateful that we have our health etc., etc. but still... Don't know if we're going to be able to salvage anything or not.  Trying to keep positive thoughts that it's only stuff and stuff can be replaced.  It has been up and down because, you know, it's OUR stuff.