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Keeping my eye on the prize

Monday, March 24, 2008

I am close to my goal and yet so far. I have 12 pounds to go. They say the last 10 pounds are the hardest. I agree.

I've been doing AWESOME on the exercise front, and terrible, and I mean terrible, with my eating. I do fine during the week but on the weekends, I'm out of control.

I have to balance my need to get out and have fun on the weekends with DH and friends with my need to lose these last 12 pounds and keep them off for good. My desire to be fit and healthy HAS to win out. That's not to say I shouldn't treat myself, but this is ridiculous.

I decided to write out my vision for myself at my goal weight. Hopefully, writing this down will make it real to me so that I can see an end to the "losing" part of this journey and finally reach the "maintenance" stage.

This is my vision of my future. That means, of course, that not all of this has happened yet. But some of it has.

Me at my goal weight:
- I have lost 63 pounds, going from 178 to 115, and size 16 to size 6 or even 4.
- I achieved my dream to visit Israel. I even wore a bikini again for the first time in 9 years.
- Exercise is an import part of my lifestyle. I am in the best shape of my life.
- I work out 6-7 days a week. I do strength training 1-2 times a week and run 3 times a week. I frequently work out on the elliptical and take fitness classes at the gym, such as cycle and Body Combat.
- I am constantly looking for new ways to stir up my fitness routine.
- I am a runner. I can run a 5k and even a 10k. Maybe a marathon someday.
- I can go on long hikes or bike rides without stopping to rest.
- I can do pushups!
- My face is back to its original shape (not round).
- My cheekbones and collar bones are pretty and pronounced.
- My chest is back to its original size. It wasn't meant to be a cup size bigger. That was actually uncomfortable.
- My thighs and calves are muscular and toned.
- My stomach is flat and my core is strong.
- My arms are strong and defined. Kelly Ripa would be jealous. ;)
- I have a cute little butt.
- All in all, I have a hot little bod.
- I am happy to once again be the woman I was when my husband met me (at least in terms of appearance).
- I no longer cringe at the thought of seeing people I haven't seen in a long time.
- I can go shopping at all my favorite stores and find all sorts of cute clothes that fit me.
- I am happy and confident.
- I did it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHARVONNE30 3/26/2008 8:59AM

    Keep up the AWESOME look great and once you knock off the last 12 you will be rockin'. Not because of looks but because you crushed the weight demon and reached your goal...


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DNJEN471 3/26/2008 8:37AM

    congratulations! You are awesome and I love your confidence!

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PIGLETSMALL 3/25/2008 4:58PM

    Woo Hoo! When you wirte everything down like this it's awesome. Look at all your accomplishments. You are friggin' awesome, my friend. You haven't far to go. But I agree those last few pounds are sticking like concrete. We'll have to just keep chipping away at them. Hee hee. Hugs and love Helen xxx

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VIDABELA 3/25/2008 1:50PM

    it is so motivating to write out goals like this...reading goals in the present tense really helps me out a lot! you can lose the last 10 pounds!!

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2NEWSTARTAGAIN 3/24/2008 5:09PM

    WAY TO GO!!! you are awesome!!!

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UP4MORE 3/24/2008 1:48PM

    Congrats to you for the great successes you have had so far - the problem with those of us who work out daily is taht we can hav a snack that is not exactly a diet food and it will most likley not even show on the scale - unless we do this a few days in a row - then you are working against yourself - eating poorly and working it off - getting nowhere and spinning your wheels - be careful about that - I know you can meet goal - best to you! cat

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PRAIRIEDAWNPAM 3/24/2008 12:46PM

    Brace yourself for a butt kicking! ;-)

- Wings: Were they deep-fried? Wipe some of the sauce off next time. Is a veggie plate or a huge salad an option? Most bars will serve salad.

- Nachos: Are whole wheat chips and low-fat cheese an option? If you ate out, I'll bet not, but at home you can keep these in stock.

- Beer: What are your thoughts on wine or hard liquor in diet pop to save yourself 25% of the calories, or more? Or what about just having diet pop?

- Burger and sweet potato fries: Good job on the fries. Did you skip the bun? What did you put on the burger?

- PBJ: you have reduced sugar jam, right?

- Indian buffet: What were your veggie options? Fill up on those, first. Choose meat in tomato sauces second and avoid the rice.

- Snacky things : Are they junk foods or healthy choices? Don't brink junk into your house, girl! No more cookies, chips or sweets til you are in maintenance mode!

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ANNE7777 3/24/2008 12:13PM

    Tweety--Good for you!!!! Those last 10 pounds ARE hard!! Good for the goal. One of my goals is to run the London Marathon someday. You can do it. Weekends are totally hard for me too.
Please let me say I think you are a beautiful and inspirational person!!! Peace--Anne

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JLITT62 3/24/2008 11:56AM

    First, a big congratulations. You've already done a terrific job.

Next, is 115 lb realistic for you? Most likely it is only if you're really petite, like me, but even then, years ago I had that for a goal weight -- and it wasn't realistic for me. I couldn't maintain it. I struggled mightily to do so, and even tho for my height it ought to be a realistic goal, it just wasn't for me.

As a former weight watchers leader, I've seen it again & again (and done it myself): setting a goal weight that's too low, that's too hard to maintain.

But eating better on the weekends is a worthy goal. I'm working on that myself. I'm not too bad, but I do relax a bit more on the weekends. It's something I'm working on, too.

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STACEY96DAVIS 3/24/2008 10:52AM

    Way to go !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you rock !!!!!!!

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PRAIRIEDAWNPAM 3/24/2008 10:51AM

    Your vision is terrific. I hope it is motivating to you. Would you care to share what it is you eat, drink and do on the weekends? Have you tracked it? Do you want suggestions or a butt kicking to keep you accountable? You CAN do this. We'll loose the last 10 together.


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SAYRAH-M 3/24/2008 10:45AM

    Oh this is such great news. I have to direct everyone here!!! Woo HOO! What is your BMI? You may be closer to goal than you think. I love your goals and results. You are awesome. You could have entitled this WHY I ROCK

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Scale, C25K and random thoughts

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I thought it was time for another blog. Ah, I love this time of year. March Madness!!! It's so much fun filling out the bracket and watching the games. I usually don't watch a lot of college basketball during the season but this is when it's super exciting!! Alas, Ohio State didn't make it to the dance this year.

Well, the scale is finally being kind. I am down another pound. Let's hope it just gains more momentum and keeps on going down through and beyond the 120s. I HAVE to be at goal by May. Hubby and I want to get our tickets for Israel soon and if we wait much longer they are only going to get more and more expensive.

I have been doing very well with exercise.Yay me! Body Combat is just so awesome. It's such a rush! I do that twice a week if possible. Strength training 1-2 times/week and it feels so great afterwards!!! YEAH! And I am really getting into running!! I NEVER thought I would say that. Ever!! I detested running for most of my life. I didn't understand why anyone would actually WANT to run if they weren't being chased (or competing on The Amazing Race). If you were to tell me a year ago that I would be on Week 8 of the Couch to 5K program, I would have given you my best "you're crazy!" look.

But there's just something about running that I am starting to love. Now please understand, I am not running for speed here. I'm certainly not ready for any races or anything like that. I'm just getting hooked on the feeling of accomplishment I get from completing the challenges for each week. There's just something about running -- pushing through that tired feeling and finally regulating your breathing so you can go on and on. Listening to some rockin' tunes! OH YEAH! I can't wait to make my playlist for tomorrow's run!

And last but not least, my second kickball game is tonight. Boy it's windy here in Baltimore today but it's supposed to calm down by tonight. Last week's kickball game was fun, even though we lost. I hope we win tonight, but most importantly -- I hope my team just has fun, regardless of the win or loss. I'll probably skip the beer during and afterwards though. I want to go to Israel, after all!

This weekend will be challenging as usual on the food front. Fri. night I'm planning to go to a concert at a brewpub. It's the Hotel Cafe tour with Joshua Radin (LOVE HIM!), Ingrid Michaelson, Carey Brothers and a couple of other artists. It'll be a challenge to stick to healthier options at dinner beforehand, as well as avoiding all the yummy beers they have. Wish me luck!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DNJEN471 3/22/2008 12:30PM

    I really need to get back into running too! I have totally gotten of track and need to learn to love it again!

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CARPEOMNIA 3/20/2008 6:25PM

    Good for you for gettin' off that couch and getting into running. I'm still at the "you're crazy" phase...but now that Spring has sprung...I'll see about giving it a go.

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PIGLETSMALL 3/20/2008 4:52PM

    Hi Sweetie! I hope you are well and happy. Congratulations on losing another pound and congratulations for playing kickball ... what is it exactly? Sounds fun! My ankles are much better but that's because I am resting and not exercising much in the way of bouncing up and down on them. Hee hee. Plenty of pilates for me. I just posted a blog if you're interested. Have an awesome day, my friend. Love and hugs, Helen xxx

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I need a spark

Thursday, March 13, 2008

This has been a bad week. I am feeling down, and it's not only because I'm stuck in another plateau and I've sabotaged my efforts by making bad food decisions. The bigger issue is that I'm bored. Not bored with Spark, per se, just bored with my everyday routine.

I'm not meant to stay at home. (Hubby and I don't have kids yet.) I come from a hardworking family. My parents immigrated to the U.S. when I was very young. When we arrived we had no money and few possessions. My mom and dad worked very hard for everything they have (and everything I had growing up) and to send me to college. The value of hard work is deeply ingrained in my psyche.

My father is an engineer. He is very smart and is well-respected by his company and his clients alike. All the women in my family work. My mother is also an engineer. She always worked, even when I was a baby. My grandmother worked until she was close to 70 years old. She was good at her job and they loved and respected her there. My husband is climbing the ladder at his company. He is a valued employee. I am very proud of him and all that he has accomplished.

Everywhere around me, people are doing great things. My friends all have someplace to be during the week (except for the stay-at-home moms, who actually have a reason to be home). When I was in New York City last week, I watched people walk by in their fabulous suits. I wondered where they were going and what jobs they had. I wanted to join them.

I look up to people like Rachael Ray, who has (I think) 5 jobs, is always busy and is so obviously passionate about what she does. I was speaking with a childhood friend earlier this week and we got to talking about high school. One person from our high school is now a creator and producer of a television show in Hollywood. Another won a Pulitzer for her photography. On a larger scale, JK Rowling took an idea for a story about a boy wizard and turned it into a publishing phenomenon -- books loved around the world -- and made herself a billionaire. What have I accomplished?

I've been at home since May of last year. It was totally by choice. I used to have a killer commute. At the time, we were planning to move across the country and I wanted to get the house in order and ready to sell. Secondarily, I used this time off to take care of myself and take care of this weight too. We have since taken our house off the market and decided to stay put for now. So, things have settled down again, but I am still in the same place. It's been almost a year.

I've been racking my brain every day about where I want my career to go next. The problem is that after months and months of soul-searching, I am not any closer to the answer. I enjoy my field, but maybe there is something else that I'm more suited for. Maybe there is something new that I can do, but which also incorporates my current skills. I want to help people. I want to be passionate about my job. I want to work for a company that I believe in -- and one that is committed to the wellness of its employees. Better yet, I would love to work for myself. But doing what, in particular? I have no answers. At this stage of my life, I should have things figured out.

Therein lies the problem. To do anything, you need goals, action steps, clear objectives that you can execute. Otherwise, all you have is wishes. Right now I have no concrete goals or ideas of where to take my career. Only vague wishes. I can't even describe how that feels.

I am stuck. I need a spark -- similar to the spark that motivated all of us to lose weight. I am hoping and praying for that spark.

I cannot continue to stay home and do nothing. I need to contribute to society in some meaningful way. I have to be an independent person. I want to be a career woman again. I want to do great things. I want to feel alive.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEVA145 4/17/2008 9:32AM

    This morning I was watching an Oprah, Tivo'd from yesterday, I believe. Maria Shriver was the guest, discussing her new book, Just Who Will You Be? All through the show, I kept thinking about this blog (I remembered it well, but it took me awhile to find it!!) and wishing you were watching the show. I won't take the time here to go into detail, but you may want to check out the show on - should be some notes there - or perhaps read an excerpt from the book online. What a great time in your life to ask this question. Many of the issues she brought up reminded me of your comments - even the ones about her parents. I have a few years on you and although I have no major regrets and love my life - this whole concept will help me as well. It's never too late to stop and check your coordinates and make sure you are still headed in the direction you truly want to go... I may do some tweaking!!

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PIGLETSMALL 3/15/2008 3:45PM

    I know exactly how you feel. As a SAHM for several years I was totally dedicated to my chiildren however, my mind was racng for snippets of knowledge to asborb. I was feeling stagnant and felt at a loss. You sound exactly how I did several years ago but let me just say this ... being a SAHM is an incredibly important job and just because we don't get paid for it doesn't make it of any less value. On the other hand you are feeling restless. Well... here's what I did. I started to write a book. I worte every evening when my children went to bed and loved every minute of it. I didn't intend to write a book. I simply loved writing at that time in my life. The next thing I did was attend as many evening courses as I could to progress and learn new skills. There are so many things out there in the world. Now here's what you've got to do. Think back to your childhood when you believed in your daydreams. Was there something you were incredibly passionate about carreer wise? Think hard. It may come to you in your dreams. Ask and you shall recieve. Listen to the message. It may come through your door as an advert, a friend may mention something to you, you may read something relevant in a newspaper or book. Look for the messages. But before you go to bed ask God, or the spirit angels, guides and they will honestly help you. It's true. They helped me! Hugs and love Helen xxx

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MSRO1976 3/14/2008 8:55PM

  I think Pattie is on the right track. Some fun volunteering things- going to the local animal shelter and walking the dogs (and just think how many more calories you will burn walking and playing with them). You can also get a part-time retail job (even better at place that you like to shop because then you get the discount). Whatever you decide, you know that you will be contributing one way or another :)

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    Go and read my blog for today - I think it will help - it is all about goals!!

Hugs from Russia :)

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DNJEN471 3/14/2008 2:15AM

    I have been feeling the exact same way lately. Like I have not accomplished anything career wise and am kindof floating. Routines can get really old really quick. I can tell you are a hard worker, like me. Sometimes I overwhelm myself with things... my mom sent me this video:


pfully that link works for you. It was such a great reminder to me to be really greatful of all that I have accomplished and worked hard for. It reminded me to love life and reach for the stars. Hope it inspires you too.

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PUPPYWHISPERS 3/13/2008 5:58PM

    I actually have an idea that will help you two ways. Why not volunteer for a group in which you believe, and see if that can lead you in a direction for a career. That will help you give back to your community immediately, as well as getting you out of the house, which it sounds like you're really missing.

It's hard to advise you without knowing if you have a degree or what you're experienced in doing. If you want to start over in a new career, my advice is always to find something you love to do, and do it for your living. But sometimes volunteering is the best way to find out what you love to do.

Best of luck to you!

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    I think you know I'm a career counsellor. I manage a college career center for students and alumni. I have some ideas for you. If you are interested, just send me a message.


PS Since you are a bookworm, you might enjoy a book called "Wishcraft". Its a great way to start figuring out what you want and how to get it.

Comment edited on: 3/13/2008 5:35:16 PM

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I don't know how I got this crazy idea into my head, but I signed up to play kickball! The first game is tomorrow. Hubby and I decided to join a team with our local 20s and 30s Meetup group. I haven't played kickball since elementary school! I don't even remember all the rules (I printed them out so I could prepare, LOL!)
Anyway, I am really terrified because I NEVER do group sports. I am a total klutz when it comes to sports, and these situations actually make me very nervous because a whole team of people are counting on me not to suck. This entire week I have been having horrible flashbacks of elementary school gym class. I keep regretting my decision to play. If I don't play, though, I am out $40.
I am really hoping that it will be fun and the people won't be too competitive. I know that some people take these things WAY too seriously and it becomes very stressful rather than fun. We'll see how the first game goes tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSRO1976 3/12/2008 8:45PM

  I signed up for Kickball in my town also- I can't make the first game next week, but I start on the 27th. I can't wait to hear how it goes for you since I have never done this (or anything like this before). Good Luck- and don't drink/eat too much at the bar after!

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    Oh boy. I could have written this. If I had signed up for a team sport, that is. LOL. The last time I joined anything like that it was for a rec softball league; I hadn't played since jr. high and I was no good then, but I was trying to impress my then boyfriend by agreeing to play with him. Well, I took it as an excuse to buy an adorable new outfit to wear to the games (what does a kickballer wear?) and when gameday came, I offered to guard the beer cooler. That was my job evertime after. It was the perfect position for me to play. You'll find your place, too. Don't stress. Have fun!


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NITAINMN 3/12/2008 2:52PM

    Oh, Keep an open mind and give it a try. Every one was at where you are today. Its better to fail by giving it a try and be a success without trying it!! You are young and may truly enjoy the 'fun' part and your DH is there for company and encouragement. This could be something you could do together to build on your relationship too..Good Luck and make sure you report back, you hear? Hugs, Nita

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Stuck at 128

Monday, March 10, 2008

I am stuck. I have been at 128 for weeks now. I seem to get stuck a lot -- I guess I am just not doing as well with the calories as I should be. I know it's not the exercise because I exercise almost every day.

Last week probably added another 2 weeks to my plateau. I went on a mini vacation to NYC and I just did not make the best choices. I did some things right but totally messed up in other areas.

Good things:
1. I was really mindful of calories (though I still ate some bad things). In other words, there was a little Spark fairy whispering in my ear every time I made a decision about food.
2. I found time to exercise. I walked around Manhattan for many hours and I also took advantage of the hotel gym.
3. I made an effort to drink water by bringing my water bottle with me. Now if I just would've filled it up a bit more....

Ways I messed up:
1. Ate a slice of pizza. I love NY pizza, unfortunately.
2. Had gelato twice for dessert. I did share the first one and the second one was only about 1/2 cup.
3. Had some frozen yogurt but only ate half of the small portion I got. And it had strawberries on it!! Anyway, what is the big deal about Pinkberry?? Blech!
4. Had drinks on several occasions but kept it to one each time. The worst one was a margarita. The other times it was wine, which isn't too bad.
5. Had a cupcake (but my lunch with it was just a sandwich).
6. Did not do well with my goal to eat at least 5 servings of fruits or veggies a day. Not even close!
7. Had french fries.
8. Munched on my friends Cat cookies from Trader Joe's.

Soooo, no wonder I am not losing weight. But this leads me to a few sad conclusions:
1. If I go off my usual routine, I am in trouble. In order to lose weight, apparently I need to just stick around my house and eat all meals at home all the time and never go anywhere. How do I make this a lifestyle change if I'm not able to apply my Spark knowledge when life throws me curveballs? I am not going to be on the same schedule forever.
2. My body is not forgiving of minor slip-ups. I have to live my life and enjoy good food and yes, drinks with friends on occasion. How do I balance that need with the need to be at a healthy weight? I usually don't mind counting calories and working out. I love to try to make yummy lower-cal recipes at home. But it's discouraging that I have to be so careful and diligent ALL the time. Otherwise it's back to plateau-ville. These last 13 pounds are killing me!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DD-THEOTHERHALF 3/12/2008 4:43PM

    Hey there

You are getting closer to a healthy weight!!!!! As you get to the thinner side of normal you'll have more issues. LOL... no really what I mean is you have to remember to schedule around the food to activities. The more you eat the more you have to do. Your body needs change to wake it's self up too. Zig- zagging cals, and changing work out routines help.

Think of what you did right and work on the rest next time. At least you can see what is was.
You'll Get there !!!! DD

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WATERBABY*3 3/12/2008 10:09AM

    All I have to say, would you rather be at 128 or 178 like you started at? :) Look at the positive, you WILL GET THERE!!!

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NITAINMN 3/11/2008 6:05PM

    Well I too am happy that you are committed to the weightloss program. How about exericsing more on those days that you had french fries, desserts or pizza? Its hard not to eat your favorites. Even biggest loser gives you one cheating day per week....Good Luck! {{{{Hugs}}} Nita

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JO*ANNE*IE 3/11/2008 5:41PM

    I am so proud of you for being committed and looking at what it is that you need to do to continue your journey ...

..... Courage .... Conviction ... Commitment. You have it all -- you're doing it ... You will succeed!

Hugz Girlfriend!!

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PIGLETSMALL 3/11/2008 5:21PM

    Have you noticed that the more we concentrate on losing weight we don't and when we forget about it we actually lose weight? I lost my pound this week by being busy and having a different focus on life. My exercise routine was fitted in regardless. It has become part of my lifestyle like brushing my teeth. However, the more I focus about losing weight the more I put on or don't seem to lose. It's very strange. However, Id love to be 128 lbs! Hee hee. Have an awesome day, love and hugs, Helen xxx

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DNJEN471 3/10/2008 8:33PM

    sounds like the same story I am reading... or should I say living! We will kick it... we will succeed!

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    Have your numbers changed much? Calories, fat, carbs, protein, sodium? Why not look at your tracker -- if you were tracking while you were away -- and see if there are any clues for you in specific numbers. Some people are "carb sensitive", for example. Did you drink a lot of soda? How was your water intake?

"Apparently I need to just stick around my house and eat all meals at home all the time and never go anywhere." This is complete and total BS! You just need to PLAN. Did you plan for gelato, pizza and alcoholic drinks? If you did, then expect to plateau. No biggie. They can be part of a healthy lifestyle when you are in maintenance mode, but in the meantime, you need to cut out whatever prevents you from loosing. The vacation is over.

Move on, chickypoo. No need to dwell or to ruin the memories of your trip.


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