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45 lbs and 9.25 months later

Sunday, October 07, 2007

I was having breakfast at our usual spot today, and started thinking about this fitness and weight loss journey. I started on January 2, 2007; today is October 7, 2007. And in that 9 months and 5 days, I've lost 45 lbs. (Today made it the 45.) That's my halfway mark. And instead of thinking oh geez, another 45 to go - all I can do is marvel that I'm halfway there. 50% gone. Halfway to goal. Like a 50 yard play in football. Wow. How did this happen? It seems almost effortless. Not a big deal. I didn't go on a major diet. And yet, this is more weight than I've lost in my entire lifetime!

I was a chunky kid. By the time I was in 5th grade, I was taller than my teacher - but I was also in the "chubby" size of girls clothing. When I was 14, we moved 3000 miles from NY to WA, and I went from 140-ish to 180 (I'm an emotional eater). I graduated from HS at 180, where I stayed most of my adult life, give or take 5 lbs.

My last 2 yrs of college, I went on Atkins and in those 2 years went down to about 140 - I was a size 12, and while I now look back at those photos and realize how great I looked, at the time I felt I was sstill chubby. Mostly, I was still flabby in the middle. I was active, my arms and legs were shapely - but I'm built like women in Renaissance paintings, with the nice arms and legs and the fertile belly and hips.

I went off Atkins, and in 2 years I was back up to 180. Size 14-16. XL. I looked okay, not great - I could live with that. I exercised regularly, ate well, had great bloodwork and physical exams. This was just me.

Then I met DH. In 6 months, my cholesterol went up 60 points. I also gained 10-15 lbs. I struggled to lose it. Then, a few years later, I fell in Hurricane Lenny and tore everything in one knee. Two years and two surgeries later, I was up 40 lbs (after 4 consecutive months in a leg stabilizer). So there I was, 50 or so lbs larger than my usual adult weight. Up to a size 20W or so.

And in January, Notblushing convinced me to come over here to SparkPeople. I did. I slowly made changes in my life. Once a week breakfast at the coffee cart instead of more frequent visits. Banana bread (195 cals) instead of a scone (450+ cals). Skim milk instead of whole. Even mmore fruits and vegs than before (I've always been good about that). Smaller portions. Conscious eating. Cut out all fried foods (which meant mostly just no more french fries). Smarter choices at restaurants. Don't eat all the pasta in a restaurant serving. Be happy with two bites of dessert instead of stuffing down a whole slice of something.

And slowly I added exercise. Walk a bit. Then walk a lot. Then take a deliberate 2 hr walk, with hills. Or vacuum the entire house (takes 90 minutes). Just do something every day. I bought weights. I bought bands. I bought a ball. And I do something, every day, even if it's just crunches and yoga moves. Something.

And suddenly, here I am 45 lbs lighter. I have an entirely new wardrobe. I've never lost weight this quickly. Or this easily. And when I look back at these lifestyle changes, I realize that this WAS a big change - but it wasn't a dramatic lifestyle change. It was just tweaking in a lot of areas. It wasn't giving up whole food groups - it was just giving up things that I didn't eat much anyway.

I love chocolate. I think it's a basic food group. But I also know I'll eat a whole chocolate bar if it's there. So now, if I crave chocolate, I'll have a little and give someone else the rest. Or I'll buy a one-cup serving of ice cream, and eat it as two portions. Or I'll make No Pudge brownies.

I'm still eating. I'm just eating smarter.

And my body is so much happier with me! And my soul is so much happier with the mirror!

"How did you do it??????" acuaintances ask when they see me, such as at the party last night. "You look great, how did you do it? How much have you lost???"

I proudly answer, "I've lost 45 lbs, and all I've done is eat less and exercise more. And joined SparkPeople." And it really has been kind of easy!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOTBLUSHING 10/12/2007 10:46PM

    Mazel Tov indeed! Phebe, I'm sorry I missed this wonderful blog. I thought I had a subscription!! This is a truly amazing testament to how you can change you MIND, and change your life! You are living proof!
I can't wait until we meet again, and I hug your skinny body! LOL Then we'll go for pedicures and cocoa!
((((BIG HUGS))))

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KADYSUU 10/8/2007 7:55PM

  You are amazing and such an inspiration. Thanks for pointing me to your blog - this is what I need to hear because 'dieting' scares me. It's intimidating. It's easy to fail and I am tired of failing. It's good to hear that someone lost weight by making small conscious changes. I think that I can do that, too.

Thanks again. =)
Kadysuu

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KATYBETH 10/8/2007 5:48PM

    Congratulations!!!! I *love* the 50 yard play metaphor....That's a big one!! Congrats and good luck on the rest of the journey. Attitude is at LEAST half the battle, so I'd say you're more than halfway there ;)

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SHORTY20 10/8/2007 3:35PM

    Congrats Phebe, I love this entry!

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TIME4JUDI 10/7/2007 8:43PM

    Mazal Tov! You have clearly gone about this EXACTLY the right way! What an inspiration to us all!

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PROFGANJA 10/7/2007 8:10PM

    Congratulations on your halfway mark Phebes! You are an inspiration! I think it's poignant that you say it's been easy. Taking control of your life and fate was the hard part---the rest has just followed. Congrats again!

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Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr - I want ice cream!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I'm chairing the accreditation team at school. Someone else had been the chair of this committee, but he didn't finish stuff up last year, and then he retired. And left no paperwork. No notes. No hard copy of anything. Just whatever the committees who did the work had stored on their computers.

We're in crunch mode - the accreditation self-study needs to be in the hands of the reviewers on or before October 24. So we need to mail things by Oct. 20.

I'm still trying to get all information submitted - which means endless meetings and trying to cajole others into writing what they need to write. I'm trying to make it easy. I give people hard copies of the forms. I email the forms. I carry the laptop computer so they can use their jumpdrives to get the forms. So this way, no one has to look up anything, or recreate the form - just type into the stuff I give them.

No one wants to do this. I get arguments about why wasn't this done last year? Well I don't know, I wasn't chairing the committee last year. The delay isn't from me.

Grown people. Professionals. Arguing, hoping that I'll capitulate and tell them I'll do their work. (Like I know what they do in the Math department to work toward student achievement? Like I know how many computers we have in the entire school?)

So I called DH and told him I really want to go walk off some of this frustration, and then reward myself with a big ice cream.

I think we're going to walk, and then just have a normal dinner.

But oh, chocolate would soothe my agitated soul!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 10/3/2007 8:57AM

    LOL, SF - deal!

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SECRETFUN 10/2/2007 10:23PM

  You come here when it is done or you win teacher of the year or need to lobby congress then I will make you the same deal I make DH. We can walk to one of the 2 chocolate stores by me. 2.5-7 miles round trip. Your choice. I am buying, the chocolate at least !

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Goal Setting

Monday, September 24, 2007

I tend to set goals for myself that are difficult to reach. And then I have to settle for not achieving my goal.

Example - we spent 3.5 days in Philadelphia, visiting family. I walk a lot, and my routes there include more hills than where we live. Plus I knew it would be cooler weather - so my goal was to lose 5 lbs in those 3.5 days. Ridiculous goal. But it sounded nice.

So did I meet my goal? No way. Did I walk every day? Yes. Did I eat sensibly? Kind of. Did I gain weight? No. Did I wear my new 3 sizes smaller skinny jeans and look fabulous? YES! Did everyone notice how great I looked? YES!

So why can't I just set those yeses as my goals? Why do I set unachievable goals for myself?

I don't even beat myself up for not meeting them. I shrug and think, boy, that was a dumb goal. And I forget about it and move on.

I don't make the goal "Walk every day" or "wear the skinny jeans" or "get 5 compliments" - I take those things for granted. They happen, I know they will happen, and I accept it.

I need to get more realistic with my goals. Challenge myself, but not make the challenge unattainable. Be realistic without being overly optimistic.

Reality therapy. That's what I need.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 9/26/2007 12:57PM

    Yeah, SF, I don't like weight loss goals. I like goals like save $ and go to Costa Rica. Not eat less and lose weight by Oct. 1. Doesn't work with my mindset. Maybe that's why I set impossible goals.

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SECRETFUN 9/26/2007 6:26AM

  You know, I never liked goals. People think I am nuts, but I think they are limiting. You on the other hand make hard goals, in fact impossible ones, but if they keep you on track and you are not bummed out by not acheiving them, then as long as you are not too fatalistic about it I don't see a problem. Like NB said, just extend the deadline. You did what was needed in Philly to keep yourself moving forward, and that was what was needed.

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SILVERLINEDJENN 9/24/2007 1:53PM

    That's a good plan (keep the goal, extend the deadline). I like it!
And you are doing fabulous!

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PHEBESS 9/24/2007 12:58PM

    LOL, Janine - I love it!!!!!!!!!! My new mantra:

Keep the goal, extend the deadline!!!!!!



Big hugs, sweetie - you made my day!

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NOTBLUSHING 9/24/2007 12:51PM

    You goals are BIG, and thinking big creates the excitement and momentum necessary to propel you over all those HILLS! It keeps the small goals from seeming tedious, and reminds you every day that you are walking toward a reward so great, that it is almost inconceivable. You are!
Keep the goal! Extend your deadline.

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"De woman got no bum!"

Thursday, September 06, 2007

I have lost my tush. I have lost 40 lbs, and my tush went with them. Yes, I have returned to the barely-there white woman tush that I used to have.

I lived in Liberia, West Africa, and would often hear "De woman got no bum!" I currently live in the West Indies (on the island of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands) and again, often hear "De woman got no bum!"

And then I blew out my knee in Hurricane Lenny, was in a brace for four months, had two surgeries in 2 years, and put on 40 lbs. Mostly in my hips and belly and tush.

It was a nice tush. Round and firm and shapely. Like a peach. DH loved that tush. I kind of liked it. It filled out pants and dresses, and looked nice. Unfortunately, the tush matched the belly and hips, so I looked like a pear from all angles. But the tush itself was nice.

Now it's gone. And with it, all its friends, those extra fertile hips and the perpetually pregnant looking tummy. Gone.

I don't miss the hips, I kind of like the athletic looking shape I see forming, with broad shoulders and slimmer hips. I remember that shape. I don't miss the tummy, I like having the front looking flatter and flatter.

But I don't like the flat tush. I miss my tush. I mourn the loss of my peach-shaped tush.

"De woman got no bum" is back.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SECRETFUN 9/6/2007 10:19PM

  time for those bum lifting exercise!

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PHEBESS 9/6/2007 11:08AM

    LOL Jenn! I'm always offering extra body to various people!

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SILVERLINEDJENN 9/6/2007 11:01AM

    You are so stinkin' cute! I love reading your blog entries! You can have part of my tush, if you like. I still have too much of one!

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PHEBESS 9/6/2007 10:44AM

    Oh yeah, Janine, I find it LOL too!

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NOTBLUSHING 9/6/2007 8:56AM

    Hahahahahaahha! Sorry Phebe that is LOL funny.

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JAZZEDBUTTERFLY 9/6/2007 8:55AM

    Wear your butt with pride. Butts come in and out of fashion. Used to be everyone wanted the smallest one they could get!

You never know what the new trend will be. :)

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I made it to full points of the "Very Healthy" lifestyle scale

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

I had fruit with my bkfst, lunch, snack, supper.

I had 2 vegs for lunch, and 3 vegs for supper.

I had whole grains at bkfstt and snack.

I slept 8 hours.

I exercised - 2 hrs of cardio, plus 20 minutes of ST.

And I drank 11 cups of water.

YAAAAAAAAAAAY!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOTBLUSHING 9/4/2007 10:33PM

    You're already there on NB's scale! (((((HUGS)))))

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