Tag Archives: Weight Loss

Spring Ahead

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When I started my blog, my intent was not to make it about getting healthy. I had been observing that there were defining life experiences that had become touchstones-golden threads interwoven into the fabric of me. Approaching fifty, I thought it time to maybe write about them as they came up, mostly just for me, for reflection. But at the time, it just so happened I was in the throes of a food revolution.

And so I wrote about it.
And I felt GOOD about it.
And I wanted everyone I knew to DO IT WITH ME!
And I marveled at how SURE I was I’d NEVER have a chemical packet of artificial sweetener or a diet soda EVER AGAIN!
And I was HAPPY about it.
And so CONFIDENT!
And then…

I started losing interest.

And I couldn’t quite bounce back from Thanksgiving.

My treads no longer followed the path to Whole Foods or my yoga studio. Rudi’s turned into Ronzoni. And my blog went by the wayside along with my healthy lifestyle. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to write about falling off the wagon. In fact if ever there was a time to write, the struggle-time is the most fruitful time! No, it was just a lethargy that took over. A ho-humedness, especially to those activities that interfered with being warm and cozy and caving and eating comfort food.

I do believe this is the power of sugar, sugar.

With that said, this hibernation hasn’t been a totally gluttonous episode. Though I haven’t been shedding pounds, I have been shedding in other areas: namely the stuff of my life that’s been accumulating for 10+ years.

My husband and I have decided it’s time to move out of this house that’s too big for us. It’s time to get out from under our debt, from our accumulations, and from a living situation that is no longer meeting our needs. This is not easy for me. I am a very attached person. In fact, I believe one of the most important things I must do in this life is become more naturally detached. I don’t mean detached in an indifferent way, but in a loving and mindful way.

In order to do this, I must make my way through the artifacts of my past. I am being tested. For example, what to do with the contents of the box that holds the last remaining items of my father’s life, one that ended over six years ago? His dentures, a few pairs of jeans, a hairdryer, prescriptions, glasses…I wonder, how I can possibly let them go? Then I ‘remember.’ I do not need to cling to these items in order to be connected to him, to feel the love of my dad. My heart’s got it. No need for the physical manifestations of his life.

And so I sort the contents of the box into their respective ‘donate, sell and toss’ piles, with mindfulness and gratitude and love. And move on to the next dig.

Today the clocks moved ahead.
The earth is waking up, even though the dirt is still frozen and blanketed by snow.

I’m waking up, too.
Even though I haven’t been in my produce drawer in quite some time, I have been in my closets, unearthing some treasures and shedding some baggage. I remember that I am powerful and have the ability to craft my life the way I want it to be. I’m turning 50 and I can do anything I want. I can make it happen. I quite like making it happen.

So here’s to manifesting.

Or as a friend coined the term,
“Amanda-festing!”

 

 

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‘Tis the Season

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And so it goes…
I’ve been inconsistently munching my way through gluten-ous crackers, pasta and I even ate a donut last week. Drinking the occasional coffee, too. I’m not gaining (yet), but I’m not losing. I’m fairly certain the chances of me reaching my goal this summer are being swallowed up along with the rest of it. My yoga pass expired yesterday, too. I’m even dragging my feet getting my supplements organized for the week ahead!

On a more positive note, I’ve been selling stuff on a local Facebook tag sale site. It’s a positive step towards the cleaning out and eventually selling of my home.

I suppose what strikes me most is how diligent I must be, staying focused and keeping my eye on the prize. My attention certainly has been wandering.

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Danger, Will Robinson!

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. I really love Thanksgiving.  It’s my favorite time of the year. I’m a hibernator, a caver, a snuggler. Throw in some snow, good friends, family, and we’ve got a New England memory in the making. That aside, what I really want to talk about is all the delicious gluten and processed food I’ve been eating. Would someone please analyze me, quick?

TG-day I did pretty well. I didn’t succumb to any gluten until about stuffing time. Note though, that I attended the 9:30 a.m. Thanksgiving morning yoga class! Yes-siree-Bob, I did! Later, I shared some pie with my dear hub, I was proud.

Then~
Friday morning I was hitting the road with my boy to the Great White North for a hockey tournament. Rushing, the road trip started with a stop for bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches at the local market.They were,

OUT OF THIS WORLD!

Ahem, amen.

And for the rest of the weekend~
We lost all of our games. Ate pizza, popcorn, coffee cake, chlorine, orange Crush. Had a few break-aways, and made some new friends. Upon our return, met dad at a local favorite, and drank a beer (or two…).  Drank coffee all weekend, too. That’s a first in months.

I am astounded at how easily I can revert to my old ways. It is natural, comfortable.
I think tomorrow I will go back to the other.
Not a single adverse reaction the gluten, the sugar, the rest of it…nothing. Nothing but pleasure.

What the heck?

 

 

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Sweating it Out

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One word:  Y  O  G  A

This morning, as I did my final stretch, sweat dripping from my nose, my chin, my elbows, I was filled with gratitude. Gratitude for my body–limitations and all, gratitude that I made it– that I showed up, gratitude for my breath and my mind, gratitude for doing something good for myself. I signed up for a month. I’m hoping to go three times a week.

Don’t get me wrong.  I still hate it. It’s hard, it’s hot. See that little white space underneath the arm of the silhouette? That doesn’t exist for full-figured gals like me. It’ll be a long time before my forehead kisses my knee. Yet I feel so good afterwards.  And it makes so much sense to me…stretching and elongating my muscles. I have no idea how many calories I’m burning in the 90 minutes. It doesn’t really matter. I’m moving, stretching, twisting, and for now, I’m showing up.

Made some homemade chicken noodle soup (with gluten-free noodles!). Still eating clean.  I breezed through Halloween without so much as a single M&M. It was easy. I had no desire.  And I’m convinced if I did have an M&M, I would have been tempted, perhaps beyond my control, to eat more. Such is the poison of sugar.

Hit a milestone last week: 1/3 of the way to my goal at 194 lbs.  I’m probably losing some ground, but I’m staying the course.

Namaste.

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The Downer of an Up Number

weight_scaleWhen I step on the scale, and it shows a loss, I stare in disbelief while a giddy feeling rises in my tummy. Inevitably when I step on the scale three or four days later, the loss seems to vanish with even an extra pound or two to remind me the fat wants to stick around. That giddy feeling? Replaced with a sinking dread that I never want to step on the scale again. The hell with it.

You may recall my earlier “Pssst,” post where I broke the 200 lb. mark. I posted in my moment of giddiness. The scale reading did not happen on a Monday, so I didn’t post it to my “The Numbers” page. A week later I was up to 201 lbs. I was deflated. So I didn’t weigh myself again until this morning (down to 196.5). I’m happy, but I’m thinking of foregoing the weekly (or more) weigh-ins. I recall a blog post from someone who weighs in only once a month, especially to avoid the downer of the scale. This makes sense to me. I’m four months into this journey of healthy eating. I seem to be averaging a loss of about 5 lbs. a month. I think I can confidently move forward without checking the scale so much.

The downer of an up number isn’t worth it.

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Time

One day at a time

One thing is for sure, time marches on.
Being a nostalgic, too-attached person, this fact can make me a bit weepy. But in reality, I view it as a wonderful thing. And it’s especially great news for weight loss. One day turns into another, into another, into a week, two weeks, a month, and before you know it a year is gone, and hopefully as well, a bunch of weight to go with it!

That’s what I’ve been thinking about lately. As you know, my goal is to be under 150 lbs. by the time I turn 50 next July.  I’ve pretty much settled into this wholesome way of eating now. Even the gluten-free part is a piece of cake (lol). The sugar and flour are out of my house, I visit our local farm two or three times a week, and I’m a label reader. Better yet, I hardly ever have cravings! I have no desire to eat any other way. And so, if I can keep it up, the weight will continue to drop, and time will march on. In some twisted way, I am looking forward to my birthday like as if it’s my due date!

Being a teacher, a “year” is really a condensed, carefully plotted and planned ten months. There are always these smaller increments of time we are marching towards–first day of school, back-to-school night, Halloween, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, February break, April vacation, Memorial Day, last day of school, SUMMER! It’s a whirlwind. And this year, I am so much looking forward to a healthier, more vibrant ME as I transform myself over the course of this school year.

But the season of sugar is fast-approaching. What is your plan for staying healthy throughout the onslaught of temptation over the next few months? I for one, plan to keep the candy out. I want to make a plan with my son for Halloween. I’m thinking something along the lines of paying him cash for candy. I won’t be getting any trick-or-treaters as we live on a street where the houses are few and far between, so no pressure there. Thanksgiving will be much more tempting for me. I figure it’s prudent to have a plan and it’s time to start thinking about it. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Have a great Columbus Day weekend.
I think I’ll put on a pot of soup this beautiful Autumn Sunday.

 

 

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Psst…

[I broke the barrier…under 200 lbs. today.]

earthlove

 

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Making Amends

It’s been about three months since I started this blog.

When I was contemplating blogging, I hadn’t intended to have a blog about health. I mostly thought it would be a good way to make sense of my day, to record my thoughts, and maybe post some of my art. But clearly, my writing has centered around health. Not surprising, as improving my health has become my priority over the last few months. All I can say is, “Thank gawd.”

When I look back on the last three years, I am startled to see the mounting symptoms of my deteriorating immune system. In June of 2011, I ventured cross-country with my son on an 7 week, 8000 mile journey cross-country in our old, 24 foot Airstream. It was the trip of a lifetime, and I never felt better. One of the highlights was a week-long Grand Canyon rafting trip. 190 glorious miles of the Colorado River and the majesty of the canyon was almost more than a heart can hold. But what I left behind will forever be counted among one of my greatest achievements. I left behind my cigarettes. I knew there would be no quick trips to the convenience store in moments of weakness. 5 days on the river. That was it. I kicked it.

And it all went downhill from there.

Fatigue, weight gain (40+ lbs), itchy skin, and more fatigue plagued me for the next three years. Each day, I couldn’t wait to get home and get under the covers. I started to worry that I was depressed. I couldn’t muster up any enthusiasm to complete household chores and maintenance projects. I dreaded social events. I just felt tired    a  l  l     o  f      t   h  e       t   i   m   e .    Then one morning I noticed that my eyebrows had thinned, fairly drastically.  The first third of both eyebrows. In fact, once I saw it, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t noticed it before and wondered if it had happened overnight! This triggered a visit to my physician who promptly referred me to the dermatologist. The doc administered painful cortisone shots to my eyebrows and delivered a serious recommendation to go to an endocrinologist. He said this eyebrow loss could be a symptom of Lupus. Lupus? No way.

Six months later, I remembered the dermatologist’s advice, and decided that I really must find an endocrinologist. I may have something seriously wrong with me. The thought was frightening, but I was ready to face it. I had to figure out why I was so out of sorts.

I literally had the thought after school one afternoon, and the very next morning, at 8 a.m. an endocrinologist appeared! My class and I were making our way to the library to see a science presentation. I had no idea what it was going to be about. Imagine how struck I was when I discovered our guest speaker was an endocrinologist. I couldn’t believe it! I felt the universe was speaking directly to me.

Thus began the my education about the state of my health. When I got the diagnosis of Hashimotos, I had no idea what it meant. I did a little bit a research, concluded it was a common diagnosis, and actually never gave it much more thought. The diagnosis actually came by mail, as my endocrinologist was in the process of moving offices, and she had gone ahead and ordered the blood work, etc. based on a patient questionnaire and medical history that she mailed me. I didn’t actually meet her in the office until this past summer!

Then I visited a naturopath who practices functional medicine. It’s expensive, especially the supplements I’m taking. But as far as I’m concerned it’s worth every penny.  I am finally feeling like myself. And as I get healthier and stronger, I am seeing more clearly the dense fog I’ve been in for so long. I’ve never had a good relationship with food. I’m trying now, to make amends.

So, I have this blog. It turns out I have a lot to say about my health. I suppose I’ll just keep writing like this until I run out of things to say.

It might be a while. After all, I’m turning 50 next year. I’ve got a lot of ‘mending to do.

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Buh-bye, Wheat!

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And coffee, too!

Did you know I’m a coffee snob?  Only the darkest roast, black, cup o’ java for me.
Three or four a day, actually.
Yet here I sit,
bravely,
day 1
with no coffee
AND
day 1 being gluten-free.

Wait for it…

Wait for it…

                                                                                                                                                               Wahhhhhwhahhhhwhahhhh!!!

This is when the fun begins. I’ve just had my second visit with the naturopath~been scrutinized, analyzed, vitalized, and traumatized. Had me a big drink of Kool-Aid, and 24 hours later, diarrhea, headache, fatigue. You get the picture.  Although I only have a mild resistance to gluten on one test, my thyroid and other measures of who-knows-what, are screaming for me to cut out the wheat.

So, while I anxiously await my copy of the Wheat Belly, by Dr. William Davis, and my $200+ of supplements to be delivered, I am actually getting a smidge excited about such deprivation.

This is how desperately I want to feel better.

 

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Mind, Body and Soul

I’ve been thinking about this burden of weight I’ve carried all of my life.  What has been the function of it? Why does it matter?

Early on food was comfort for me.  An only child, with a single working mom and a grandma raising me, I was a pretty lonely kid. Food was my companion. My weight became a hot issue between my mother and me and I resorted to hiding food from her. I was teased through junior high school, but still managed, through all of my school years to be involved in activities.  I had the lead in our school play, frequently sang and played guitar on stage, and was a class officer in high school. I suppose weight protected me from all of those boys, though I longed more than anything to have a boyfriend, to be a part of this mysterious, heart-pounding world that would sweep me off my feet.

I was the girl with the “pretty face.” I convinced myself that any boy for me would have to look past my weight and know my heart. If he couldn’t see it, he wasn’t worth it. Then, in my mid-twenties, I came face to face with that dilemma.  Except I was the one who about to do the rejecting.  And oddly enough, it was a cat who was the object of my rejection. All these years later, the lesson still rings in my heart.

I had been on a teaching assignment about eight hours away from home.  While there I happened to find a dairy farm run by a family with same last name as me. They became my home away from home for a few weeks.  Anyway, where there are cows, there are kitties and I soon found myself attached to them. I decided that I would take one home with me.  The day before my departure, I called Farmer Joe and said that I thought two would probably be just as easy to take care of as one, and would he please pick out another kitten for me to take home? Upon my arrival to pick up my new kittens and bid my farewell, Joe had collected the kittens in the front seat of his pick up. There was ‘Blackie,’ the one who first stole my heart, and to my surprise, two other kittens, brother and sister, cuddled up on the seat. Joe said they were both good kitties, and left it to me to pick which one I would take. One instantly snuggled up under my chin and made himself at home. So sweet…But the other one, she was perhaps the most beautiful cat I had ever seen. She was stunning. I knew she would be coming home with me. And as I put down the snuggler, I stopped in my tracks. I was behaving just like those boys who never glanced my way! Whoa! Had I not noticed in that moment, the choice I was making, I would have left behind the best cat I ever knew. I took home all three.

Before I settled in to my traditional teaching job, the one I currently have, I led a bohemian sort of existence while teaching in less traditional ways. I’ve taught in England, had an assignment in the Middle East, and in several unique arenas in the U.S. Traveling alone in these places I learned more about loneliness, and came to understand that I alone was in charge of my happiness.

Despite all the travel, I eventually found my knight in shining armor right here at home. He saw past the weight, past my “pretty face,” and knew upon meeting me for the first time, that I was the girl he would marry (I still find this hard to believe). My man is much more evolved than me, and probably more in tune with realms beyond the mundane. Twenty-one years later, we’re still together–through thick and thin (pun intended). I’m a lucky girl indeed.

So, back to the function of carrying around all this weight (thanks for sticking with me to this point). In many ways my weight has sheltered me throughout my life. It has certainly been the thing I could hold up as the cause for this or that not working out the way I wanted it to–a barrier to my growth and self-actualization.  My weight barrier has evolved over time.  At first it blocked my loneliness. Then it became a barrier to having the kind of social life I wanted.  It was the ‘reason’ I didn’t have a boyfriend, and eventually, a husband.

What I’m leading up to here, is that I think I’m ready to rid myself of the barrier. I don’t need it. I am fully capable of keeping out unwanted energy.  Likewise, I believe I’m ready to claim my choices,  to go for it (still defining ‘it’). If I don’t succeed, I can handle it, wrap my heart around it. I don’t think I need my weight to be my reason ‘why.’ If I clear away the weight, I can be closer to the source.  The source of me and you.

My body isn’t in alignment with my soul, and it’s time to do something about it.

That, is why it matters.

 

 

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