Seasonal Foods

Monday, November 15, 2010

Current Weight

390.1 <---- Current weight from 467

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's amazing how some people adapt to change differently than others, but for me? It's been a good experience in some areas while in the emotional department, it was a different story. Yesterday, I stepped on the scales and nearly did flips in excitement from the results which were called out on my talking scales. I am down ten pounds since my changes began! To me, I'm just incredibly excited about that. I'm not sure if I have mentioned in previous blogs before about the edema I have in my legs pretty severely, but even that is going away. That said, however, on Friday night, I had a bit more swelling than I'm used to do to sitting those long 8 hour training shifts. I am going to figure out how to get more movement or whatever so that I don't swell so badly. On Saturday, I took Lasix to get some of it off of me, but I'm wondering if there's another way to keep it down throughout the week.

I wanted to share that bit of information as I'm just incredibly pleased with the scales moving again. On November 1st, I will reveal my weight here in the blog. In September 2009, I weighed in at 463lbs and wore a 5X in stretch pants. I'll talk more about my clothing changes as well at that time.

Meanwhile, as I mentioned before, this blog is about everything, but mostly weight loss. But I wanted to tell you about these two sites I use today as well. Every morning, I get emails from them to click on advertisements and to read, then get paid for them. I wanted to share them with you today. I have my Windows Email set up so they trickle into their own folders and I can click on them at my own desire. One of them is about to cash out, which is what made me think about sharing them this morning. There's nothing too it but clicking and reading emails advertisements. They will take you to a website in your default browser. I love this stuff because although you can't get rich from doing it... those pennies add up and it's nice to get checks in the mail over time. GO ahead, check them out, and if you have any questions, then just ask.



Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I haven't been able to write over the last few days as I just started this job on the outside world and it's really time consuming to be honest. I'm so used to waking up in the morning, starting a fresh pot of coffee to brew while I'm in the shower, then it's coffee, Facebook, and logging into work right afterward. Transitioning from working at home to working thirty minutes away was very emotional for me. The biggest part of those emotions dealt with the fact that I was away from my daughter and then the fact that the contact between my sweetie and I was very limited. To understand this, I've been with my daughter since she was four. Yes, she goes to school, summer camps, a different church than I, etc... however, I've always been right there by her side after school when I pick her up and then through the night. This past week, she ended up staying with her friend from Wednesday night until Saturday morning. It was awful for me to deal with that because I couldn't see her in the mornings nor in the evenings. I work 2nd shift, so I just miss her as I leave and she's getting home from school.

On top of that, my sweetie and I began talking in July of 2009, only a few short weeks after I had moved to North Carolina. From the moment he sent that first email to me, we have talked nearly non-stop every single day. Seriously. We have sent more messages via email, Facebook, and text messaging than any normal person. We never run out of things to say and when we're not together, we're always and I do mean ALWAYS talking. So, now, not only was I away from my daughter, but my communications with him was also cut dramatically.

It was rough. It was a very rough week and by Saturday, my emotional turmoil took a turn for the worse and I lost it. It was sad, it really was. I think I shed more tears yesterday than I've shed in a year. Seriously. My emotional wreck even upset him, which is something I never, ever do because he's very precious to me and I am protective over his feelings. It's the Gemini-Leo relationship and we fit it to a "t". When I say I'm protective over his feelings, what I mean by that is that I'm gentle with him, we are always very calm with one another and if we have problems arise, we never yell, accuse, threaten, or any of that mess. We seriously work things out like civilized human beings. Yesterday, something in me flipped upside down and his feelings were like that of a lit cigarette under my shoe because I literally smashed them. I felt like shit. I couldn't even explain in the moment why I was so nasty towards a situation that came up and unfortunately, I upset him. It's so rare that I do that, as a matter of fact, in the 15 months we've been together? That's actually only the 2nd time I've ever done that.

Perhaps the situation was heightened for him because he was already going through some other emotional issues, so it wasn't entirely because of me that he had a bad moment yesterday, but I definitely poured gasoline on his fire. I felt horrible because unless you are in a relationship like the one we share? You simply wouldn't understand. We're very protective over one another and each other's feelings, so it was a shock.

Anyhow, the good news is, our relationship is important to us. Our relationship is priority and when he walked in the door yesterday, at first, he was hesitant to even give me one of those monstrous hugs that he always gives me. We talked. I listened to his feelings without interruption and then he listened to mine. I had to explain to him how new all of this was to me and of course, he too was going through separation anxieties from me. We're not used to our communication being dropped like that. Not only was our communication dropped, but we also always spend Wednesday through Friday together and even that was taken away because I had to work.

I love him. I love that man more than I ever knew I could possibly love. When I moved to NC, I wasn't coming here to love, I was career pointed. That was my life... career, daughter, cats, ya know? But now that God brought him into my life, I've learned over the past 15 months that 2nd chances are beautiful in life. With this man, I've learned so much. I've learned that real love is real, I've learned to be patient even. Me? Patient? Yea, that was tough. I've learned that not every man is out to hurt us but also that no one is perfect and that our imperfections can be seen past if we're willing to take that chance. We've grown up together and in the process, have grown on one another. He's places me in the palm of his hand and shines me up like a diamond should be shining. We've had people trying to break us up, we've had people put us in positions which would've broken us up had we not been strong together, and we've had daggers thrown at our relationship. And yet? Each time people do this to us, we grow stronger together.

The point of this blog, I guess, is to say that no love is perfect no matter how we present ourselves. As we decided yesterday, if our relationship was perfect and without flaw, we'd be God, and we know that is not going to ever be the case. It's how we handle the negative situations which determine our success in our partnership. There's some growing up to do in areas, but we go through those hurdles together. I find myself getting impatient sometimes, I find myself dealing with those thoughts alone, and then I end up flooring them out into his lap all at once and overwhelming him with them, but then we deal with that.

I don't know. Life is strange, but love is even stranger. Time is precious, don't waste it on blocking out the good stuff in life, even the one person who makes you feel like a diamond, a precious stone... because being loved and sharing your love with someone else? It's an amazing feeling. We're 15 months in and we are still electrified by one another in so many ways. It's just amazing.

That said? I've lost 8 pounds this week!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dinnertime

The kitchen is my home. I absolutely love to cook, rather it's something simple or something major. I experiment all the time in the kitchen as well. Tonight is no different. Last week while at the store, I was attempting to buy tilapia, our favorite white fish to eat, but somehow, I grabbed a bag of whiting instead. No problem, it's not as mild as tilapia, and we'll use it just fine.

I'm experimenting tonight and in my pan, I layered baby carrots (which next time will be sliced in half), four pieces of fish which were sprinkled with garlic, paprika, garlic, pepper, more garlic (we love garlic, can't tell?), and then splashed on soy sauce and lime juice before covering it with mushrooms! I'm serving this wild a wild rice dish I'm making, which I hid in chopped baby spinach (teenagers!), as well as making collard greens to go with it.

In the old days, before I gave up many things I used to eat, I would have baked up corn bread and even baked macaroni to go with this. I'd even probably go as far as frying that fish rather than baking it. The end result however, is a much healthier dish than the old days and very tasty. My teenager doesn't mind foods like this and enjoyed it as well, so what we have here? Is a winner!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Blog Design

If you would take a moment and let me know if any of my side bars are running into the blog, please let me know. When you do, also let me what browser you are using. I work from the Opera browser, but was having issues when viewed with the Firefox. I think I have it fixed, but want to make sure.

Stress + Depression = Weight Gain

Yesterday, as I lay next to my sweetie and he was holding me as we were talking about some things, I was thinking about how comforting it felt to be there. I am so in love with him for many reasons and one of those reasons is how he makes me feel when we're snuggled up together and discussing things in our life.

There are days in my past where food has done the exact same thing. I'm sure we all can relate to this at some point in time. Life can be really tough for us at times, knocking us off our feet, and sending us in a whirlwind of depression or we can be stressing severely about whatever issue is going on.

Do you have a comfort food which soothes your senses, even if only temporarily?

Even if you don't, I do. When I get downright depressed or bothered by every day issues in my life, I normally avoid stuffing my face with that comfort food. You're going to be surprised to know what it is because talking with others, I know they eat fried chicken or have a milkshake from McDonalds. Some bake cakes or order take-out Chinese. As I think about mine right now, my eyebrows crinkle up, asking myself, what exactly is so good about this combination. Okay, let me show you:





That's right. Jalapeño Cheddar Cheetos with Philadelphia's Whipped Cream Cheese. I'm going to be downright honest and go the full length here. When I do this? It's not the small, snack-sized bag you see pictured here, but instead, the full-sized bag and nearly the entire container of cream cheese is demolished when I cower in my corner and eat this mess. Let's break this down because many of us are in denial when it comes to just how many calories, carbohydrates, fats, and etc... that it is we eat in our time of comfort.

Cheddar Jalapeño Cheetos Nutritional Information for ONE serving:



A one ounce serving has all that, but when you buy a 9-ounce bag, broken down is:

Calories: 1530
Fat: 99 Grams
Carbs: 135

Read that with me, ONE THOUSAND and THIRTY calories. Let's move on to the cream cheese:

There wasn't a nutritional label available, so I went to SparkPeople and put the information in there for one bowl of whipped cream cheese. Just look at this:



So basically, what you are seeing is this:

Calories: 720
Fat: 72 grams
Carbohydrates: 0

For a grand total of 2,250 calories and 171 grams of fat.

I'm simply disgusted right now. I've never broken it down like that before. I've never even justified that eating this comforting garbage would've added so much damage to my body. Compare this with my daily nutritional goals and you'll understand my upset. My daily nutritional goals in these the three areas are:

Calories: 2,200
Fats: (varies)
Carbohydrates: 75

I can't really add in the fats because it does vary considering I somewhat follow a low-carb plan. I do say, "somewhat" because I don't intentionally do it. If you are new here and haven't seen me mention it before, I simply stay away from most processed foods. It's a rare day that I will eat pasta, rice, or breads or even refined sugar, corn syrups, etc... basically, my eating style is that it has to be less than 3 ingredients and must be grown or once walked the earth. So my fats do vary, but back to that comfort food. From this point on? I'm going to refrain from buying those Cheetos. At the end of eating that mess, I feel worse than I did before I started because the guilt eats me up. It's rare that I do eat that, but I believe it was just a week and a half ago that I found myself in a bag and a bowl.

The next time you find yourself eating emotionally like this, do what I just did... look up the information and put yourself on blast for the world to see. I'm sure if you're anything on the mindset that I am while trying to get this weight off, you will be ashamed and will look at your food differently.

Have a great day!

Friday, October 15, 2010

A New Chapter of Life

It's been quite a long time since I've last worked outside the home as my motherly duties took priority over doing so. Instead, I've encountered and worked quite a few work at home endeavors. Most of these positions were customer service jobs though the majority of them were telemarketing. Yes, I used to call people up during their dinner hours to sell them some sort of product. The amazing thing, these jobs pay well and I've done very well with them in the past. Unfortunately, the last few months, I've hit some major hurdles and have decided to take the next step.

Mind you, my daughter will be sixteen years old in December and I've been home with her since she was four years old. This is a major chapter in my life and I'm really looking forward to it. After nine weeks of training, I will be taking calls for a major cell phone company, providing customer care either in billing, accounts, or technical information. How exciting is that? Of course, with the good things, including the benefits package and the pay, comes the things I'll have to adjust to. For instance, being able to be home for my daughter first and foremost. By working from home, I can set myself as away and have conversations with her, etc... but now she will have to wait for breaks or for our 6am chats before school. I'm also used to working on my own but as a team virtually, but now my team will have access to me in person.

I'm not sure what this is going to be like, but I look forward to the 30 minute commute as a time to enjoy some conversations with God, listen to some good music, or just to think. Yes, that's 30 minutes up and 30 back and best of all, I'll be traveling through the foothills in Virginia. It appears to have once been mountains but right now, the trees are all changing colors and it's so beautiful out there! When I first went for my on-site interview, I could barely drive speed limit as I was so mesmerized by the masterpiece around us nor could I get over my ears popping as the elevations changed.

Anyhow, I think by being out of the house and working, this will work wonders in my health as well. I already plan on digging out my carry-on cooler to stock it full of water bottles to keep under my desk. I've scoped out the parking lot and plan on parking the furtherest from the door for some extra steps, and I will be sure to never carry change or debit cards to eliminate the desire to attack the snack machines or McDonalds across the street. It's hard to realize just how difficult it is to keep from munching when you work from home. Even the healthiest snacks can work against you if you're not up and moving around to burn those calories back off. So, I really think this new chapter is going to be full of blessings for my health as well as my financial situation.

For those who work from a cubicle or a desk, what type of healthy snacks do you keep at your reach if you're allowed to do so?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I'm Going to Start Today, Repeat 10 Times

How many times do you say this to yourself or do you hear others say "I'm going to start today..." in reference to weight loss efforts? I've said it, you've said it, your friends have said it. Do you ever stop to think this could be causing failure in yourself? As a matter of fact, the whole dieting phase in your life is setting you up for failure anyhow because diets do not work. They simply don't work! You can spend $200/week on prepackaged meals, pay your fees to a dieting club, or whatever else you may be doing... but is it necessary to do so?

Everyone is different. Some people feel the need to become dependent upon diet pills, others believe a magic shake is key for the mornings, some need to be forced to eat less by having surgery, and some take control of their lives by changing their habits and changing their lifestyles. See, what you must know is that a diet will set you up for failure. Don't ever "start today", just make changes instead. If you find yourself eating more calories or more fat than you want to be eating, just eat less. When you go to the grocery store, rather than buying a $3 bag of chips, but a $3 bag of apples instead. If you're thirsty, those end caps are very encouraging to grab a pop, but look for the water instead. Bottled water isn't 100% healthy for you, but it's better than filling your body with sugars and carbonation.

Are you "starting" today or are you simply going to make some changes? It's not easy when the world is filled with so many dieting options, but you can do it.

Let me tell you some of the changes I've made. After losing those first 65 pounds, I got kind of hard tracked into working long hours, so guess what that meant? Less working out and less walking. The truth of the matter, that was a choice I made due to ignorance. Instead of taking a few steps, which of course are better than none, I was logging into Facebook and chatting with my friends and family. Not a good option. This morning, I did something differently. I worked for an hour, then instead of logging into Facebook, I grabbed my walking shoes, and took a walk down the block and back. I do live on a dead-end, I do live on what's known as a simple block, however, those few steps I took were a much better choice than logging into Facebook. We can't burn off calories by logging into Facebook.

Another change I made in the recent weeks is where I park at the grocery store. Unless I have someone with me, I park at the far end of the lot, and power pace to the door. I sure do! When I come out, I can't always power pace back to my truck because I may have a cart. Want to know another way of burning calories? Don't push the cart back to your vehicle. If you have four or five bags, carry them. If you have more and can safely carry them without causing injury? Carry them! You will burn more calories and work more muscles carrying your groceries to the far end of the parking lot than you would pushing the cart with your groceries in it.

It's just little changes that can make a difference. You may laugh at this one, but my house is very open and I have two ways to walk to the bathroom. One walk is actually 11 steps more than the other way. Which would you take? Unless it's an emergency, I feel that 11 extra steps for the day is better than not taking any at all. Little changes, that's all it takes. What kind of changes will you make today?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Today's Adventures = Nervousness

Today is the beginning of a new adventure for me. In 1998, I quit my job to become a stay at home mom and have been home ever since. Although my title may have been SAHM, I was far from that as I began adventuring into ways to make money at home. While making money at home and being a SAHM, I also slacked in taking care of myself and gained much weight while doing so.

This year has been filled with new adventures and new doors opening for me. One of the most recent things I've done was purchase a vehicle with strictly cash so I would not have to make any payments. It was rough handing what little cash I had left, but I did it and I'm proud of it. With the new vehicle, I decided my next step was to find a job on the outside of the house. I just don't want to work from home any longer, or at least not as my full-time requirement. And so I began looking for a job.

I've been working in call center type work for years and decided this is what I still want to do until I get out of college. I found a place that caught my interest and submitted my resume. Less than 2 hours later, they called me!! I had my phone interview yesterday and now today, I will be driving the 30 minute drive to the actual call center to show them my computer knowledge, submit the drug test, and a few other things so they can get me registered for the 90 day training session.

I'm so excited! But I'm also nervous and my guts are in my throat. I feel like I woke up pregnant this morning as the first thing I did was throw up because I'm so nervous. I figure by the time I set out on the road, I'm going to be completely free of all the nervousness, or at least I hope!

Have you ever got like that before? This is so exciting to me because now I'm thinking with this outside job, I will have less time to raid the fridge, less time to munch on things I shouldn't be, and even a bit more movement as I will be parking at the end of the parking lot as well as walking around the building during breaks and potty runs. Not only that, I get to start shopping for new clothes in a few months as I don't have much at all. Until then, hello bum-looking-me! I used to love dressing up, but since being at home, I've converted to a jeans and tshirt type person, only dressing for church and believe me, when I dress for church? I still remain quite casual.

Wish me luck, my new friends! I'm so ready for this next chapter in my life, but these nervous feelings need to get out of me.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Snacking

For some reason, the word snack is a word which irritates me the same as nails on a chalkboard irritates others. I don't like the way the word sounds, looks, nor do I like the aggravation it causes.

Let's talk about snacking or munching between meals. I just walked to my refrigerator in order to grab another water bottle (bottles which are refilled btw) and I grabbed a snack at the same time. There is always some sort of food at our disposal, isn't there? Rather it be chips, vegetables, fruits, or even other leftover foods, it's there and it's within eye level, begging to be tasted. My snack of choice at this current moment was a handful of juicy, plum grapes, nothing major. What if there were a piece of pie sitting in there? Would I have grabbed that instead?

One of the things we all must learn, in order to be a healthy snacker, we need to avoid buying the foods which cause problems in the first place. I have generous sized basket in my fridge which is located on the top shelf. Why? it's within arms reach, I don't have to bend over to get anything, nor shuffle behind jars to get to it. In the basket, there are cucumbers, tomatoes, grapes, and baby carrots. These are typically the things I enjoy snacking on. As one who eats more proteins than carbohydrates, there are other times where you may find a bowl of BBQ chicken legs which I make with my own sugar-free BBQ sauce or even chicken wings or cheeseburgers. Seriously! If I get the munchies, I have learned that a protein will keep my hunger at bay as opposed to a handful of grapes or baby carrots.

That said, a common mistake many of us make, including myself, is eating improperly. I used to eat one single meal a day. Dinner. My dinners used to include mostly starches and carbohydrates or as I call them, empty nutrients which turn into fat! To this day, I still have troubles eating several times a day but I'm getting better at it as time progress. Rather than eating two or three meals a day, breaking these meals down to five or six eating sessions is healthier for us. It's hard for me to do this, do you have the same problem?

Anyhow, let's talk about snacking. What do you enjoy snacking on? What is your worst enemy and your best friend when it comes to snacking? Regardless of how you fulfill your daily nutritional needs, snacking plays a role for all of us.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Where is that excitement?

After you are through reading my blog this afternoon, I want you to go stand in the mirror and take a good look at yourself. Why am I asking you to do this? I want you to take a trip down memory lane for a moment. What were you wearing on the day you first met your sweetie? What were you wearing the day/night you realized you were falling in love with one another? Where you wearing oversized sweats and formula stained tshirts? I have a feeling you weren't wearing those at all.

I'm bringing this to your attention for a reason. All too often, we get so comfortable in our relationships and marriages, that we know in our hearts that our men accept us for who we are and tell us so, but I can almost promise you they desire to see the woman they fell in love with every now and then and when they do? It's exciting to them!

I hear women say all the time how unattractive they feel or how they don't measure up to someone their husband/boyfriend may have been peeping at in the store. I want to say to them, honey, have you looked at yourself lately? How long has it been since you bought a new compact? How long has it been since your dead-ends were trimmed off? Did you brush your hair before he came home from work?

It's hard to raise children, shuffle jobs and daycare, plus prepare the home so he can come home to a hot meal. But I can tell you this, five minutes to powder your nose and add a bit of shimmer to your eyelids will probably get you a heartier smile, a longer kiss, and maybe some excitement in the bedroom.

I don't want you to take this the wrong way at all, but what I want for us to do is not fall into routine and get comfortable, but later complain when you feel your mate isn't attractive to you anymore. This doesn't mean do this every day, but why not once a week or so, pretty yourself up for your man. Feed your children and get them put into bed earlier, then light a candle and have dinner with your sweetie. If you want your mate to stay in love with you, make him fall in love with you over and over again because routine gets boring and routine may cause straying eyes and actions.

Just saying...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Photos -- the Changes

We can read someone's blog all day long and get an idea of one's changes, but I want to do more visuals with this blog as much as I can. I'm going to keep the camera near the kitchen as well to let you all see what it is that I'm eating.

But let's start with me! This first picture you will see is my sweetheart and I at a football game last September. The 2nd picture is a cropped photo of me this past July. You can definitely see the changes in my face. These are my motivation pictures from this point on to stay on track. As I mentioned before, work got so crazy that I couldn't focus on losing, so all I had was maintaining my weight. Check this out though!





The Tasty Omelette Disaster

I'm looking at my breakfast dish this morning and thinking how some people would look at it, turn their nose up, and walk away. Why? What started off as an omelette, turned into a total disaster. When I started to flip the omlette, it completely broke apart, so I just stirred it up into one huge mess. A delicious mess, that is!

First of all, I must admit to you, last week I wasn't behaving at all. I had just bought a new-used vehicle after being without one for nine months, so we were on the run quite a bit. I probably should have added everything into my SparkPeople nutrition tracker so I could show myself how much shock I put into my body. For instance, the first day I bought it, we were in the drive-thru of Cook Out. This is a NC chain of restaurants which serve burgers that would come right out of your backyard. I hadn't had one in over a year, my daughter wanted a milkshake, so there we were. I came home with a Cook Out "tray" that had a double burger through the garden with cheese on it, a handful of fries, and four onion rings which I washed down with one of their famous large sweet teas. Horrible! But this wasn't enough. To add to the disaster in the period of four days, we'll add in Frito's BBQ-Honey Twists, a honey bun, a package of poptarts, deli style coleslaw (mine is lowcarb friendly), potato salad, molasses baked beans, and a twelve-pack of Cherry Crush.

By the time Sunday rolled around and I woke up for church, I was absolutely miserable. I was miserable because I hadn't been eating these type foods and therefore my body was probably in shock from all the sugar and carbs that I took in. Then, Sunday afternoon, my sweetheart asked me which sounded best, Golden Corral or chinese buffet. I love Chinese food! So, of course, I choose the least healthiest of the two and I had two plates of sugary, fried Chinese food that tasted oh so great, but added more shock to my body. In case you didn't know, Golden Corral is VERY lowcarb friendly *wink*.

Monday morning, I woke up and I knew what I had to do. It was time to get this junk out of me and go back to eating healthier and so I did. Which brings us to this omelette. I was going to take a picture of it and upload it for you all to see. It turned out looking like scrambled eggs with the fillings stirred around. It didn't look good, but it's tasting very awesome! My morning omelette consists of:

2 eggs (1 carb)
1 oz of pork sausage (0 carbs)
1 cup of fresh baby spinach leaves (1 carb)
5 medium fresh mushrooms, sliced (3 carbs)
1/2 tablespoon Chia Seeds in gel form (3 carbs)
1 slice American cheese (o carbs)

That entire omlette was only 5 carbs, which is basically 0 carbs once you take out the 5 grams of fiber and VERY filling!

This is my favorite lowcarb breakfast to have in the mornings as it's loaded with energy and this was before I even added in the Chia seeds. Speaking of Chia seeds, I plan on updating my experimentation with them soon. You'll be surprised to know that during those days of eating poorly? I hadn't used them at all in a few days and I realized one thing that I'll share now, they really do diminish your cravings for junk food.

Have a great day everyone! It's raining here in NC, but it's pleasant with the temperature and that makes me happy!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Progress

The question has popped up a few times over the last month and I wanted to update you all as to how my progress has been. Maintained. That's it. I'm still at the 65lb loss without gain other than water when I don't take my Lasix. I have been so busy with my job, trying to pay bills and save money that I haven't had the time to take walks or do my Zoomba videos. I'm not impressed with reporting this information to you, but it's the truth and I'm sorry. I have to admit I am happy that I haven't gained. I haven't changed my eating habits, but this goes to show that you HAVE to exercise to get the weight off.

Tomorrow isn't always a new day, but tomorrow, I'm going to get back on my focus and at least walk down the street and back if my schedule is extremely busy. I vow to park further away from the store doors when I go shopping as well. A little is better than none. I'm searching for a job on the outside of the house, as you may remember, I do work from home, so once that's put into place, that should help me as well.

Don't give up hope anyone who's in this fight with me! It's not easy, but we can do it!

Monday, September 20, 2010

A side note

One of my favorite click-to sites I wanted to share tonight as I had just cashed out from it. Good luck, it's very easy. They send emails and you simply click on them. Cash out at $5 via paypal!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Experimenting with Chia Seeds

As I sit here writing this blog, I have a piping hot cup of coffee sitting next to me. Typically, one would add cream and sugar to their coffee and be done with it. The cup next to me is coffee, heavy cream, Splenda, and Chia seeds. Yes, you heard me right, I'm enjoying a cup of coffee with Chia seeds.

Last Wednesday, I received my first 2 pound bag of Chia seeds and I've experimented with them every single day since. The first day I received them, I grabbed an empty Diet Lipton tea jar which I recycle in many ways after purchasing them by the case that is, I added 1/4th cup of dry, Chia seeds, and two cups of water. Why? It creates Chia gel. Chia gel can then be used to replace 1/2 the butter in your dishes or even oils. So, I made this gel, shaking it occasionally over the course of 15 minutes, and by then, the jar was completely full of Chia gel.

The first night, I added 1/4th cup of this mixture into our dish. No one could really tell they were in there as each individual seed forms a gel "bubble" around it, therefore you can't actually bite into them. The 2nd day, I replaced the butter in dressing I used to stuff the chicken with. I really hadn't noticed any changes in how I felt, if I had felt full or not, or anything, but on day three? I literally jumped out of the bed as if I were the Road Runner from the Bugs Bunny days, full of energy and completely exuberant.

Part of the reason I bought these seeds is because my anemia causes me to feel lethargic on some days, which leads me to being moody and sometimes even depressed. I figure if I can get energy in a seed, then sign me up!

Anyhow, I'm on day five of this experiment and I truly feel as if I'm taking an anti-anxiety medication as I'm full of energy and my moods have completely stabilized. I also feel fuller! Yes, I don't have cravings for junk food nor either. I keep this full feeling all day long and well into the night.

So far, this experiment has proven that the soluble fiber of these seeds is true as you will definitely be a regular bathroom visitor. It's not diarrhea nor excessive, however it does regulate your bowel movements. You will find yourself energetic and fuller.

This coffee has sort of a tapioca consistency to it, by the way. I'm going to continue through to day 7 and on day 8, I will be back to report fully as to how I'm feeling and what I'm thinking. At that time, I will also break down the benefits of these seeds. I didn't want to get everyone excited just yet, so let me finish this week long experiment and I will be back!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Every Pound Has a Story

Every Pound Has a Story

By nature, many of us are people watchers. We are curious about the structures of others, attracted to particular features, and our also wondrous nature, we're curious about how they developed such perfect breasts, a roundly butt, or a man's chest with a 6-pack poking out of his tight, white t-shirt. Do you look at a slim person and wonder, “Do they ever eat?” or do you look at a fat person and ask, “Do they ever stop eating?” We all do it. Even at my large size, I see someone bigger than me and think, “Wow, I'm thankful I'm not that big!” Karma can bite you though. As a teenager, several of us used to taunt a 500lb woman who lived in our neighborhood. We were cruel to her, humiliated her, and were downright nasty to her. At one point, one of the neighborhood boys even throw a pig's snout in her open car window. I think back to those moments and say to myself, “Wow, you were only pounds away from being her size!”

I wasn't ever a small, petite child. I was the fat one from the fat family. I remember by 4th grade, I was already wearing 16-18 in girl sizes and by 5th grade, we were shopping in the women's department for my clothes. After my parent's divorce, I packed on weight pretty quickly at the age of 13 and this continued for a few years. By high school, I was 190lbs and sometimes went up to 200lbs. I was taunted and teased by cruel people in the school, pushed down the stairs in attempts to see if an earthquake would occur or if I'd crack the floor like Rumplestiltskin did in the child's story. At the same time, I had my clique which I belonged to, my safety net who protected my feelings and kept me feeling okay about going to school.

Every pound of a fat person has a story. After I gave birth to my daughter in December 1994, I was now weighing 250lbs. I dropped some of this weight within the first two years of her life as I'd strap her on my back or in a stroller and we'd take walks, I watched what I ate, and I worked a lot. However, I discovered I had soon become the 'old lady at home' while my now ex-husband entertained himself in the presence of another woman, having an affair that everyone knew about but myself. This was the 2nd time he'd done this to me. I rebelled by eating. I comforted myself by eating. If I was sad, there were comfort foods which made me feel better, even if it were momentarily. This continued through the years I was with him. My self-esteem was the size of a shelled pea, I felt trapped, and continued to allow him to abuse me physically, mentally, and emotionally while I stayed in the house, eating, and grew the size of a small car. Before I knew it, I was tipping those scales to nearly 500lbs. Multiple affairs of his and his cruel treatment towards me, in addition to having PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), my weight was out of control.

Not every person sits at a table and eats until their stomaches bulge over their beltlines, not every person continues to shovel food in their mouths as they eat, some people have a reason for picking up that fork and eating. Unfortunately, some people don't know how to stop because it's their comfort. Think about the last time you were stressed, do you have a secret stash of chocolate somewhere? Obesity to some is the same as alcoholism to others. While one chooses to get drunk to soothe their pain, some fat people choose to eat to soothe theirs.

I hope to take you closer inside the minds of emotional eats throughout this blog, but as you await the next writing, think about this when you're people watching. Instead of judging the size of their plate, think about the size of their problems. We're not always the outside person you see. Inside, we can be hurting and medicating our problems in all the wrong ways.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Continuation...

I haven't neglected this blog, nor have I neglected my attempts of continuation of weight loss, however I am currently dealing with some life issues which have much of my life on hold for the moment. This shall be continued...

What Do You See In Them?

This is a question which I'm sure has crossed your ears on occasion at least once in your life. Imagine sitting together with a friend and you're discussing the love of your life, your friend is listening contently, and out pops the question, "Okay, so what do you see in them? They don't seem to be your type!" Or maybe they inadvertently ask the question while you're amongst a group of peers.

Is there some sort of drawn out criteria in which we must follow a path to the perfect person in our lives? It's not always possible for our friends to accept the person in our lives or understand what it is that we do see in them, however basing our judgment on outer appearance, lifestyles, or other elements in a person's lives isn't always the most intelligent thing to bring to a friendship. There's no rule book which says we have to accept the people our friends choose to fall in love with, however common standard would give us the acknowledgement of the person and respect them because that's who our friend just happens to be head over heels in love with at the moment.

Has anyone ever asked you that question and followed it up with, "But they don't...." Perhaps this is true, perhaps they don't fit the standards of previous people in our lives but realize this, those previous standards did what to us? They left us unhappy or otherwise we'd still be in that situation with those people whom fit our previous criteria.

The beauty of life is we don't always choose who we fall in love with nor do we choose why we fall in love with them. There's something about the person we are with which charms us and allows us to feel free with them. Life gives us the opportunity to be happy, but if we continue to live as we did, we will continue to live in our miseries. Change is a good thing and if our previous standards weren't making us happy, it's time to make those changes.

All of that said, this doesn't mean to start looking at the homeless man and smacking your lips in a manner of lust! We do have to set forth some standard in order to protect ourselves and our future. If your potential mate doesn't have ambition in their life or they're lazy in their standards themselves, it isn't said that you have to adjust to their lifestyles.

We seem to dissect people, pick them apart, and put their bad habits in a pile and tell ourselves, "Self, there is no way this is going to work because they..." How do you know that it's not going to work? Are you afraid to take a chance because the person before you is a completely different idea of what you had in mind? My suggestion is to take chances in life. We only live once and while our pasts may not have been pleasant, learn from those areas, use them to your advantage, and try something different for a change. The result could lead to your everlasting happiness.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Blahs of the Plateau

When attempting to lose weight, there's one thing we all do eventually and that's plateau, you know, the mornings you relieve yourself in the bathroom, do a few things around the house, and then step on the scales. The scales look at you, repeating the same number they showed you yesterday, three days ago, or even two weeks ago? I'm experiencing the plateau for the last weekend and a half now. This usually happens when Mother Nature comes in to torment me with her womanly duty, so I don't step on the scales out of habit to avoid disappointment, but today I stepped on there and the scales repeated the same number I saw a week and a half ago. Scales! You must move now!

The big question has been floating amongst the minds of my friends and even when I tell them, the concept hasn't connected with them as to how I'm losing this weight. It's simple. I do not eat processed foods. Every now and then, I may, but 97% of the time, I don't mess with them. It's simple. My daily plates consists of products which once walked on the earth or they grew from the earth. You may have heard of Michael Pollan from Oprah a while back. He has the philosophy as such, "You can eat junk food, if you make it yourself!" His idea of junk food are fried, sweet potato fries. I've made them twice, but prefer them to be broiled instead.

He has a book which is full of food rules and I follow his food rules. He says, "If it's been made in a plant, don't eat it." He doesn't care if it was once a plant, you don't touch it. Basically, you're living off meat and vegetables. I also eat eggs, but I don't touch milk. Did you know that milk is full of cancerous particles? I drink soy milk once in a blue moon, preferably the vanilla flavor, light.

Following his rules reminds me of the Atkins diet in some ways, but not all. You can compare them simliar, but not completely as the food rules don't count carbs, calories, or any of that. You simply follow his rules, your body will be cleansed, and you'll be healthier. You also lose weight.

Don't think it's that simple however because you also have to move your body! You have to get up out of your chair, off your couch, and move it! We were walking here, some light jogging as best as possible for woman of my size to do, but it's too hot for that. So what do you do? Hello Zumba! Yes, this wild and crazy, hip hop style dancing-aerobics that tires you out in 4 minutes. It's amazing, awesome! The first time I did it, I hit the floor in less than a minute. My muscle burns had their own burns. It really worked me up! I can last over 4 minutes now before completely exasperating myself. It's really high powered and crazy. Check it out!

So there's the story of how and those blahs I feel from the scales not moving. I know they will move again, I'm going to increase my movement and my water intake and hopefully I'll be reporting a lose on my SparkPeople page before long!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Emotional Breakdown #2

And so it happens again. It's weird to me how much more aware I am of myself and my appearance these days. But first off, this is a major weekend for me as it marks the milestone of my first year being here in North Carolina and being completely on my own and away from the normal that I once knew. Part of moving away from home included reconstructing myself, learning who it is that I am, and becoming closer to God. I've succeeded at all of this thus far and currently working on the physical reconstruction. And with that? Comes the awareness.

Part of my coming closer to God includes going to church and I enjoy going to church with my honey as he is a musician (drummer) there and I enjoy supporting him as well as hearing the good word of God from the pastor there. When I made the journey to NC from IN, I lost a great deal of my clothing as I couldn't bring everything with me that I had wanted to. Many boxes were left behind, personal stuff, clothing, etc... so now I pick up a piece here or there as finances will allow. I bought a new blouse and a new pair of slacks for church on Sunday. The blouse came into and so I tried it on with the pair of slacks I do have. I can't stand the way the reflection looks. I know I am a beautiful woman, I am radiant and I have the glow of God and of love around me at all times. This glow however doesn't do anything with my appearance.

Acceptance is hard for me perhaps. I've decided that I want to line my living room wall of full-length mirrors and I've told my friend this who is helping me get some stuff for my home. I need to walk past these mirrors every day and accept these changes and I need to accept these imperfections while working to change them. I'm not quite understanding why this is the hardest part of this! I like the fact that I can see my knees again after so long, I like that my 'belly skirt' is shrinking and is much smaller, and I like how I can fit into smaller clothes. So what is the problem? Why do I have these emotional breakdowns when I look at myself?

Monday, June 28, 2010

So, why DID it happen?

By nature, many of us are people watchers. Everywhere we go, we see people of different shapes, sizes, colors, and an array of personalities. Although none of us should be judgmental, some people are rather it be aloud or in their minds. Have you seen someone who is overweight and thought, "Wow! They need to put the fork down!" It happens. We all think it. I thought it when I was younger and I promised myself I would never be that big. If only those thoughts remained a reality.

I was never a small child after I started grammar school. I remember vividly how the kids would tease me and taunt me on the playground. This was a trend which continued through high school even, as some people were downright cruel and nasty towards me because at 17 years old, I weight 210 pounds. When I was growing up, clothing for large teens weren't trendy like they are today and I remember my jeans were always so wide at the ankles. It was the days of piss-legging the pants and mine were so wide, it was virtually impossible to make them piss-leg properly!

So, why did it happen? And how did I grow to nearly 500 pounds? Before I continue, this isn't to lay out excuses or release the responsibility for my size as I do hold responsibility. I do not deny it. I came from a large mother and father. I remember times when my mother would fry chicken and our plates would be loaded with chicken, mashed potatoes, pasta, corn, cornbread, and even sweets at times or she'd broil up steaks and lay large pieces of steaks in our plates. As time went on and we lived on food stamps, we rarely saw fresh vegetables or fruits and we drank Kool-Aid with sugar or we had tea. From an early age, my nutritional lessons were shot as we grew up on these type of foods and drinks.

As an adult, I lost some weight living at my grandparents house as I walked to work every day and usually back if my grandpa didn't come get me. I chose to eat salads over french fries and I loved to drink water. My high school sweetheart and I got together one weekend and his grandmother was blown away by the weight I had lost. Her reaction to my weight loss kept me on track and increased my desire to become even healthier. And I had. By the time I moved out of Owensboro, KY, I weight 165lbs, down from the 220 pounds I had originally started at.

Life as an adult changed things for me. Each time I became pregnant, I'd gain 20 or 30lbs, unless I miscarried in earlier weeks, but the pregnancies that went beyond the first month, I gained weight like crazy. I always knew when I was pregnant because of the weight gain alone. Although those pregnancies only resulted in one live birth, I carried on the weight of each of them until I made it to 300 pounds.

At the age of 24, I was already at 300 pounds and my next obstacle came into my way: antidepressants. We've all heard the stories of people who take these medications and the weight they gain, well, it's true. In five years of medications, I had grew to the near 500 pound mark. These medications caused me to eat in unusual patterns, they made me feel like a zombie to where I wouldn't leave the house at all, and eventually became fearful of social situations. Here I was, growing to this enormous size, sometimes eating enough for three people or sometimes not eating at all. It continued until one day I said no more and flushed all my medications down the toilet.

The first three months, I went through severe reaction to coming off the medication, but once it was out of my system, I began to work on my weight and got myself back down to 350lbs to where I stopped trying to lose the weight and maintained a 350-360lb body. It was then, my life had changed yet again and my comfort was food. I had been with my ex-husband since 1993 and in 2005, we decided our marriage was over and although we made this decision, he was still very much in my life as he lived in my basement. He caused stress and depression upon me and I turned to food to soothe the pains he left in and on me. In May of 2009, I was back at 463lbs.

By reading this, I think you're capable of lining up the weight with the issues that caused the weight gain. Some people turn to counseling, some people to alcohol, some don't eat at all, and some find the comfort in Ben and Jerry's every now or a bag of chips to comfort themselves from the pains of life. My point of writing this out is to open the realization to people out there, being overweight is a disease, a sickness in itself. For some, it's an emotional disorder as we turn to food for comfort.

And so you have it. The WHY it happened. My life has changed, again, even more drastic than ever, and tomorrow, I'll write more about the positive effects of these life changes. I will eventually get into the 'how' I'm losing this weight, so please keep checking back. And remember, regardless if you have 20lbs to lose or 200lbs to lose, we are all in this together and we can do it! Find the core of your weight problem and attack it!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Welcome Aboard





It's been said to me that I should start blogging again as my followers and friends have missed my writings, however, I simply wasn't interested. A few days ago, an event took place in my life which made me think about others who may be motivated and inspired by me if I were to write again. Those who know me will be the first to tell you that I am a motivator to others and an encourager to them as well. I'm the person who stands behind those who are going through storms and holds an umbrella over them while they push through, while becoming soaked myself. That's who I am.

Hello. I'm MzTonya and I'm fat. In early 2009, I stepped on the scales in the doctor's office. It was humiliating because of the type of scales they had used and secondly because I was coming up on my near all-time high again. I'm here to bare all and to do so without shame. For if I were to withhold information, then what would the purpose be in my attempts to inspire others? My all-time high weight was 491 pounds. Yes. You read the correctly, 9 pounds away from being 500 pounds. If you were to look at me when I was that high, you wouldn't have guessed as my fat had it's way of compacting into places which evened me out. I, however, knew the truth. Last year when I stepped on the scales, I was at 463lbs.

There comes a time in the lives of fat people like myself who accept the conclusion, this is who I am and this is who I'm going to be. The hope within diminishes and you accept yourself for what you are. I accepted myself at 463lbs. Why not? My friends supported and loved me dearly, I'm the apple of a man's eye who sees me for me, and I don't have health problems. I've never once had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. So I accepted me and expected the world to do so as well.

It doesn't happen that way. As a matter of fact, the world is a cruel and ugly place. They will smile at your face but snicker behind you. Many people don't understand that being fat is a disease in itself. There's a core to the weight, but in order to find that core, you have to understand yourself. You have figure out what it is that drives you to eat in such unhealthy ways. Myself? That is a story on it's own and I will attempt to give insights as to how I became so big in the first place.

In closing this morning, I want to talk about the inspiration for this blog. My sweetheart was coming over after we hadn't seen each other in some days and I wanted to look cute for him. I ripped through my closet trying to find something suitable however, my clothes were all too big. My jeans which fit perfectly when he and I first met reminded me of an oversized burlap sack with me stuffed in them as if I were a sack of potatoes and my shirt looked like a tent. I stood in front of the mirror and literally had an emotional breakdown. I cried! My emotions which came out of me caused me to feel silly later, but during the time it was happening, I was a wreck.

Most people cry because they can not fit into their clothes due to weight gain. I'm not sure why I cried because of the clothes being too big. I think it was disappointment because I haven't gone shopping for new clothes. Why? At the time of the breakdown, I had only spoken to others about the loss I've had, but I haven't quite accepted the fact that I've lost weight. In my mind, I'm still that 463 pound woman who moved to North Carolina last July. In the mirror, I am a 394 pound woman.

And so the journey continues. Welcome to my blog. I would love to know who's reading, so please feel free to share, comment, follow, or whatever else you want to do in order to let me know that you are here. I'm not sure what direction this will take, but to know this, this is my personal blog so we'll talk about life. My life consists of God, my daughter, my sweetheart, friends, two cats, work, and school. I'm a very open person and I speak my mind without fear of rejection or anything. So, let's go!