Friday, September 9, 2016

The Scale and Me

Yesterday was Thursday which means it was time for me to step on the scale. I seriously only get on it every two weeks because while the numbers matter, what matters more is how I'm feeling and how my clothes are fitting and all of those little indicators that add up to how is this going.

I was a little bit nervous but then again, I always am before I get on a scale. I use the one at my kids' school that's up in their weight room. Why? Well because a) I'm there 4-5 days a week and b) there isn't a level surface in my own house that I could put a scale on to get an accurate measurement at home. Next month I'll be back at the doctor's for my quarterly shot so I'll use theirs then.

Anyway, I was a little bit nervous because I never know what these things are going to say and also because I'm getting the hang of that style of scale. Still, I stepped on and started fiddling with it. I couldn't get it to balance though. I started at 290 because last time I was something like 298..I bumped it to 300..nothing. I bumped it back down to 290 and finally managed to balance it at 297. Hrmm...okay... I stepped off, back on and tried balancing it again and just couldn't. I don't know if I was the problem, the scale was the problem, or a combination of both.

Here's the thing though...I'm not letting it bother me. If the 297 was accurate, then it was. If it wasn't, it wasn't. Why isn't this bothering me? Because I can see the changes. They're there. Two days ago, I bought a size 26/28 tank top and it fits well. At the beginning of summer I was buying a size larger than that. They may not be huge changes, but they're changes and they're happening. I'll be back at the school again next week so I may step on the scale again then to see what happens. At no point will I be weighing in more than once a week, but I will be trying to keep track and we'll all see what happens because I'll be sure to post about it!

Until next post...

Friday, September 2, 2016

Happy Surprise

Hi all! Just a quick post in between Roger's busking and Ben's football game. I just had to share this with everyone.

I took this photo of me this morning. I hardly ever have my picture taken or if I do, share them with anyone. This one is different. Two weeks ago, I bought this shirt to support the boys' football team at a scrimmage. Like some people, I have a fat roll above my waist and when I put this shirt on and looked in the mirror, I could see that roll pressed against the shirt. In my mind, it was pushing the shirt out. This morning, I put the shirt on (first conference game is tonight) and thought it felt looser. I looked in the mirror and sure enough, it seems to be fitting much better! The shirt feels as if it's laying against my skin and not my skin shoving it out.

Last week I posted about the numbers, but this week I actually could see the results! I'm feeling them when I eat too. After Roger's busking today, we stopped into the diner to have onion rings (our guilty pleasure) and I noticed that after eating them, I didn't want anything else. It's now been over two hours and I still don't feel as if I'm starving. It feels really good to be seeing the results. Roger and I joked today that the 3x band sweatshirt I ordered this year is going to hang on me by next year if I keep this up. I'm okay with that.

As for right now though, I'm happy just seeing the results and feeling encouraged to keep going. I can't wait until I get my new fitbit (the other died and is out of!) and schedules shift so I have time to jump back onto the treadmill or get back outside for walks. It feels really, really good to be able to say, "I've got this." after my doctor told me that there was no way I could do this on my own. I can, I am, and I will.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Going Down

I stepped on the scale today for the first time since I was at the doctor's office. I think that was about two weeks ago. I suppose I could check, but the time really doesn't matter. What matters is that today, even though I'm having a bad brain, really tired kinda day, I climbed the two sets of stairs up to the community center weight room and I stepped onto that scale. Of course, I had to fiddle with it because you always have to fiddle with the ones where you slide the things across to get your weight.

I was nervous at first because my first real goal that I set was to get below 300 pounds and since 300 is the top of the bottom slider thing and I can never figure out which direction to move the other slider thing, I tend to freak myself out a little bit. Too many years of either nurses doing it or digital scales have caused us to lose certain abilities? Okay, I probably never had that ability to begin with and now I'm just chattering so let's move along...

300 had the bar just sitting there so I moved it to 250 and then started fussing with the top one. Maybe after a while more of doing this it will be a faster process but it took me a minute or two until I got that darn bar balanced and not thwapping itself down. The result? 297. Yep. By simply monitoring my food intake over the past month, I have gone from 318 down to 297. 21 pounds. Not bad for the girl whose doctor told her a year ago that it was impossible for her to lose weight by herself and told her that she should seriously consider weight loss surgery.

Did I eat perfectly during that? Nope. I had one or two days where I went over the calorie amount set for me by the My Fitness Pal app. I honestly haven't stepped foot on the treadmill in probably a month simply because finding any spare time is impossible at this point. My food choices? Not the healthiest but I have started cooking again slowly and I have been honest with myself about what I'm eating and drinking. No hiding things from the app and therefore from myself.

I also haven't made a big deal about my attempts this time. I don't post about it on Facebook or even talk about it outside of a couple of people. Yes, these posts do go up over on my fan page and to my personal page, but I don't draw attention to them. Is this important? It is to me. I needed to prove to myself that even though it would be harder, I could do this on my own. I know that people are there if I have questions or need support, but I want to do this as much on my own as possible. I need to show myself that I am capable of will power and of learning what I need to learn.

So now that I've made my first goal, I have to decide what's next. For me, it's a continuation of my current goals... track my eating habits, learn from them, work on my water intake (always a tough one for me), and yes, there's a new weight goal. 290. Yep, only 7 pounds, but that's how I'm doing pound, two pounds, ten pounds at a time. I have a long way to go and there's no need to freak myself out by looking at the big number. I'll get there and maybe in a year or so, I'll be able to say that I'm on my last 10 pounds to get to that number. Until then though, it's babysteps and little goals.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Holy Busy Batman

Holy cannoli, Batman..I am absolutely done in. This entire summer has been crazy busy and the last three weeks before school starts are always the craziest. On top of that, our little family (me and the boys) is trying to raise money to help send Roger on a science research trip (and his band trip) this coming year. It's insane and because time is running out before his first big payments are due, here's my tiny plug:

Please help send one awesome kid on two awesome trips that he's worked so hard for. To buy our awesome t-shirts designed by Nick of Alt-World head over to TeeSpring and to check out his GoFundMe which has a lot of freaking amazing reward tiers, go to his site!

There's also some personal stress going on so between the financial concerns, the insanely busy schedule, work pressures (that I'm totally putting on myself), and the personal stuff, I am plain done in. It's made really being good a little bit tougher,

Still, for the past seventeen days, I've been really honest with myself about my diet and started tracking it using MyFitnessPal. Yay for free apps! Other than one day when I just kinda said screw it and emotionally ate, I've done pretty well.

Workouts haven't gone as well. Ben had me up on the treadmill three times a week but then he hasn't worked for the past two weeks and I haven't been up at the community center. I have gotten in a bit of walking but not even my tiny daily goal. I have to figure out how/when to fit some sort of walking in. At this point it's the only type of exercise that I can handle. I'm hoping that once the stress of getting another $300 or so by my birthday to the trip folk ($150 by 9/23 and $185 by 9/1) is past and I can start knocking out more of the things that I feel have slipped over the summer then I'll start sleeping better and all of this will just fit together better.

I'm happy to say though that it hasn't all been for loss. No wait, it has been! It's been for a decent loss! By simply monitoring my calorie intake, I've gone from 330 pounds (when I was horribly sick back in June) to 309.8 today. If I use the scale weight taken about 2 weeks ago when I was at the community center and used their old school balance scale, that's still down 9 pounds since then. I'm happy with that and it gives me a nice nudge to keep going. My doctor told me that I couldn't do it, that my body would fight me every single step, but I am doing it. It might be slow but I'm doing it.

For now though, I'm going to smile at my little success and take myself off to bed. Hopefully I'll be back soon with another update as to how things are going. Until then, take care of yourselves!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Does anyone know what that is? It's the post-workout screen from the treadmill that I got on this morning, even though I had a great excuse why I shouldn't have to.

You see, I was woken up at 3:30 this morning by a bat. Yes, a bat. For some unknown reason, they get into my house and like to do loops around my living room. It's my job to get up and open the door for them so that they can go outside. Except this bat didn't want to go outside. My cat wanted to go outside. He's not supposed to go outside. So, after sitting on the porch/looking for the cat for about an hour and ten minutes, the cat decided he missed me and wanted me to pet him. Instead, I scooped his furry butt up, chewed him out and tried going back in the house...except I couldn't get the door to open. I'd closed the door because one of the other cats was considering going out and the dang bat had disappeared. I had to bang on the door until I woke Ben up to come help me get the door open. It'd swollen in the humidity. All ends well, right? Nope. Remember how I said the bat had disappeared? Well, it reappeared about 5am just when we were falling back to sleep. This time, one of the cats had got it and knocked it to the floor where him and another cat were kindly poking at it. So, it was making that god awful chittering noise that they do when they're not happy. I got up, locked the culprit cat from earlier in the bathroom, opened the door, grabbed the broom, pushed the poor bat outside, slammed the door and attempted to get a couple of hours sleep before we had to get up and on the road this morning.

Yep, great excuse, huh? I didn't take it though. I climbed both flights of steps (god, I cannot wait until those don't leave me winded), double checked that the emergency stop thing was firmly where it belonged, put in my earbuds (does anyone else have trouble keeping those in their ears or do I just have mutant ears?), turned on some music and started walking. My goal was .75 miles but when I got there, I decided I could do just a little bit more. I'm proud of that .85. I moved up to half of that being at 2.2 mph and the other half being at 2.3. Yes, that's still considered a slow walk but considering that back in the Spring I started at 1.8 mph, I'm making good progress in that area. I'm happy to report that my knee is feeling just fine. No permanent damage done by the emergency stop incident of Monday.

Speaking of that, I had a couple of people comment that I need to take it easy, listen to my body, not push too hard, etc. I want to reassure all of you that I'm not pushing too hard. I may not even be pushing hard enough, but I'm testing myself right now and each time I get on the treadmill, my goal is to go a little bit faster or a little bit further. By little bit, I mean like bumping up the speed by .01 mph or going .10 mile further. My goal for Friday? To do the same distance but this time with more of it at the 2.3mph. That's it. A tiny change. I'm starting to believe that maybe I can do this and it would help a ton if others believed in me too.

Let's see...what else? I've tracked my food since Monday and while it's not the healthiest of diets (that will come), I've been under the calorie amount that the app says both days. I'm hoping to stop by my doctor's office tomorrow and if that happens, I'm going to ask to use their digital scale. I tried to use the old fashioned one in the weight room today and it has me 12 pounds less than when I went to urgent care less than 2 months ago. It's possible that it's right but I want to be sure. If it is, I'll adjust things in the app and keep going.

Thank you to those who have sent me messages telling me that you're proud of me. I don't need them but they certainly don't hurt and they make me smile. For ages people have told me to stop focusing so much on taking care of other people, pushing their things, and to focus more on me, what's right for me, my health, my writing, etc. I'm trying to do that and it's really great having friends alongside cheering me on.

Monday, July 25, 2016


Long time no write and I don't feel a lick guilty about it. It's been a busy month and the past two weeks have found me taking more steps than I thought I was ready for. Still, life doesn't wait for you to take the steps. You have to take that deep breath (or ten) and put one foot in front of another.

I haven't done this alone. As I take each step I seem to find someone who steps up beside me and tells me that they believe in me and that I've got this.

It started with Nick. He looked me in the eyes and asked me what was stopping me...that stuck with me for days after he asked. What was it that was stopping me? The answer, once I dug past all of the excuses, was simple. Fear. Fear is the only thing holding me back. As he would say, I was getting in my own way.

Then, it was Ben. Yep, my kiddo. He works in the community center three days a week and he made it clear to me that he expects me to be on that treadmill sometime during his one hour shift. It doesn't matter how long I'm on it, what matters to him is that I climbed those two flights of stairs and I got on there and I walked.

Today, it was Joel. Joel had a crappy childhood and suffers from some of the same issues I do. I texted him to tell him about my treadmill accident today and after making sure that I was okay (I am.I'll fill you in on what happened in just a bit.), we started talking about diet and food. We both have food issues. He encouraged me to start journaling what I eat each day. This is something that I've put off. Why? Fear. It always comes down to fear and the fact that I'm my own worst enemy and I was scared that if it were there in black and white, I would spend a lot of time beating myself over making bad choices. Joel told me today that he believes in Katie and her stubbornness. It made me smile and it also made me pause and think. I am horribly stubborn at times and I've been using that in the wrong direction or perhaps it's more accurate to say that I've let my fears use it.

So, today I came home and I installed MyFitnessPal on my phone. Since I had to confirm my email, I spent some time on the laptop looking at the app, putting in all the information and then blinked at the screen at the number of calories I should be eating every day so that I lose about a pound each week. Then, I put in my little bit of walking and the few things I had eaten today.

...We're going to tangent just for a minute, then I promise I'll get back to the app....

I have three food modes. The first is where I barely eat. Today was one of those days. The second is where I can't seem to stop eating. The third is where I eat normally. There's not always a rhyme or reason why any day is what it is.


And we're back! So, I put in the 3 food items that I ate today and discovered that I'm still 1818 calories short for the day. That seems like a heck of a lot and I'll be honest, I'm not going to make an attempt at forcing them in. I'm going to eat dinner, enter that, and see where I'm at. This is going to be a learning tool so that I can see what's worth what and what my tendencies are. I need a brain change. Instead of looking at things as if it's not enough or I'm failing, I need to look at it as if I'm teaching myself what's okay and what's not okay. It's not something I grew up learning and as Nick would tell me, it's time I put my big brain to work for me.

So, what are these steps?

1. Three days a week, I'm going to get on the treadmill where Ben works.
2. I'm going to go back to watching my water intake (time to kill that whole chronic dehydration thing.
3. I'm going to track my food intake and see where I can make changes.
4. I'm going to continue menu planning and working on sticking with it.
5. When the weather isn't trying to kill us and Roger is here, we're going to walk around the village pokemon hunting.

There's nothing so big there that I can't do it and even if it takes time to gather data and make additional changes, these steps are pointing me in the right direction.

Oh! I almost forgot. I promised to tell you about my treadmill accident...

Today, I climbed up onto the treadmill, set my pace (I'm working at about a 2.1 right now, built up from 1.8) and started walking. Here's where the fun began. Have you ever seen those stop sign shaped things with the clip attached to them that are usually by the actual stop button? Well, as I'm walking, the clip is swinging and it must have snagged on me somehow because the next thing I know, the treadmill has come to a dead stop and I nearly face plant into the front of it. Turns out that's the emergency stop magnet and when it comes off, everything stops. Sadly, my leg hadn't stopped and I wrenched my knee.  It didn't seem too bad so I put the magnet back, made sure it wasn't going anywhere and walked another .55 miles (in addition to my whopping .04) before I decided the knee was getting worse and tightening up so I quit, stood there with sweat dripping off me (did I mention the weight room isn't air conditioned?) and talked to Ben for a minute before working my way back down those two blasted sets of stairs to relax for while in the air conditioning until Ben got done with work. As of right now, it's sore but I suspect that by Wednesday it's going to be okay enough to get back on there and see if I can't get up to an average speed of 2.2 (2.5 is considered a leisurely pace so I'm still on the moving slow side) and go a bit longer.

See? I have goals! What a crazy feeling..I'm taking control back. I'm stepping out of my self created prison and I'm moving step at a time..or in today's case, one limp at a t

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Small Changes

Just a quick check in to let you all know that I'm still out here. I thought life would get quieter once the boys were out of school, but who was I kidding? I spent a week at my ex-husband's dog sitting, got home on Tuesday and then spent the past two days working (I work from home, thank goodness!) and running the boys to their things!

I've also been trying to focus on small changes. I've given up drinking almost everything outside of water. Since the allergies have cleared out, I'm finding it harder to keep my intake up, but I'm not giving up!

I've also made another that for me wasn't so little. At Roger's insistence, I joined the city band. It's a volunteer band made up of high schoolers and community members that put on a one hour concert each week. I haven't played regularly in 20 years and social anxiety was strong. It wasn't until we pulled up to the school for this week's rehearsal and I saw how disappointed Roger was that I was going to chicken out that I made the decision to do it. If I made a fool of myself, so be it. Turns out that yes, I suck and can't even remember all the fingerings, but nobody made fun of me. They just told me to play what I could and fake the rest. Music used to be a major part of my life with playing flute and singing in multiple groups. It's something that my ex-husband didn't enjoy so I quit. Well, now, it's another thing I'm reclaiming. The group meets/performs for the next 4 weeks and I'm going to try to be at each one.

Other than that, not much is happening. I go to the weight loss management introduction meeting next Tuesday evening. The boys will be at their dad's this weekend, so I'm also considering doing a fridge purge/scrub down while they're gone. This will help prepare for the healthier groceries that I'm going to try to buy this coming week. It's not going to be perfect, but small steps are still steps and I'm still taking them.

Hopefully they'll start leading to small results! I'm off for now. I need to flip on over to Life With Katie and schedule more Crockpot Monday posts! I'll check back in after the meeting on Tuesday, if not sooner. Have a great week, everyone!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Facing My Fears

I just wanted to pop on and post a quick update. I was supposed to go to the weight clinic on the 8th, but that's had to change. The boys' dad and his wife are driving down to Virginia to help his parents move up here and they've decided to leave Wednesday after work instead of Thursday morning. Since Roger has a band rehearsal on Wednesday night, mom duties are coming ahead of me making that informational meeting.

I'm not walking away from it though. I called this morning and changed my registration to the next session which is the 21st. Roger will be away at jazz camp and Ben will be here, but I think he'll be okay with being alone for a couple of hours while I go and do this. He wants me to be healthy and I'll explain to him what it is that I'm doing and why.

I also know that I have to start working on changes. This meeting isn't going to be a magic pill or anything like that. One bonus of having really horrible allergies and being on meds for them is the fact that I really started upping my water intake. I'm someone who is chronically dehydrated so this is a big step for me. Of course, I can't seem to stop drinking and so now I'm in the bathroom every 20 minutes...sheesh! One extreme to another with this body of mine. Still, there's no way anyone can accuse me of being dehydrated right now.

Still, I'm in pain. Part of it is severe allergies, but I suspect that another part is dental. I've always had really bad teeth. I remember numerous fillings, having teeth pulled, braces and all sorts of ick. Because of all of that, I've developed a fairly serious anxiety issue when it comes to dental work. On top of that, one of the "side effects" of my mental health issues is the fact that when things get bad, I let personal hygiene things slide...including my teeth. So, bad teeth combined with bad habits equals really bad teeth right now. I have multiple broken teeth and cavities. I know that seeing a dentist is going to be a miserable experience so I put it off even more. It becomes an ugly cycle.

Tonight though I took the first step in breaking that cycle. I found a clinic about 20 minutes from here that takes my insurance, which was a feat in itself. Then, I filled out the new patient form online and submitted it. Sometime in the next couple of days they'll call me and we'll set up the first appointment where I'll go in and have x-rays done and a consultation. The second appointment is a cleaning and then they go from there. I'm scared to death, but hopefully they'll be kind and understanding. I'm also a tiny bit proud of me. I took that first step and often that's one of the hardest ones. From here on out, it's just showing up to the appointments and lots of deep breathes. I can do this. It's going to suck. It's going to hurt, but the end will be worth it.

So, another step taken. In the next while lots of changes will be happening and while they may be scary, they're going to be good. I'm taking charge of my life, reclaiming my world, and it's a good thing.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Something Has to Change

As some of you may know, I've been down and out with horrible, rotten allergies for the past two weeks. I could live with the congestion, but man, the pain is just too much. So what's a girl to do? She hauls herself off to urgent care in the hopes that they can give her something to make it feel at least a little bit better. That's what I did...and that's where this post begins.

Since I had to go grocery shopping anyway, I decided to go to the urgent care that's over near where I wanted to shop. I hadn't been there before and so I was a little bit surprised when they had me step on the scale in addition to all the usual tests. The number I saw there terrified me. I had suspected that I had been putting on weight again, but not nearly as much as that number showed. I am now at the highest weight I have ever been at. Then, when she took my blood pressure and that was also high, something just shifted inside of me. I have to do something. If I don't, I'm going to die. That may sound dramatic, but it really isn't. At the weight I'm at, my body has to work harder at every single thing it does. This puts wear and tear on heart, my lungs, my joints...and those things can wear out completely.

My doctor warned me back in August about my weight and my blood pressure. She wasn't particularly kind about it and it made me defensive.  This time, nobody said a word. They just showed me the numbers when they came up. Then, I spent a week thinking about those numbers and what they mean to me. Those numbers are the reason that I have trouble climbing up or down stairs. They're the reason I won't volunteer to chaperone trips with the boys. They're the reason that I have some of the health problems that I do.

The numbers scared me, but they got me thinking and for that, I'm thankful. For too long, I've let pride get in the way of me getting help in this area. I've never had a healthy relationship with food. Growing up, food was a sanctuary of sorts. My grandmother used food as a way to show us that she loved us. I never walked into that house without an immediate offer of being fed being made. As I grew older, food became either a way to fill the holes in my emotional world or a control object. Soon I hope to write an entire post regarding my relationship with food. This isn't that post.

This post is about the decision that I've made. Twice now, my doctor has given me a referral to the Sparrow Hospital Weight Management Clinic. Twice, I let get pride get in the way. I told myself that I've lost weight before and that it's not rocket science. I can do this alone. The truth is that I can't do this alone. When I'm doing it alongside someone, I do okay. When I have that accountability. The problem with that comes along when the other person meets their goal or they don't take the time/make the effort to be my cheerleader. When that happens, it's easy to make excuses and let things slide.

It's time to stop the cycle. It's time to get the help that I need to understand what it is that I need to do. If what that is equals therapy, so be it. If what that is means surgery to help my body start helping itself again, so be it. So, I made the courageous decision to attend a meeting next week at the weight management clinic. It's just an introduction to what they do there so I can see if it's the right fit. I suspect that so long as insurance covers it, I'll be going there on a far more regular basis and finding my way to healthy again. After all, I want to be able to ride roller coasters with my boys, to travel comfortably on trips, and most importantly to live a long, long life where I watch all my dreams and hard work turn into something amazing.

I've also made the decision to keep this off of social media for the time being. I'll be posting about it here and over on Life With Katie as things happen and I treasure any support that I get, but this is a private decision and that on some level, I need to do for me on my own.

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