Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Once upon a time...

there was a happy, healthy, active little girl who loved to race with her brothers, play catch with her dad, jog with her mom, and swim...then she grew up.

Over the years the girl played less and stressed more and grew to be a soft, cuddly pillow for her two little girls.  Very occasionally she would look in the mirror, and not liking what she saw, she'd quickly look away.  She became more unhappy with the status quo that her life had become: her job and her body image...until one day she realized she was almost 41 and had had Enough!  Of course she had had enough several times over the years, but for some reason this time enough really was enough!  The fairy tale was over, the mirror wouldn't go smoky and hide the truth, and the girl realized that she could take over the telling of the story and make it into something to be proud of...

Fast Forward - March 12, 2013:
I made yet another agreement with my mom to support each other long distance to lose the weight.  But this time there would be no email only or avoiding the phone call so we didn't have to report a gain.  We would talk about what was working and what wasn't each week, NO MATTER WHAT!  I weighed in at 260.  This was actually down 3 lbs from my last known weigh in, so I was already off to a good start.

I began reading other people's weight loss blogs for inspiration.  Two made big impacts.  The first belongs to Andie Mitchell, canyoustayfordinner.com.  At this stage I was perusing blogs for "The Secret" to weight loss.  From Andie's story I gleaned a great idea!  Always in the past when I would begin a weight loss struggle, I would feel starved.  Andie explains that she eats tons of her favorite veggies (her favorite is roasted broccoli).  I began roasting all sorts of veggies - and I LOVE them!  I cut way back on my protein (3-4 ounces), almost entirely cut out processed carbs (breads, etc). and STUFFED myself with roasted zucchini, yellow squash, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, etc.  Even occasionally some roasted fingerling potatoes.  My trick?  Lay the veggies out on a silpat baking sheet, spritz lightly with olive oil, season with garlic salt and pepper and roast at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes.  Pure deliciousness!  My other favorite veggie is mushrooms sauteed in a small amount of olive oil and a couple tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.  After a few months of filling myself up on veggies, I find that I can't eat as much...

The second blog I love to read is by Katie, runsforcookies.com.  I need to preface why I love Katie with some information about myself.  I, like many mothers out there, have a pouch (ergo, the marsupial reference).  I try to hide this pouch with my overlarge clothing, but deep down I know that I'm not fooling anyone.  Years ago, when my girls (who are currently 15 and 17) were 2 and 4, I weighed about 212 lbs.  I talked to my doctor, who referred me to T.O.P.S.  I joined a terrific group of ladies in Prineville, Oregon, and ended up at 175 lbs.  I felt really good about myself at that point, except that I still had a pouch of loose skin.  I couldn't tuck in shirts, etc, and had to wear loose tops to hide this skin.  Currently this pouch of skin isn't loose, it's filled with fat, but it's still a fold of skin that gets hot and sweaty and itchy, and in tight clothing looks like a front butt...ok, TMI...back to my story.  Back then I couldn't afford to have the surgery to remove the skin, and with life events, added stress, moves, a husband spending 50% of his time out of the country, etc. all those pounds came back, and then some.  Katie's blog chronicles her story of weight loss and she goes into much detail on getting her excess loose skin removed.  This has been a wish of mine since that first weight loss when I realized that just losing the weight wouldn't completely do the trick.  Thank you Katie for your honesty and details, it has helped me see the reality of the situation and has helped me understand the tribulations I will be facing.

I had some new philosophies in place, now I needed some tools to help me get there...
I knew that journaling was how I had been successful in the past, so I decided to use an app (MyFitnessPal) on my cell phone.  I had the app, but hadn't been using it well.  So I dusted it off and started journaling, again.  About this time I got an upgraded cell phone, and suddenly the app was much more user friendly.  (You can also use this program online at myfitnesspal.com)  I also pulled out my old Polar Heartrate monitor, and after some investigation found that I could even wear it swimming!  So armed with some cool techie tools, I plowed on in.  I was walking on the treadmill for 42 minutes while watching episodes of Castle, and swimming in the 17 yard pool at the fitness club a mile a day 1-2 days a week.  I was feeling pretty great and had lost about 15 lbs.

Then my bad ass baby sister came to visit and wanted to exercise with me...not wanting to disappoint her, I asked her if she wanted to do the "Grade".  If you live in Prosser, you know what I'm talking about.  (Incidentally, I just looked up the altitude gain of this baby a few minutes ago:  980'...)  We started out and to give my sister a better workout, every 5 minutes we would jog for 30 seconds, then she would walk back to me and we'd walk together until the next 5 minute time to jog.  We made it about 1/3 of the way up the grade, and I thought I was going to have a heart attack.  The next day she wanted to do it again.  Did I mention that I'm competitive?  I don't mean that I thought I could keep up with her, but I didn't want to look like a wimp that couldn't work out hard 2 days in a row, so I agreed to go again.  This time I wore my heart rate monitor.  Let's just say that I had to slow down to keep the monitor from screaming at me for getting my heartrate up too high.  No wonder I thought I was about to have a heart attack the day before! After Kindra left, I decided to keep walking the grade a couple days a week, so the next time she comes to visit I'll be stronger and go further.  I walked about 1/2 way up several times alone, then a woman passed me one morning as I was walking, parked and hopped out of her car and asked if I minded if she walked with me.  I have now been walking 2-3 days a week with Berta, and we go all the way to the top (the gate, not the radio towers), which is about 4.25 miles round trip.  I continue to swim 1-1.5 miles per day,1-2 days per week.
June 22, 2013 at 229 lbs (31 lbs lost)

I had set a mini-goal to try to lose 40 lbs by the time the family gathered together July 19th, 2013.  On July 18th, I weighed in at 221.5, only 1.5 lbs short of reaching my goal.  But I still consider that a success!  I'm so proud of how far I've come and decided I should share online.  Kind of putting my money where my mouth is, so to speak...I've still got some catching up left to do, but I think I'll save some for tomorrow!

Until then, hope you're bounding away at something that makes you happy!


  1. I don't see the post I though I did yesterday. Hopefully this one goes through. After reading you blog I haven't been able to excuse myself for not making some kind of committment. You have inspired me, beautiful daughter of mine!!!! I WILL run/jog a 5 K this spring/early summer and run/jog as much as I can while doing a 10 K late summer/early fall. I know my committment is not as great as your's but I feel good about it none the less. I LOVE YOU AMBER, you rock!!! Thanks for being such a GREAT daughter.

  2. Tell me which runs you register for and I'll do them with you! I LOVE You, too (mom) and you've always inspired me, so I'm glad I can give a little back : )