Sunday, January 31, 2010

Weight Watchin' on the road. A rant.

Thursday, January, 21st 2010 through Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Last week, on Thursday January 28th, I went to my WW meeting to weigh-in before the cracking of dawn. I dramatically proclaimed how crappy my week was: I mean really, really, crappy.

Imagine the worst financial distress imagineable, and you're close to what I experienced.

Also, my husband started AA. As in, quitting drinking because he drinks too much. Much more than I knew, actually. I must insert my joke now: I always knew I'd drive a man to drink. Admit it, you knew, too. lol. But seriously, I know it's not my fault. And he's awesome, attending his 8th meeting in 8 days as I type.

I felt like I was stuck in a blender all week. But, somehow, I put my body into this protective state of autopilot (in Weight Watcher's gear), and managed to not go off my points plan. Not once. I definately shifted what went into my points balance, but I stayed in my points range. Allow me to entertain you with the details.

My proudest moment after finding out we were more than broke, and my husband was starting AA, and I was officially in charge of the family bills which gives me anxiety attacks? Making a snack mix built around the concept of slow indulgence, including popcorn, Crunch n' Munch, baked cheese puffs, and m & m's. All measured, and counted before it was put into the bowl which took me two hours to finish.

Approaching the scale last Thursday I expected to gain. They say when you're stressed, your body holds onto weight. I was panicked that a gain on the scale would send me into failure mode, and cause me to drop this whole diet/lifestyle change/lifesaving event in the trash can. Did I mentioned I was on my period, and as bloated as a goat? TMI? Too bad, it's crucial you know my situation to get the full effect. When I found I had lost .4 lbs I was so pleased. And ready to look forward and upward. Thank God! Not that the scale is the only way I mark my success, but seriously, after the shittiest of shitty weeks, losing weight was something really special to hold on to, and trudge forward.

This week: Thursday, January 28, 2010 through Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

About 32 hours after my successful weigh-in I was presented with two little boys and a husband who wanted to have dinner out. Shouts of "Pizza!" "Buffet!" had me nasuous with nerves. I suggested Applebee's where I knew I could have my favorite standbye, but as we got towards the parking lot, I grew brave and suggested Famous Daves next door. Proudly, I enjoyed the intoxicating smell of BBQ, and dined on a BBQ chicken salad with all the sides served seperatly, so I could control the quantities and therefore points on the plate. Success.

Hours later we would be taking the kids to see Monster Trucks. I took a nap with both boys in our bed that afternoon and actually dreamt about stadium food. No kidding... I was slowly approaching the food line and saw "no calorie chili" on the menu. Ha! Pathetic. In reality, the boys got popcorn and nasty processed cheese nachos. I took a few nibbles of popcorn, and kept my mind instead on my cool new pedometer, racking up more steps during intermission. I also thought, if my newly sober husband could sit surrounded by beer at a Monster Truck show, I could probably handle not eating anything.

Home from the Monster Trucks by 11:30pm, and out the door to Peoria by 5am. Theo's mom had surgery, and we wanted to go help her through the weekend. First stop: gas station. I brought my home brewed coffee with sugar free coffee cream, but now was faced with donuts. My favorite kind: Kwik Trip chocolate glazed. I had one, but calculated the points on it, and included it in my total.

We arrive, and are dining at IHOP by late morning. Again, success: I ordered off the IHOP "for me," menu, which lists calories/fat/etc. I also requested sugar free syrup, and pushed the butter off my plate immediately. A nice 11 point brunch.

Afternoon finds my tummy grumbling, and my hands digging through Me-Maw's cabinets. Kitchen Cooked Cheese Puffs? Shit! So cliche. I know, the fat girl can't resist the cheese puffs. Haha! But seriously, about 4 months ago on a visit to the Peoria area I discovered the goodness that is KC Cheese Puffs, and devoured an entire bag in that one weekend visit. How would I resist? I wouldn't. I would indulge in half a serving (1 cup) and count it. And even another full serving (2 cups, duh) the next day. If I didn't have thew rationed serving cheese puffs, I certainly would have eaten the whole-entire-bag. Controlled indulgence was crucial.

My most miraculous and smart Weight Watcher's decision of the weekend? At breakfast I heard someone say there would be chocolate cake after Saturday's dinner. I had Theo run me to Walmart where I would find Weight Watcher's snack cakes and brownies. Totally wasn't even tempted to have cake after I tasted the 1 point chocolate snack cakes. I had 3 though, so it felt like I was having something comparable to everyone else. And the super-indulgent taco dinner took up most of my weekly flex points. So be it. I'm on the plan.

Oh, and the Weight Watcher's pedometer I mentioned? The best Weight Watcher's invention ever! This pedometer does what all pedometers do: tells you how many steps you take in a day, and adds it up to miles. But, once you enter your weight and height in the system set-up, it also calculates how many activity points you earn in a day, after considering the amount of calories you normally burn in a day. How awesome if that? Uber-awesome! So far I've earned at least 2 activity points everyday. One day, I even earned 4! I walk more than 2 miles everyday, taking upwards of 4000 steps. Mentally, this takes away all the thoughts I had about being so lazy.

Did I succeed in a rapid lifestyle change this last week? No, not really. But I think I made some serious steps (no pun intended) in the right direction without killing anyone, eating my hand, or sabotaging my diet completely. And I now find myself safe in the delightful comfort of my own kitchen where I can resume my normal plan, and hopefully by Thursday, make some serious progress on the scale. Thank you, Weight Watcher's Gods, for watching over me.

Stay tuned, folks.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Room to Stretch!

Winter in Wisconsin can be quite long. We can have several days where the temperatures don't rise to a safe level to play outside. This year, both Santa and some aunties and uncles gave the boys some RC vehicles, and I thought Daddy's work might be the perfect place for the kiddies to stretch their legs. Last weekend, Theo had one report to run, so we packed up the kids cars and headed out with him. The boys had a blast with the RC vehicles, and actually rode them until the batteries died!

We also let them play on the excersice equipment. Hilarious!

My favorite part of the day was watching the boys play with these excercise balls.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Look, Grandma, I Dyed My Hair!

As a child I had carrot-orangish-blond curls, but the older I got, the more brown my hair became. Outside of a few stints with sun-in in high school, and some bleach blond high lights in college, I've never altered my hair color. I had the highlights permanently erased by a salon before I was married. I walked in, and said, please bring back my natural color so accurately that I can't see my roots come in. They did a fab job, and I never looked back.
In came the gray. Slowly at first, then in clumps. I embraced it. It didn't bother me one bit. It became the topic of conversation with my husband quite often. After all, he's 28, and I'm only 2 1/2 years older than him. Does a 28 year old man want a 300-lb-gray-haired woman? Surprisingly, mine does. He's a saint, and apparently pretty in love with Me, not my hair or body.
It was me who decided giving some hair dye a try would be fun, a way to express myself, and play around with my appearance. It might even make me feel beautiful enough to stick to this weight loss plan once and for all? I also thought, life is short, and hair is just hair. This is the same me contemplating some neatly-placed tattoos of things like owls to symbolize my education, clematis and rose flowers from my actual garden, and possibly something to tribute my kids in the future. I guess life and age bring changes.
Now, unlike me hair, my eye color hasn't changed one bit my whole life. My eyes are a great olive green. Quite unique, actually. I have never met anyone with my eye color. I don't mean to boast, but I do rather love my eyes. I feel they have been dull and unseen behind my flat mid-brown hair color most of my life. I mean, think about it. Did you know I had green eyes? Nope.
So, altering my hair color would be one way I could bring out these eyes. I may not be the type to wear make-up everyday (more like 2-3 times a month, to church and holidays), but I did spend some time in my pre-teen years (and summer as a assistant manager at The Body Shop) learning about make-up colors. I recall, red hair brings out green eyes, and purple make-up does the trick even more.
So here we have it:

The current new me. What do you think, Grandma?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hats Hats Hats

Having fun making more hats. Check them out here, at my online Etsy Shop!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Etsy Shop

My Etsy shop, where I will be selling handmade items, including my knit creations, is now open. If you have any custom requests, let me know! Enjoy!!

Pick me up Foods.

I found this article, describing the boost different foods give you, very interesting. Just passing it on. I may turn to some of these food to pull me through the afternoon tummy grumblees.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Weight Watcher's: Week 2

Just a quick update. I went in to my 3rd meeting this morning and lost another 4.8 lbs, totalling 7.2 lbs gone thus far. I am very pleased with my journey, and motivated to stay the course. In comparison to three weeks ago, I feel a million times better inside, satisfied and much more balanced. My jeans are not as tight already! I know I have such a long way to go, but I have no plans of failing anytime soon!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sleeding 2010!

I'm going to let the photos speak for themselves.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A moment of weakness.

It took a week and a half, but this afternoon I finally have experienced some weakness in my approach to Weight Watcher's. After a busy morning I was really tired, I made lunch (high fiber whole wheat bread with a tbls of Brummel and Brown, on a skillet with baby swiss and 98% FF ham, served with a handful of baby carrots w/ one tbls light ranch), and went upstairs to knit and look at some gardening books.
I fell asleep. I knew I would. I woke up and I wanted chocolate and pizza. I was freezing cold, no doubt b/c of my drafty house and now-lowered body temp from sleeping. I went for the kitchen and stood there dreading making dinner. Theo is working late, and I don't feel like cooking anything! I feel bloated, and sluggish, and my back is bothering me a bit. I want to just throw myself under my covers again and wait for a huge hot dinner to arrive.
Nevertheless, I indulged the chocolate craving with cocoa, surprised by how well it warmed me back up. I hoped online here, and thought I'd share. Still no definate dinner plans, but now that mind if clear, I don't plan on pizza; I just don't think I could resist the urge to eat the whole thing. I think I'll make the boys something simple, like a sandwich, and I'll have leftovers.
I'm going to keep fighting.
Now, I'm off to scrapbook until dinner really approaches.

P.S. See that big tree trunk in my header picture? The energy company ripped out the whole tree today! I could not be more excited, as it was diseased, and way to big for it's location. You can now see the whole front of our house, and I can plant sun-loving plants like roses and clematis on the front porch!

Haircuts for the Kiddies

Mostly, I got tired of hearing, "They need a haircut." I was really trying to make them look like little Chaps models, with long, tousled boy locks. Okay, so I realize that means I would have had to actually do their hair everyday, or atleast control the bed head and hat hair they were getting.
So Saturday I felt pretty wonderful, less back pain and reletively accomplished. I set up haircut shop in the living room. Threw our biggest beach towel down, grabbed the clippers, scissors, combs and all, and turned on some Phineas and Ferb to captivate them, and Ta Da! You can see their ears and eyes again.

I'm pleased.
Editted: I wanted to add that these Toy Story sweatshirts were $3 each on Black Friday. Tickles me excited every time I think about it.
In other news, I'm doing well on Weight Watcher's. Last night I forced myself to use some of the flex points on something. I had a piece of fudge from Christmas & a cup of cocoa. I should add, the fudge has been frozen since the day after Christmas, along with all of the cookies and such I made. Very pleased with how well everything freezes, this is the first year I've tried that. Working great for random treats for the boys.
The craziest thing? The fudge sat in front of me for about an hour before I could eat it. I was so full from dinner (several 5-cheese ravioli with a few ounces of 90% lean beef in a 5-cheese red pasta sauce, stewed with chopped green peppers and mushrooms). I want to use all the flex points these first few weeks so I don't stunt my metabolism b/c I'm still extremely inactive with my back pain. Also, I'm trying to eat the flex points the first 5 days of the week, so I don't skew my weigh in off the weight of food alone. I know all of this sounds nuts, but it works for me. :)
So far, so good.

Friday, January 8, 2010

My Luck.

It's a good thing these devils are so cute.

I had a parenting experience the other day that is beyond anything I have experienced before. As you know, I have a pretty good back injury right now, and laundry is not on my list of easy things to do. I can't bend without significant pain, and lifting heavy laundry baskets is out of the question. I thought I'd give the hubs a break and do some small loads, loads I could actually carry down the steps.
I went to corral the clothing into seperate piles, carefully limiting my bending. I noticed a stray pair of kiddie underpants beside the basket, and while scooping them up I found a whole turd. A whole chunk of poo inside the underpants.
A bit of backstory to make my house seem like less of the scuzzbucket palace you're all imagining now: The day before I found the turd in the underpants Hunter had a pretty messy experience wiping in the bathroom. He went past me with no pants or underwear on, sneaking upstairs. I stopped him in his tracks, and he quietly explained he did not make to the toilet. Okay, fair enough. He adds, with a big smile and gesture, "And I got poo on my hands!"

Oh jeez!

"Stop right there, Hunter! Hands in the air!" Pause. He shyly moves his hands to his facial region. "No!!!!! Don't put your hands in your mouth!!!"

Remembering the back-pain agony of the pee-cleaning bath I had given just 24 hours before this, I add, "Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaad, Hunter needs your help!"
Dad swoops in like the super-hero man he is, and cleans up Hunter, stearnly reminds little H needs to get to the bathroom quicker, and stops to show me the poop Hunter got all over his jeans as he takes them to the laundry room to try and salvage.

There was a pair of underpants with pee on them in the jeans, so dad never thought twice about it. The mystery remains, how did Hunter soil two pairs of underwear so quickly? And why would he throw a whole turd in the laundry basket?

Moments ago Hunter was recording his own voice into the LeapFrog refridgerator toy saying, "I have a woo-woo!"
This is what I taught him the women's anatomy is called. At our house, men have "weiners," (thanks Theo), and women have "woo-woo's." I figure that's better than all the other things you could call it. As a kid I was taught my vagina was a "tushie," and later was confused beyond all expectations when I lerned the rest of the world referred to the "tushie" as your ass.

I won't repeat the rest of the things dad's telling him to say into the repeating recorder toy.

Currently, he is ripping up a coloring picture of Jesus, and stuffing the pieces down the heater. The symbolism is accurate.

Also, the cats are peaved today, as their nesting spot as come down. Goodbye Christmas tree!!
Here are some shots of School Bus, the cat, sleepin' and playin' in the tree.

Update on the Schmoopy cat. her tail seems to have reached record proportions. Here, I swear it is bigger than her body. Like a giant feather duster. So much love for this fuzzball!!!!
Happy weekend to you all!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Week One

I made it through a whole week on the WW plan. Seems like it's been years since I made it throuh a solid week tracking points, writing it all down, and staying focused. I actually enjoyed it. I feel a little ball of strength growing in my chest. Maybe it's pride?

2.4 lbs lost the first 7 days.

I'm not gonna lie, I was hoping for more. I always will be. I know, from my own and other's past successes, that it is typical to lose a lot the first 2 weeks, so I hope for a big and exciting number next week. Still, I am so pleased with losing 2.4 lbs, and leaving the 300's forever. Forever folks.

I plan on having Theo take some pictures of me each week. I really hope that helps. I was browsing some weight loss blogs, and it seems the pictures create an added in
spiration. Much like the scale, the camera doesn't lie.

This week's goals:
Keeping the focused feeling.
Doing all my physical therapy excercises 2 times a day.
Making all the food requirements, including more veggies, and high calcium foods.
Staying satisfied.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Knit Therapy

I'm not gonna lie. Cutting calories is hard work when you're used to eating everything you dare imagine. Even harder when you can't do anything. As in, walk. Or shop. Or generally take care of your home and children. My back problem, whatever you want to call it, is limiting me to a whole lot of sitting.

FYI: The official term for my primary back pain is "SI disfunction." The spot where my spine meets my tailbone and pelvis/hips is out of whack. There may also be a slipped disk. Also, the other muscles keep spasming. I have to do physical therapy excersices/stretches/strengthening 2-3 times a day until I feel better. Each visit adds a few more activities. Last week, they added walking 5 minutes at a time (which HURTS), and this week, they added a hip strengthening activity where I tie my knees together with a lime green stretchy band and do kegals). My insurance approved 36 visits, and my PT people want 2 visits a week. We're looking at a few months of this, with no set promises on healing.

Anyway, I despise sitting. I'm a multi-tasker at heart. A do-er. I've refined my "doing" skills to maximize my situation. Because: I'm also not a quitter.

I've been knitting my ass off. Hopefully, literally. I intend to begin an Etsy shop. I create an account yesterday, and plan on becoming a seller within a few weeks. I'm building an inventory. I love yarn, and I love making things, but I do not need 30 hats and scarves. Want, yes, but need. No.
I'm in love with this purple multi-dotted fleece yarn. In fact, I'm scheming ways to acquire more of it. It needs a pom-pom. I'm thinking of a solid turqoise.

I need to get out the tripod this week and take some more color-rich, stable shots.
This pattern below was inspired by a picture of blue pail filled with suds, surrounded by a pair of chartruese rubber gloves, and two beady bracelets in fushcia and red.

This one came from an idea in my mind.

Here the process of developing this wacky colorful hat.
The yarn.

The hat:
The finished product, topped with a solid poof, after consultng two crafty friends.
I've been spending the boys' nap time in front of this shelf. I light my candle, bring up my big glass of water, and sit here with my pillows and knit.

I cranked out these hats for the boys, inspired by The Children's Place winter clothing line.

So far, knitting is keeping my mind off chocolate. I'm successfully starting day 5 of the WW diet, and feeling satisfied and positive. More knits to come, as well.