Monday, October 13, 2008

Saddle Mountain Hike

Just a warning: Do NOT believe the weather forecast or satellite images when planning a hike in the Coast Range in October. We did and headed up Saddle Mountain this afternoon. In the 2.5 mile hike to the top there is a 1603' elevation gain. Not an easy hike on a good day. Today was not a good day concerning the weather. It was rainy although not a downpour; just rainy enough to think it would be no problem. However, when you break above the tree line, the wind was biting cold and the rain was almost parallel to the ground. The mountain was socked in and one would wonder why we went the entire way up. It’s just that once I get close, I cannot just turn around. I am a little obsessive and competitive that way. It was an adventure to say the least. Although we could have been more prepared, we were far more prepared than the group of twenty-somethings that were wearing light pants and sweatshirts. At least we had some rain gear, fleece and heavy jeans.

One thing I love about Oregon is the greens. Every nuance is beautiful. And when it is wet and foggy they appear even more intense. It was a beautiful hike. I can say that now that I am warm again…

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Transitioning other foods back into my diet isn't as scary as I thought it would be. I am adding in the foods one at a time and so far everything seems to be working. I am increasing calories through more snacks and some fats as well as protein and carbs. Each evening I am planning out what I will eat the next day and putting it into MyPlan. (Food logging program on the Medifast site.) Once everything is in, I fine tune the calories and carbs and protein to get up to calorie. It is interesting how some days my carbs are really low and now I want to pop them up. I need to watch total calories not carbs in particular. I am trying to stay moderate fat and carbs though.

I am amazed how I really don't want to just go back to eating like I was before. I want to eat the veggies not the pasta. (Still haven't broken down and had a potato yet...) I am loving eating apples and I can't wait for the pears on the counter to be ready to eat.

I am researching which dairy I will add on Friday and from there on. The dairy does concern me slightly as before MF I had a lot of sinus congestion. I haven't had any on MF or yet in transition. I wonder if it is dairy products left from my childhood allergy. I'll see and adjust from there.

Practicing the planning aspect during 5/1 has really helped with adding the foods in during transition. I still think before I eat anything and review if it is on my plan and if I am actually physiologcally hungry. If is isn't on my plan but I am hungry, I find something that will fit in with nutrients as I need for the day. I don't give in to cravings like I was before. I can't believe I can actually say, "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels."

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Happy Birthday to ME!

Today is my birthday. Today my scale said I weigh 135 pounds for the first time in 21 years! There is no better present to receive than a different life! On my 40th birthday last year, DH surprised me with a luau. When I saw the photos of myself afterwards, I nearly didn't recognize myself. I knew I had gained a lot of weight, but didn't realize how I looked or how bad I really felt. It wasn't until the following May that I tried Medifast. I think God directed me to it, because it has truly changed my outlook on life and gave me hope again. I feel fantastic and I look pretty darn good, too!

The first photo was taken on my 40th birthday last year. The others were taken today. The third is a photo of myself wearing a skirt that I wore shortly before I started Medifast in May 07.

Friday, October 03, 2008

My New Adventure

Today is the first day of a new adventure. On May 14, 2008, I started the adventure of Medifast. It has been an incredibly positive and productive experience. And though I still have 1.1 pounds to goal, I am starting the adventure of transition today. I plan to view it with the same eyes that I started MF with in that it is one step, one packet that will get me where I need to be.

I started at 194 pounds, bloated, uncomfortable and basically not recognizing myself in the mirror. When I looked at the pictures of myself on my 40th birthday, I was appalled and incredibly sad. I knew I needed to change, but it took me several months to choose Medifast. I am so glad I did. I ordered 4 weeks “just to try.” DH was skeptical as I had tried so many other things and he knew people that had done MF and gained it all back and more. However, thirty days later, I was 20 pounds lighter and felt better than I had in a long time. I had HOPE that I would not be forever fat. By then, DH was sold and encouraged me to keep going. Now he is my greatest supporter even when I get discouraged. It is nice that he can’t keep his eyes off of me either! I am back to the same thing though—I don’t recognize myself in the mirror anymore.

Today I weigh 136.1 pounds, wear a size 4, run 7 miles at a stretch and can comfortably sit cross-legged on the floor again. I like that I am sitting at the computer, cross-legged in the chair without discomfort. I like that I enjoy shopping for clothes again—even though I have to find new places to shop for my new size. I love the changes in my body and I make this vow. I will remember where I came from and where I am now. I will cherish my new self and treat myself and my body with the respect and dignity I deserve as a child of God.

To keep my vow I have made a plan for transition. Like I mentioned, I know people who have lost a lot of weight on MF, but gained it all back and more. I will learn from that. I will do what they did not do. I will follow the Transition Guide as written. Even on those days when “just one bite won’t hurt.” I will monitor my weight very carefully during the first weeks of transition so I can see what effects different foods have on my body. I will make lifelong changes to my diet and activity level so I can maintain my weight long term. I will not be adverse to returning to 5&1 if a few pounds creep on and I will do that as soon as I get past my range and not wait until it becomes 10 or 20 pounds.

And above all, I will keep my support system strong! My friends and family have been amazing! Thank you for all your support!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Self Sabotage

Once I decided that I was going to start transition on Friday, I began to sabotage myself. A little extra green here, picking at the lean as I put dinner away. Nothing that bad, but things I have not done in the 20 weeks I have been OP. I am afraid of transition--pure and simple. 5&1 is so simple. I choose my five little packets and decide on my L&G (usually grilled chicken and a salad). Then I just go about my day. With transition, I have more choices and more decisions to make. I am afraid I will mess up. I am afraid that my hard work will be for naught. I worry that I have not learned enough or the habits I learned aren't engrained in my being enough. The thing is as much as I doubt myself, my DH believes I can do this. He believes I can transition and maintain my weight. When I started MF, he was very skeptical. Over the weeks he has come to believe in me. I cannot let him down or anyone else that has been there for me. But most importantly, I have to trust that God will guide me through transition and maintainence. I must have faith in Him and in the strength he gives me. I can do this, because He gives me the strength to do all things.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


I love the word cherish. It is a soft word that implies more than just a caring to me. There is tenderness even in the saying of the word. Cherish. To cherish someone or something is to do more than love it. It is to honor it and consider it before acting selfishly. I cherish my memories of my loved ones both here and those gone on to be with Christ. I cherish my friends who support me and whom I support. I cherish certain mementos given to me by loved ones or passed to me from generations before. I cherish photographs and their ability to place me back in that happy moment. I have forgotten to cherish the greatest gift ever given me—my life. God has given me my life to live in honor to him. He has given me this body to use to further his glory. For many years, I have taken that gift for granted and dishonored him in the way I treat myself. It is time for me to learn to cherish myself and the life He has given me. I commit to caring for myself tenderly and to nurture myself. I commit to being gentle with myself even as I am gentle with my loved ones. Yesterday, I found a pendant with that one single word etched on it. I wear it today as a reminder to myself to cherish everything in this life that God has given me and to honor Him in how I cherish myself and others.

–verb (used with object)
to hold or treat as dear; feel love for: to cherish one's native land.
to care for tenderly; nurture: to cherish a child.
to cling fondly or inveterately to: to cherish a memory.

Origin: 1275–1325; ME cherisshen < MF cheriss- (long s. of cherir), equiv. to cher dear (< L cārus) + -iss -ish2; akin to charity

Friday, September 26, 2008

Beck Book - Day 16

Prevent Unplanned Eating

I have made a plan and I must stick to it. To prevent unplanned eating, I cannot give myself a choice to deviate from that plan. When I give myself a choice, it increases my struggle with myself. Staying within my plan means that I don’t end up eating spontaneously. Typically when I do that I regret my choice as soon as I take the first bite. Then I think, “Well, I started now, I might as well just finish it.” First I cannot allow myself to get into that situation. Second, I cannot give up just because I strayed with one bite. I must jump right back on my plan.

I need to consider what my rules are going to be to prevent unplanned eating. One is that I cannot drink anything but water and herbal tea until drinking my full 64 ounces of water. After that is done, I can have some diet soda if I choose. Another of my rules is no snaking while preparing meals, including licking beaters, spoons, etc. I lose track of what I am eating when I pick at foods during preparation and every calorie counts. Other rules will develop over time. I need to be prepared for any eventuality and plan for the unplanned. I can do this!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Beck Book - Day 15

Monitor Your Eating

The first fourteen days set me up for success. The things I have learned during those times of study and reflection will help me succeed this time. Today I make the following commitment. I will follow my plan today. I will eat what is on the plan I made for myself. I will document everything I eat. I will give myself credit for staying on plan. I will give myself credit for denying cravings. I will give myself credit for drinking my water. I will respond positively to sabotaging thoughts. By following this plan, I will increase my confidence that I can lose weight and maintain the loss. This will strengthen my motivation. It will help me recognize potential struggles and find a solution.

I have already succeeded far beyond my wildest expectations. I have less than five pounds until I hit my goal weight. I wanted to get to about a size 8—really hoped for a 6, but I didn’t want to set myself up for failure. But I am wearing a size 2! Some may wonder why I am reading the Beck Diet Solution now when I am almost finished dieting. I am doing this because I never want to diet again. I want to maintain my new weight and be thin and healthy all my life. Changing my relationship with food will increase my success at maintaining my weight.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Beck Book - Day 14

Plan for Tomorrow

Planning ahead can make al the difference in any diet plan. With Medifast, the more I planned the next days, the better I remain on plan. In the beginning, I put my food into daily packets. I would grab on in the morning and when the bag was empty, I know I was finished eating. I don’t pack for the days I am home anymore as I am doing a little more variety in what I choose for the day. However, I still pick out 5 meals and put them in their own spot in the kitchen each day. I always know how many meals I have left for the day and when I am going to eat. On days off, when I am out and about, I do more planning. I make sure I have muffins or chips made so I have foods that are transportable. I always take everything with me as I never know what we may decide to do next. I fill my bottles with ice water and put them in a little cooler. I am then ready for anything that may come up.

Planning has always been important for me with a diet. I am not one that needs tons of variety in what I eat from day to day. However, having the right foods on hand and planning out for shopping can make or break me. Planning helps me avoid two things. The first, getting so hungry that I eat whatever is the quickest even if it is the worst thing for me. The second thing is helps me avoid is spontaneous eating. When I plan what I am going to eat the next day, I do not stand in front of the fridge and wonder what to have. The decision is made before something triggers my “need” to eat.

In the past, writing down everything I eat has been most helpful. Writing everything down reminds me what I have eaten. Sometimes the days get so busy that I won’t remember to eat or something happens that must be taken care of before I finish eating. If it is written down, I know those calories have entered my body. The important thing is to be honest with myself. That one little chocolate chip that fell on the counter must be listed along with everything else. It has calories and it counts. I also must be honest with myself about the size of the portion. I cannot list that I had ½ cup of ice cream when it was really ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons. Listing what I eat is a habit I have gotten into the last few months and it is something I will carry with me for several more—maybe forever. If writing down everything I eat will make the difference in maintaining my weight, I will do it faithfully!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Missing Part

I have been dreading going up to see my mom's grave lately. I head out of the house, but just couldn't get myself to go. It is only a few miles, but I haven't been there is a while. I used to drive past the cemetery twice daily the first year after she passed. Now it is so hard to go. I miss her so much. She was one of my very best friends. She would be so proud of me. In the last four years, I was promoted to Administrator of an assisted living, left that position and worked for a hospice company. Then DH & I started our own business and now I have lost more that 50 pounds. She would be so proud because I am happy with where I am and who I am. I just wish I could tell her. Tonight I did tell her. I made myself get in my car and drive up to see her. I am so glad I finally did that. I feel better having done that. I smiled tonight through my tears because I know she isn’t really there. She is in a better place. A place where there is no pain and God wipes away all tears. Sometimes I just wish she were still here where I could see her and talk to her. But I can never ask her to return of the pain of this world. For now, until I can see her again, a visit to the cemetery will have to do. She wouldn’t mind as long as I am happy and doing right.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Beck Book - Day 13

Overcome Cravings

I am going to try to focus on writing, but my current craving for chips may distract me. Ahhh, cravings. I have them often sometimes for salty foods, but usually for sweet. Putting my thoughts in writing helps me clear my mind and become more rational about my options. Then I can make a decision without emotion being a part it. A craving is an emotion. A craving is an intense desire for a specific food. I feel like that food is calling my name form its place in the kitchen. It is so hard to block out the plaintive wail of its cry. “Juanita, Juanita.” It calls to me. The only way I can weaken the craving is not feed it. Each time I deny the craving satisfaction I weaken it. Each time I deny the craving satisfaction I have more confidence that I can do it again. Each time I wait out the craving I decrease its intensity and frequency. As soon as I make a conscious decision not to indulge in the craving it diminishes. It sounds so simple. It will be simple once I learn the skills I need to deny the craving. So, right now I will practice. I will deny the craving I feel. It is a craving, not hunger. I will wait it out. I will succeed.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Beck Book - Day 12

Practice Hunger Tolerance

Have to take a minute to laugh. As I sat down to read this section, my stomach growled. My watch says I don’t eat again for 30-60 minutes. Hmmm, maybe this is exactly what I needed to read right about now! I have this tendency to say, “I’m so _____________ (insert emotion/feeling/discomfort here), I can hardly stand it.” I have been working on rethinking that self-talk over several months. After all, there isn’t much that I “can hardly stand.”

I appreciate the sentiment that “hunger is never an emergency.” For so long I have treated it as such. When I began to feel even the slightest tinge of hunger, I would jump to the conclusion that my body was telling me something and I needed to eat right NOW. During my time on Medifast, I have come to realize that I can stand to be hungry until it is time for the next meal. I have not fallen over dead in all these weeks even though I felt really hungry sometimes. I don’t know if I was driven by a fear or some other compulsion. Either way I did not realize that just because I wanted to eat didn’t mean that I should eat. I think I am learning that lesson even as I sit here at the computer while my next meal waits in the refrigerator. Each time I delay the gratification of eating I am strengthening my resistance muscle. The stronger that muscle is, the better I will be able to maintain my weight loss.

The exercise in this section was powerful. List situations where I felt discomfort start with a time when I felt no discomfort and set that as zero—relaxing on the sofa. Next set ten as the most discomfort ever felt—a migraine that goes on for days. Then fill in between. Seven is abdominal surgery; four a sprained ankle and so on. When I feel hunger, I relate it to that scale. In that perspective, I decide how uncomfortable I am. Facing that type of discomfort, my hunger seems insignificant and hardly registers on the scale. Now, that I really can handle.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Beck Book - Day 11

Differentiate Between Hunger, Desire and Cravings

This is very timely for me. For the last dozen years or so, I have had a difficult time in September. Several significant events and losses have happened in September. The easiest way to deny those feelings of grief is to replace them with something that feels good or, as in my case, something that tastes good. For some reason I drown my grief in anything that tastes good and the higher the calories the better.

As in the opening chapters of the book, I was struck by the thought that there is a difference between hunger and a desire to eat. Now to realize that just because I crave something does not mean I have to eat it. It may seem like a simple concept to some—namely my husband who doesn’t struggle with food as I do—but to me it is like a lightening bolt strikes my heart.

I spent the last few days studying my own responses to “hunger” stimuli. Every hour I would listen to my body and see if I was hungry. When I began to think about food, I stopped and thought about if it was true hunger or desire or a craving. The book describes the physical sensations of each. A desire to eat may be simply that there is a cookie sitting on a plate and you reach out to eat one. You may not be physically hungry, but it is there and it is socially acceptable to eat what is offered. The same desire as having a second serving at a meal, before my body can send the brain the signal that I am full. A craving, which is what I deal with most, is a strong physical response in the mouth throat of body, a yearning for a specific food. That specific food, such as ice cream, is what I want and nothing else will fill the need. True hunger happens when I have not eaten in some time and have an empty sensation with a rumbling stomach. When I am truly hungry, I don’t have one single food that will satisfy, it could be a variety of foods.

For so many years I have been confusing a desire to eat or a craving for actual hunger. How sad that it has taken me so long to learn to listen to my body and discover what it is that it is trying to tell me. Today I have a desire to eat. It doesn’t matter what it is, I just want to get rid of the empty feeling in the pit of my stomach. It is not hunger, it is grief. I can recognize that today. I can understand it. I can move on to something else to help me deal with that grief, something other than food.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Beck Book - Day 10

Set a Realistic Goal

The goal I set can be motivating or overwhelming. The Beck Diet Solution recommends setting a series of 5 pound mini goals as opposed to one ultimate goal. With each five pounds lost one celebrates and sets a new goal to lose five more pounds. For me that is overwhelming. I tend to look ahead and count how many of those goals I have to go. I chose my goal based on the weight I was when I was married. I also understood that I may change that goal up or down depending on how I felt along the way. I was never overwhelmed by how much I needed to lose, but that is my personality. The bigger the challenge, the more I like it.

I do celebrate the little accomplishments along the way. I do not necessarily relate them to the weight I have lost, but to how I am staying to my plan. I base them on if I ate what I said I was going to eat, if I exercised or took the day off, if I did something to care for myself each day. If I base my rewards only on how much I lose, I am afraid that when I get to goal I will stop taking good care of myself.

That being said, I do plan to reward myself with something I don’t need. Yes, I will get a new wardrobe, but I will need that. I haven’t decided between a tattoo, diamond earrings or something else. I am open to suggestions.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Beck Book - Day 9

Select an Exercise Plan

This was easy for me. One of the reasons I really wanted to lose weight was to exercise comfortably again. I love to exercise. I love the endorphins that a hard sweat gives you and the feeling that carries throughout the day. Before Medifast, I tried to lose weight by exercising and not changing how I ate. In 6 months, I lost about 5 pounds even with working out 1-2 hours 5-6 days a week. It wasn’t working, so I made the choice to change my eating habits. The first 3 weeks on Medifast, I followed the guidelines and did not exercise other than a couple of short walks with the dogs. In the fourth week, I started walking and adding some workouts at the gym. Before too long I started the C25K program. That was what I wanted most in exercise. I wanted to run again. In the early’90s I ran often and was up to about 25 miles a week. Once I stopped running and didn’t change how I was eating, the weight started coming on and didn’t stop.
  1. Probably the biggest reason I exercise is to relieve stress. Exercise releases chemicals in the brain which give us a feeling of well-being. That eases the way I deal with everyday stresses of life. I feel better both physiologically and psychologically when I exercise. I am more comfortable in my own skin when I exercise. My joints don’t ache as much and there is less stiffness. I am more confident, more cheerful and more patient when I exercise. I can let things go when I am working out. I think about one thing and one thing only. It allows me to really focus.
  2. I am also very competitive. I like seeing if I can win or better my own times. I love putting on a race number and seeing my statistics printed out. It makes me accountable to keep training.
  3. I want to age gracefully. When I am old, I want to be able to enjoy life to its fullest. I don’t want to be one of the seniors that I care for; I want to be out and doing. The best way I know to do that is to start now. One of the best ways to care for my brain is aerobic exercise. Getting the oxygen and blood flowing through the brain encourages it to remain strong and decreases the risk of short term memory loss. That is reason enough for me.
  4. One last reason I exercise is those little indulgences. Not right now as I am staying true to my diet plan, but in the future. I want to have the opportunity to have a dish of ice cream on occasion without worrying that my weight will go back up. For that I choose to exercise.
There are many ways I do bits and pieces of spontaneous exercise during the day. I have never been one to park close to the store; I’d rather park a ways and walk. I love that my house has stairs and I go up and down them often. I don’t try to carry a big load of laundry around I take a few pieces and put them away and then go back for more. The little things do add up, but I really love my planned outings specifically for exercise. There is no better part to my day than to tie my running shoes and head off into the neighborhood for a bit of solitude.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Beck Book - Day 8

Create Time and Energy

It is time to decide what sacrifices I am willing to make for dieting. It is time to look at the daily activities of my life and prioritize. To succeed I must create time for planning and implementing my diet plan. I need to set an appointment with myself to create a milieu conducive to achieving my goal. If I do not set the time to plan, I will fail and that is not an option. Since failure is not an option, I need to choose which of my activities are put aside so that I can focus on my goal. Since I started Medifast, my pleasure reading has decreased dramatically. I hadn’t even realized how much until I began to think about what sacrifices I have made. Typically, I read 1-2 novels weekly. In the last 16 weeks, I have read one novel. I have spent more time planning my own meals and adding special items to the weekly shopping list. I have spent an amazing amount of time on My Medifast learning and seeking ideas and options. These things have kept me focused and motivated to lose weight. I feel like I have others looking to me as an example and I cannot let them down. Someday, I will get back to reading something other than The Beck Diet Solution and books on running. In the meantime, I am more than willing to sacrifice those hours of relaxation with a good book for hours of exhilaration that comes with running.

Monday, September 01, 2008

The Couch to 5K Works!

I headed out the door 10 weeks ago with great trepidation. I had stopped running in 1993 following a 15K race with a sore knee. Last fall I had tried getting started again, but the same knee became sore very quickly. Once I had lost 20 pounds with Medifast, I thought, “Okay, I’ll try it again.” The Marvelous Mayflowers talked about the C25K being such a great program and the accompanying podcasts being very helpful. I decided I didn’t have anything to loose. I worked my way through each of the 9 weeks with my confidence and enthusiasm growing. I had to hold myself back so I wouldn’t do too much too fast.

Now I am a runner again. This morning I did my favorite race that I haven’t run since 1992. The Wildwood Trail Trial is a point to point run on a wooded path. Runners start every 2 minutes over the course of 3 hours. I only saw a few runners the whole time. It is a peaceful challenge more with myself than others. My goal was to run half and walk half and finish in less than 90 minutes. I finished in 1:15:25. I only walked about .75 miles of it, most of that on the last hill to the finish and in several rocky areas. I am so proud of myself for sticking to my plan of running easy and not forcing any speed. I am a RUNNER. I am an ATHLETE.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Beck Book - Day 7

Arrange Your Environment

Out of Sight, Out of Mind. When I set something aside to do later, it tends gets buried under other things. Before long I have forgotten about it. Hopefully, I don’t do that with too many bills. But the fact is that when I don’t see something, I forget I needed to do it or wanted it. The same goes with food. Previously, if I put cookies on the top shelf, I would forget about them--unfortunately, not until I had eaten most of them. After a while, I would ask my DH to hide the candy or cookies from me. Then we would both forget about it. I need to learn a couple of lessons. One: I need to control my response to food. To help myself succeed at that I need to put those foods that are not healthy for me out of sight. Placing healthy foods in plain sight will help me remember to partake of those and in turn succeed getting to my goal.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Beck Book - Day 6

Find a Diet Coach

Diet Coach = Support. A diet coach will be there for me when I have trouble being there for myself. A diet coach will keep me on target.

I am blessed amazing support. My husband has supported me every step of the way. He isn’t effusive with praise or advice. He will offer advice or direction when asked, but doesn’t offer it. I can talk about an issue or a problem and he doesn’t try to fix it. A lesson learned over the years. When I am told what I should do, I tend to do the opposite. I also have fantastic support from two of my sisters. Although both were skeptical of Medifast, they supported my decision. During my journey, they have cheered for me and with me. I know that I can tell them anything and they will not judge me. If I am headed down the wrong path, they will “speak the truth in love.” (Ephesians 4:13) If they are pleased with an outcome, they will not hesitate to say that.

The last few days, I have wondered if that support is enough. As I get closer to my goal and look toward transitioning my diet, I wondered if I needed more support with the knowledge of Medifast and the nuances of transition and maintenance. I came to the conclusion that having a diet coach could really offer me the support I need with the niggling questions that arise. I decided that having someone other than family could be very helpful in the days ahead. So, now I have an “official” diet coach, in additions to the amazing support I receive from those I love.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hanging with the Sisters!

Beck Book - Day 5

Eat Slowly and Mindfully

I don’t know why it is, but I am really resistant to eating slowly. Every time I hear that my brain shuts down and says, “Yada, yada yada, whatever.” In sitting back and thinking about why that is I have come to a couple of conclusions. The first is growing up in a big family. As the 6th of 7 kids, you ate fast or you didn’t eat. I had two older brothers that loved to eat. If they got the dishes first, you could be in trouble. And they had better not want seconds before you did or you were out of luck. I think I learned to eat fast as self preservation. Changing those learned behaviors is difficult, but not impossible. Secondly, I am always thinking about what I need to do next. It is no different when I eat. I am either doing something or thinking about doing something. So eating quickly gets me on to the next task I want to accomplish.

The third conclusion I came to makes no sense in a logical way. However, it makes great sense to my deluded thinking. Here goes: Eating too much is BAD; therefore, eating is BAD. When I eat really fast I am BAD for a shorter amount of time before I can be good again. Whew! Even writing that down is weird. This kind of thinking is what sent me into clinical depression nearly 15 years ago. These thinking patterns are formed for illogical and emotional purposes and follow us into every aspect of our lives. Hopefully, by recognizing the flaw in the reasoning, I can change my thinking.

I just sit here looking at what I have written and it strikes me how many areas of my life have been affected by past experiences. Even how I eat is affected by a situation that had nothing to do with food, but changed my psyche to believe that I was bad and needed to do everything I could to be good. How sad to live my life like that. How sad to waste years believing that. It is time to change my attitude about eating. Eating is a good and healthy thing. If I eat too much, I am not bad. My next meal is in 30 minutes. I will sit down with no distractions and eat slowly and mindfully. With each bite, I will remind myself that eating is good and healthy. I will give myself credit for each bite I think enjoy. I will do this every meal until it becomes second nature and I do not have to consciously think about it anymore.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Beck Book - Day 4

Give Yourself Credit

When I was in Junior High, I was very sensitive about being a “good” person. I tried to be the perfect Christian, daughter, friend. Basically, I felt if I wasn’t perfect it wasn’t worth it. To help myself feel better, I would give myself credit for little things that I did do. One morning, I walked into our Sunday school room and on the black board was written, “Juanita is a braggart.” I knew who had written it from the handwriting and I never took much of what she said about me to heart, but this was a crushing blow. I didn’t think I bragged about myself, but apparently she did. From that day forward, anytime I gave myself credit for accomplishing something, I felt guilty. After all, I was a braggart.

Fortunately, over the years, I have passed that strong guilt. However, sometimes it still creeps into my mind and causes me to doubt myself. I always wondered at what point does being proud of myself for accomplishing something and sharing it become bragging. I figure that bragging has an arrogance to it that reveling in one’s accomplishments doesn’t have. Bragging to me is taunting—saying, “Look what I did and you can’t do it!”

So, starting today, I will give myself credit for the things I accomplish without guilt. I will allow myself to feel pride when I finish what I set out to do. Not because I think someone else cannot, but because I did. By giving myself credit, I will build my self confidence and reinforce my self control. Each time I tell myself that I did a good job, I remind myself that I can achieve my goals. This type of positive self talk is not new to me; I have practiced it in the past and have improved. It is easy to get out of the habit though and revert back to chiding myself for not doing something perfect.

I need to remind myself to congratulate myself like I would a friend. When a friend has a rocky spot, I don’t say, “That was stupid. You can’t do anything right.” Yet that is how I treat myself. Instead, I would tell my friend, “Okay, so you stumbled. You can do this. Learn from it, get back up and try again.” I am kind to a friend and I need to be as kind to myself. When a friend does something great, I would give them a hug and tell them how proud I was of the accomplishment. I must realize that it is important to do the same for myself. I need to practice it until it is automatic. I need to keep doing it until it happens without me realizing that I gave myself credit. Doing this will not only make dieting and maintenance easier, it will make everyday life easier. I will be willing to try something new, because I won’t degrade myself if I am not perfect. I can do this and I will do this. Right now, I give myself credit for taking the time to write out my thoughts and share them with others. There—that wasn’t so hard.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Beck Book - Day 3

Eat Sitting Down

This is a tough one for my life. I am often feeding others while I eat my meals. I walk from one person to another and eat as I am going between. I get interrupted when having snack when someone needs assistance in some way. At first, I thought I can’t do this; I need to find another way. But, as I read further, I realized the difference it could make in the long term. I began to understand why it is so important to make the change to always sitting every time I eat. The reason behind this is to become more aware of everything I put in my mouth.

Think about all the opportunities I have to eat standing up. There are samples in the grocery store, snacking while cooking, parties, etc. That is a lot of opportunity to put calories in my mouth without being mindful of what I am actually eating. BLTs (bites, licks, tastes) happen most when I am standing. What I am learning is that it all matters. Every BLT has calories and the potential to sabotage my success.

Normally when I eat standing up it is impulsive eating. “Just one quick bite and then I will do something else.” It never occurred to me before that this thought process sabotaged my efforts at losing weight. When I eat sitting down, it signifies to me that I am planning to eat and I have a plan about what I am going to eat. Sitting during eating implies that I made a choice to eat. Seeing the food spread in front of me gives a satisfaction of seeing what I am about to eat and in turn I feel more satisfied. If I am standing as I eat, I do not see the amount of food I am eating and do not feel as satisfied as I do not feel I have eaten as much even if I have eaten the same amount or more.

By making this a lifelong habit, I can continue to be aware of what I am eating and not add extra calories in here and there. This is one more step on the journey to mindful eating. I will always need to be aware of how I fuel my body or I will be back where I started.

I will work on making it a habit to sit down every time I eat. When I am walking through Costco and the samples are on every side, I will have to think before I try one. I will need to decide if I really want to have the bite and where am I going to sit to eat it. That may seem far fetched, but the more I consider it, the more I believe that this is an important step in changing my attitude toward food for my lifetime.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Beck Book - Day 2

Choosing a Diet

My therapist of several years and I discussed the idea that I was ready to lose weight and that I was ready to maintain it after the loss. We discussed my mindset during the weight loss phase, but more importantly about how I would view myself after I had gotten to my goal. So many people lose weight and when they get to the goal, they are not sure how to view themselves as thin and cannot maintain the weight. Before I began to diet, I needed to set my mind to a healthy attitude and body image. I needed to understand that how I related to myself and those around me would change. This was a new concept. After all, I am who I am, how would being thinner change my core self. I am so glad that he really opened my eyes to the concept. I have not arrived at my goal, but already I am a different person. My thinking has changed about myself and my ability to succeed. My attitude toward food is different. And I really am relating to others differently. I do not feel as though I am less worthy of attention or blessing. I am so grateful to him for preparing me for some of the changes I would face. I haven’t had an appointment since I started Medifast. I see him next week and he doesn’t know that I have even started a diet. I made this appointment for two reasons. First, I am getting close to my goal and I need to further prepare myself for transition and maintenance. Second, I want him to be proud of me for what I have already accomplished.

Specific diets weren’t discussed, but several were mentioned in passing during our session. Let me share some of the reasons I choose Medifast over other diets. I wanted something that didn’t offer me a lot of confusing choices. I needed something simple. I don’t have the focus or time to plan for weeks at a time and study everything I put in my mouth. I had success a few years ago losing some weight by eating three smaller meals a day with 2 snacks. I enjoyed that because I never felt hungry. There were two coworkers about 5 years ago that were on Medifast. Both lost a significant amount of weight in a short time. At the time, I thought it was a poor choice with the very low calories and few choices for food. After further research into Medifast, I realized it is a well balanced, sound diet plan even with the very low calories. I decided that it was the diet that would help me succeed. And it has, far beyond my wildest expectations!

On a side not, the one coworker I saw recently had regained the weight and more. It is a scary thought to me, but I will learn from her. She did not follow the transition guide and slowly reintroduce other foods into her diet. When she reached her goal, she was done with “dieting” and went back to her previous eating habits. I believe that following the transition and maintenance guide is crucial to success.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Beck Book - Day 1

Advantage Response Card (ARC)

Now is the time to put into words why am I doing taking this journey into weight loss. Time to explain to myself why I want to make a change. List the reasons that I want to lose weight—the reasons I want to be thin. The list may be long or short. It may not make sense to everyone. It is my list and my motivations. By creating a list of my reasons and motivations, I remind myself why I am doing this. Not for others, but for myself. I will read these at least twice daily. I will post them where I cannot go through my daily routine without seeing them. These are the reasons I am traveling this path.

  1. To Honor God in ALL that I do—I am not honoring Him with my choices, with my body. I am a glutton and I will change that.
  2. To be in control of myself and my actions—By controlling myself, I give God the glory for the blessings He has given me. This way others can see a change in me and I can share the true reason that I can change.
  3. To be comfortable with myself and doing the things I enjoy—I love to sit on the floor; I love to play with my dogs and my nieces and nephews. I love to be outdoors and active. Being thin will allow me to do those things I love and be comfortable doing them.
  4. To feel confident & less inhibited about doing every day activities and trying new things—I will not allow myself to not do something because of my weight.
  5. To recognize my own success—I want to succeed. I want to be able to look at myself and be proud of what I accomplished.
  6. To age healthy and enjoy it—In caring for seniors, I see the worst that can happen. I want better for myself. Being at a healthy weight can help make that happen.
  7. To feel pretty—Maybe it is shallow, but I want to feel pretty. I want to look in the mirror and be happy with what I see.

My list of reasons may grow and change, but for now this is it. These are the reasons I have made the choice to lose weight. And these are the reasons I will succeed.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Beck Diet Solution

I started reading the Beck Diet Solution yesterday and want to share what I learn along the journey. This will help me be accountable to myself and to others. And just maybe it will inspire someone else in their weight loss journey. The Beck Book is based on changing one's congnitive behavior to make a lasting change. In this case making a mindset change to lose and maintain weight loss.

The Opening Chapters

There are two muscles to exercise—the resistance muscle and the giving-in muscle. As with all muscles the one I exercise most becomes the strongest. Each time I resist I prepare myself to resist more easily the next time. Each time I give in I make it easier to give in the next time. To learn to maintain my weight I must continue to exercise my resistance muscles. The stronger they become throughout the weight loss process, the better I will be able to resist temptation and regain the weight.

When moving from a trigger to eating, there are 4 steps. First is the trigger—what is it that causes me to want to eat. Then is the thought—that looks good or I really want that. Next is the decision—do I eat it or not. Last is the act that results from the decision. In every encounter, there is a decision. In every encounter, there is a choice. That is the moment that control happens. That decision is mine and mine alone. No one can make the choice for me. A choice must be made before the action. The action in turn strengthens either my resistance muscle or my giving-in muscle. The decision is mine.

A brand new concept for me—there is a difference between actual hunger and a desire to eat. Huh? Not really, if I want to eat, I must be hungry, right? No. Just because I want to eat does not mean I am hungry. Again I can make a choice to eat or not to eat. I just need to listen to my body and decide if the feeling is actual hunger or another need that I am trying to fill. Then choose accordingly.

Over and over it is reiterated that it is a choice. The decisions I make will define me in the long term. The decisions I make at this moment will define my success in maintaining my weight loss. This is an amazing journey, but I do not want to travel this road again.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tears of Joy!

I thought I would scream or shout or laugh, but I didn't. I stood in the bright florescent lights of the dressing room with my hand over my mouth and cried. I have started taking a size smaller than I think I can possible fit into with me to the dressing room. Today I really didn't want to try that size on first, but I told myself that it was for motivation. I hadn't bought an new pair of jeans since June and was excited then to get into a 12. I did it I tried on the smaller size and proceeded to cry tears of joy. Today, I bought a size 6. To be honest, they are a tad tight--slight muffin top, you know. I did try the 8, but they were really too big. I also bought what I really went to the store to get--workout shorts--in a small.

I, who am notorious for starting something and not finishing, am finishing what I set out to do and succeeding at it. I have made conscious decisions to go off plan on vacations or special events. But I thought through the consequenses of each decision and how I was going to get back On Plan. Letting myself be flexible has been key for me. When I say "I can't do that," I want toeven more. If I say "I can if I really want to," I can let it go. I have learned so much about myself and will continue to learn as I get to goal and move into transition and maintenence. I do know above all is that I did not do this alone. God blessed me with the grace to see this through. And He blessed me with angels to help me along the way--friends and family.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Day 100

It has been a while since I have blogged about my weight loss. I started with a team and some challenges so I got busy on the discussion boards. But today is special. Today I have been doing Medifast for 100 days. I don't know what I expected, but it has been a great experience. One hundred days ago, I was tired and discouraged. I thought I would never lose the weight and so I wasn't even sure I wanted to try. But I am so glad I tried one more thing and that the one thing was MF. I have lost more than 40 pounds! But even better I feel fantastic and have hope. My confidence has increased to where I feel comfortable doing things that I was self conscious about before. I danced at my niece’s wedding without concern of what I looked like or what other thought of me. I laugh at my self more easily. I now know that I can finish what I start not only with dieting, but in transitioning and maintaining. I know that I can do anything I set my mind to do. I feel comfortable with myself, who I am and how I look again. I am ready to take on the world in so many ways again. Being thin is so much better now than it was when I was young as I have the wisdom and experience to go with it. This hasn’t been just a diet; this is a change to my mindset and attitude about food. I hated the saying “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.” Now I agree with it. I am now headed into the home stretch and I am nervous that the last pounds won’t come off as quickly as the first. However, I know that I will not stop until I get to goal. I know that I will be one of the 5% that keep off the weight!.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Misc. California Trip

Jeff is always open to smores--even raw ones. All the fire rings were taken--what's a guy to do...

Pen Pals--Rachel & Me

Sarah had made arrangements for a little pampering. The flower girl loved the pedicure and manicure. The Mother of the Bride enjoyed it, too. It's just that she's sensitive about getting her feet touched. At least she didn't kick the technician. It was fun to watch her turn red and laugh.

Jeff & I took a little time out for a date on Friday evening. We played a round of Mini Golf, had dinner and took a walk in the hills. Jeff did get a Hole-in-One on that shot throught the skull's mouth.

The last night we went up in the hills around Janelle and Ralph's and watched the sunset.

A Day at the Beach

The day after the wedding we headed to the beach in the afternoon. Janelle & I enjoyed a walk in the surf and watching all the others play in the water. Mary helped Rachel boogie board after taking a few rides on her own. Jacob had a ball riding the waves. The next day he spent his own money on a board for himself.

Jeff rode a custom beach bike made by Janelle's nephew--Troy and Sylvia's son.

All in all, a very good day!

Sarah's Wedding

Something OLD--Mom's wedding set

The day Dad was waiting for--watching Ralph give away one of his girls...

Jacob escorted his mom down the aisle

Best Cousins

Janelle & her girls

The happy couple

Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 18, 2008

Getting Weary

Galations 6:8-9 (NKJV)
For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

This has been on my mind this morning--getting weary in well doing. It is easy to do. I eat OP. I exercise. I focus on doing right. And though I am seeing amazing results, I still want more faster. Our society is so accustomed to instant gratification and I am cought in that web. I want to lose this weight and I want it gone NOW!

It is a daily reminder to "be still" and know that HE is God. He will decide how quickly or slowly I lose the weight. He is in control of all. All I need to do is follow His plan. The doubts arise and attack from all sides. But they are not from God. Our God is the God of hope. He wants us to have joy and peace in all we do to glorify Him--even losing weight.

Romans 15:13 (NKJV)
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sentimental Clothing

I am melancholy this evening. I cleaned out my closet today. I decided that I would not keep anything that was too big. No going back. No fall back position. It is amazing how sentimental I am about some clothes. Sometimes it is about where I wore it or who made it.

In getting rid of my work suits, it was a changing of me. I dont' work in a professional environment any more. I don't go out to an office and offer advice and support to senior citizens. Instead of suits and heels, I wear t-shirts and jeans. I don't get out of my pajamas until all my residents are up and dressed as I never know what I will have to do. I miss seeing other professionals, but this is the best thing I have done in my career.

Some clothes are going to Goodwill. Many of those belonged to my mother. After she died, I needed clothes and my sisters told me to take some of hers. Now they are too big so they go. I look at each item and remember her wearing it. Mom would be so proud of me and she would want me to let them go.

On a positive note, even clothes I have never worn because they were "just a little tight an I will get into them" are gone. To big already. Other dresses that haven't been worn in years fit perfectly. Some of them are even still in style--maybe back in style...

Monday, July 07, 2008

Ranch Hills Golf Course

Today's trip was for a round of golf. We played at a course in Mulino which we found last week. It is a beautiful course with rolling hills and several small areas with plantings of flowers. I forgot my camera, but the cell phone works in a pinch. These pictures are of the only utilitarian covered bridge on a golf course west of the Mississippi.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Success & Failure

I am incredibly cranky tonight. All I can think about is eating a chewy, gooey warm chocolate chip cookie. But, no, I am drinking my Dutch Chocolate Shake. Although good, it just doesn't compare.

I am trying to think why I am feeling this way. The only thing that occurs to me is that I am succeeding. It's about the time I start sabotaging myself. Seriously, I have stayed OP for longer than I have ever stayed on a diet before and I am starting to run again. Satan doesn't want me to succeed. When I succeed, I give God the glory for it. Therefore if I fail, Satan takes pleasure that God isn't glorified.

So, I am not going to eat a cookie. I AM going to stay on plan because it is right and because God deserves the praise. And I will praise him for all the success of my struggles weight loss or not.

Unanticipated Benefits

  1. Clear, smooth skin from drinking so much water and eating healthier. I had to change my facial cleanser to something that wasn't specifically for acne!
  2. Stronger fingernails. I actually bought polish today. I still keep them really short, but they look so nice now!
  3. Rings fit better--except the two I always wear which are no too big. My wedding ring is just about to slip off and my mom's Mother's Ring is now on my middle finger.
  4. Shoes fit better. I had not even thought that this was possible, but it is happening! Shoes that are in my closet that I couldn't wear anymore fit.
  5. I don't feel guilty! I don't feel guilty for not eating what is fixed and I don't feel guilty for spending this kind of money on my food. I really thought I would. (I would if I weren't staying following the plan all the time!)
I am sure I will find more to list as time passes, but it is nice to get a few surprises beyond what I had even expected!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 4th!

Happy Independence Day! DH & I were just in DC and I read the constitution from the original document. What an amazing feeling! I am so grateful to our founding fathers for the sacrifices they made for my freedom. That being said I am also incredibly grateful for the men and women that continue to insure our freedom both by being in the service and having someone they love in the service.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Sauvie Island Hike

We headed out on Monday for a hike. We'd done this one a few years ago and enjoyed a wide paththrough the woods on Sauvie Island until it opened up with a view of a lighthouse and the Columbia River. Well, apparently, the path is not maintained. We were able to walk part of the way on the beach, but then moved inland where the path was overgrown with blackberry bushes and grasses. The mosquitos drove us back to the beach and on down the road to home. As always, we did enjoy the time spent together and the sunshine, but we won't do that one again...

Above: Jeff breaking trail between sneezes from the grasses.
Below: Juanita making her way through the brush.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

I Cooked?!

Background: I don't cook. Seriously, I don't. In 1991, DH started cooking and has done all the cooking since. He is very good and loves to try some new things. Seriously, he even makes my L&G for me. He is incredible!

On to my point--I cooked today! I have been reading about the different ways others on Medifast are preparing the foods and started thinking that maybe I would try it sometime. For lunch today I cooked my MF scrambled eggs on the stovetop with a few fresh mushrooms, Smart Balance and Cajun seasonings. Wow! It was great. I already liked the eggs, but this was even better. I may never cook again, but today it was fun!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Angel's Rest

I thought I would post about something other than weight loss for once! For those of you waiting--the slide shows of our trip to DC are coming. We had a great time and enjoyed the break!

This last Thursday we headed back out to one of my very favorite place to hike in the Columbia Gorge--Angel's Rest. It is 2.3 miles to the top with a 1,500 foot elevation gain. It is steep, but the view from the top is so worth the effort. The clouds hadn't cleared when we started up, but when we broke through the trees the sky was clear blue. It was wonderful to just sit quietly and enjoy God's creation.

Above: Jeff looking over the Columbia river with I84 in the down below.
Below: Juanita standing on a rock formation just before the end of the trail.