Thursday, March 31, 2011

Just another typical Wednesday!

Yesterday - 3:45 pm - hectic and run run run was on the agenda. A very important package had to go out - would I make it in time? Thought I had another day, but nope - always last minute stuff happens at work - just the way it goes. I thought I had time to make the 5 pm drop off, but nope - had trouble with the address, the package has to be at its destination by 2 pm Thursday and well, my office is trying to cut back on costs, so forget the overnight delivery option - let's try the next cheapest way. 4:10 pm - will I make it in time - 4:22 pm - nope, you missed the truck by 2 minutes - try to catch him at his 4:45 "coffee break" stop. What - I don't have time for this - I have to do this and that.......the pursuit to find the UPS guy was on. I headed down the 3 mile stretch and hoped to see a truck or two - I might get lucky. Yep - caught him. Now to run to pick up my son - would I make it in time for my 5 pm Scout meeting? 30 minutes to go to one town and back again - no stress - I can do this - take a sip of water - you will be fine. The great part, I didn't feel stressed - life is so good right now.

5 pm- Made it - Scout meeting - tour of the library. This was nice - time for someone else to do the leading and a time for the boys to listen to someone else. Stuck around too long making sure parents were ready for the next meeting, answered questions, dealt with Day Camp issues....oh, my son did get a new book he wanted to check out, he read it all the way home - I love when kids like to read.....

But wait - what's this....what do you mean your Mission report is due on Monday - it can't be? I thought we had until April 15th. OMG - how are we going to get it done in time?? We worked for two hours - got most of it done and so glad that he had his outline worked out for it - looking good - pictures were ordered online, gotta love the internet....pick those up today - will try to leave work early - can we get it done? Yes, have to get it done tonight because, well, he goes to his father's this weekend, and well, been there, done that and it never works (believe me I have tried). Again, I don't feel stressed - its all good. My son worked really hard last night and is proud of what he has accomplished so far. Thank goodness I remembered the date of when the actual building is due - I have three weeks left on that.....

OK - back to the rest of my day and my latest challenge with food......

6:30 pm - home for dinner and homework. What's that - what do you want for dinner?
Hamburger Helper??!!               Mexican <em>Hamburger Helper Cheesy Enchilada</em> 7.5 Oz          OH NO - This is my all time favorite meal. I know, it isn't any good for you and it is high in calories. But, it is just so yummy. Many have never had it - can't even contemplate why you need some noodles (or rice) with a pre-packaged flavored bag to help spice up hamburger - but I love it. What about chicken - nope - and forget the Tuna Helper - that is just wrong. Ground Turkey - that saves on calories and is wcheaper right now. This would be the first time in over 3 months (maybe even 4) that I have even had this box in my house. I had a weakness the other day while grocery shopping and allowed my son to pick out a few things for himself. Two boxes of Hamburger Helped ended up coming home. Let me just tell you this - I have been known to eat almost all of it in one night. Yes, another bit of secret shhhhhhh information don't tell anyone kind of secret that I am letting go. I love the cheesy enchilada rice oh so high in calories Hamburger Helper. I always love to wrap the mixture into a flour tortilla and then I wrap a second one - way too much food. Oh, don't forget the vegetable - it will seem like a balanced meal, right. This is where my weakness comes into play. After the dishes are clean, the light goes off in the kitchen, the little one is in bed, then there is this sound that comes into my head. I really do believe it is coming directly from the refrigerator, but Mer has told me that food doesn't talk. Just about 9 pm I will find myself sitting watching TV or working on a project at my desk into the late hours - the food is talking to me - it is cool now, maybe I can heat it up, just a little treat - it will be ok - I ate a few hours ago, one little bite won't do any harm. Right? Nope - one bite becomes two, then three, then it is all gone - where are my left overs for lunch the next day - its all gone- you blew it - what the heck ?!!

Well - not this time. Not ever again!!!!! I was going to meet this challenge head on. I am going to fight off the brain waves, the urge to have it, this little bit of heavenly treat for me will have to go by the wayside. If I can beat this challenge, then I am ready for anything. My meal - left over fish from our BBQ the other night, added a salad, some rice and a bit more of vegetables. Rounded out the meal with a nice glass of milk. Yum. And you know what - I did it. I successfully did not take one bite of that Helper. I cleaned the pot, put it away and was glad that it made it into the refrigerator without a spoon to mouth for me.

But, wait - what's this - I have to work late tonight on stuff at my desk. Oh, no - the computer is moving slow. 10 pm - 10:30 pm - then 11 pm - all of the sudden - oh, yeah - that's right - you don't eat late anymore.  Another hour of work to do - so I reached for a low fat yogurt treat and it did just the trick. That Helper is still in the refrigerator this morning - untouched by me - ready for the little one to have for tonight (if he will have it) and if he leaves for the weekend with it still in the refrig, then - oh - no - gasp - it will hit the trash - because I will not allow this to control me. Food is power, but food does not have power over me!!!!

Just another typical Wednesday - keeping fingers crossed that my UPS package makes it to its destination today and that I don't have to travel to the Bay Area with a copy.....and what about that Mission report - oh, no - another Scout meeting......just another typical Thursday.....have a GREAT DAY!!!!!

Staying MOtivated

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I hit the plateau & I want to get off!

I have been sitting steady at a 15 pound loss so far and I have been here for the past month! I am tired of it! So I did a little bit of research and found that in order for me to continue losing I will have to increase activity and decrease calories. 
This information came directly from the Mayo Clinic-

How can you overcome a weight-loss plateau?

If you're at a plateau, you may have lost all of the weight you will given the number of calories you're eating each day and the time you spend exercising. At this point, you need to ask yourself if you're satisfied with your current weight or if you want to lose more, in which case you'll need to adjust your weight-loss program. If you're committed to losing more weight, try these tips for getting past the plateau:
  • Reassess your habits. Look back at your food and activity records. Make sure you haven't loosened the rules, letting yourself get by with larger portions or less exercise.
  • Cut more calories. Reduce your daily calorie intake by 200 calories — provided this doesn't put you below 1,200 calories. Fewer than 1,200 calories a day may not be enough to keep you from feeling hungry all of the time, which increases your risk of overeating.
  • Rev up your workout. Increase the amount of time you exercise by an additional 15 to 30 minutes. You might also try increasing the intensity of your exercise, if you feel that's possible. Additional exercise will cause you to burn more calories.
  • Pack more activity into your day. Think outside the gym. Increase your general physical activity throughout the day by walking more and using your car less, or try doing more yardwork or vigorous spring cleaning.
So, time to portion it down to the right size and keep on moving! I will need to go back to the planning board to make some changes and I will need to carry my crosstrainers in the car so that I can take an extra walk at the end of my day is my plan right now. I will change in the office and go for a run-walk for an extra 20 minutes. Then, hop in the car to get my son at daycare. 
I can do this! 
I know I can! 
You can too!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Helpful Rules...

Good Housekeeping has Dr. Oz on the front cover and of course touts that you can lose 10 pounds in 4 weeks.
He has a good plan and flavorful eating Mediterrean style.
Here are the rules that I found most helpful-
Rule #1- Renew your vows daily- I do it once a week and needed to step it up by doing it daily.
"I am going to follow my plan for the next 24 hours."
Rule #2- Do something completely Different Everyday- it helps shake up your old habits and patterns of emotional eating.  Being mindful is the key.
Rule #3- Set your kitchen on automatic- arrange your kitchen and pantry so the only choices are the good ones!
Rule #4- Keep your belly full- eat smaller meals throughout the day to boost your metabolism and keep you from binging because you waited too long to eat.
Rule #5- Extend the Burn- drink water at every meal since a German study has shown that 17 oz will increase the calorie blasting 24%. Drinking green tea will also get rid of the body fat.
Rule #6- Check out your portions- I have to do this all the time.  I am getting better, but better to check then not to.
Rule#7- Chill out- deal with the stress in your life! Take care of you!
Rule#8- Get enough sleep- 7-8 hours is what you need. Studies show that obesity and diabetes are associated with long term sleep deprivation.
Rule #9- When you blow it, start again- immediately start again. Learn from your mistakes and move forward.
Have a great week!

A new day - the journey continues.......

Well, Spring Break is over - the rain has finally stopped - the sun is shinning - heck, it is supposed to be 80 degrees here by Friday - guess the weather lady was right - skip right from Winter, over Spring and Summer here we come. I knew that Spring Break was over when I finally got a chance to look at my sons backpack for the first time two days ago (it had been with his father for the last 14 days). Well, in that backpack was a stack of Must Do work and Extra Credit work pages. We spent time on Sunday just trying to get a few pages done - family birthday celebration took up most of our Sunday, and well, it is hard to get a 10 year old to do all that work in such a short period of time. We will spend the next two nights trying to get the rest of it done. Yep - a new day - the journey continues.......

Not only is Spring Break over for the kids, but Spring Break is over for this Lady!!! I am glad to get back to the school routine. I missed it. I goofed off for the last 2 weeks. I slipped a few times, didn't really stay on track as well as I wanted. The scale showed me that, but I am not discouraged. I am not getting down on myself, but it would have been nice to have made some progress. What - what am I saying - I did make some progress. I am working out!! I have been getting up on a consistent basis and getting in my workouts. That is progress for me!! I am trying new workouts, still avoiding the soda, the fast food, the seconds and thirds at meal time and so much more. Yes, I had a second piece of birthday cake last night and the scale showed that this morning, but I am still motivated, I am getting healthy!! Even if I didn't like the number that flashed at me this morning I do feel good in my clothes and looking foward to what awaits me just around the corner!!

Yes, Spring Break is over  - lunches got made, both of us had a great nourished and balanced breakfast - I didn't feel rushed - I even read my paper from cover to cover (not a very big city paper, just enough news to catch up with the world)....

Oh - and for those of you that have been keeping up with my Lasik Surgery updates - I got good news last week. My eyes are healing nicely. The dry eye issue is getting better. It has been recommended that I do go in for a little "touch up" lasik soon. My doctor even called to set me up for a 30 day regiment on eye drops, but Day Camp duties are going to keep me busy, so hoping that June 24th will be the day. Keeping fingers crossed on that home front.

Things are going well. I feel empowered by getting "me" back !!! It has been a long journey, more of it to come and I look forward to how I am changing in such a good way!!! Can't believe that I waited so long, glad that my mind, soul and body are finally on the same path (together)!! Glad that I have tons of support!!! Glad that I am sharing, learning, taking this blog and so much more journey!!! 2011 is going to be a year of successes in more ways then I can count!!! Wishing everyone a wonderful week!!!!!!!!!!!

Staying MOtivated

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 60- Create a Stop Sign

From 100 days of Weight Loss by Linda Spangle

To use the "instead" list from head and heart hunger an instant reaction plan is needed. Spangle explains that it is the emergency countdown  plan for emotional hunger that you do before I do my list of "insteads." Her suggestions include- grabbing a piece of gum, taking a short walk, writing in your magic notebook. I think all of these are great suggestions and I would have them on my own list.
I would also add-

  • grabbing a sugar-free mint since I leave a pack on my desk already
  • having a cup of tea since that is easy for me to get 
  • get up and walk away
  • do relaxation breathing for a count of 10
I like that I already have these in place for myself. I find that I need it at work since that is where I tend to stress eat.
Spangle also suggest that when you are tempted to reach for food that you should pull out on of your stop signs and then, do the 3 things on your "instead" lists.  I have memorized my "instead" lists and now I can use them anywhere I am.
It is nice to see the day 60, but I have gotten to the point that the day really doesn't matter because even after the 100 days I will not quit on myself ever. Even though I struggled with my eating this week, I keep moving forward. I forgive myself more easily since I know I am not perfect. I am going to have moments of weakness. It was just one day this week where I was tired, frustrated and filled with anxiety so I ate cookies, but not as much as I use to. I use to stress eating a whole sleeve of Girl Scout cookies, but this time it was only 5 cookies before I stopped myself and did something on my "instead" list. Now, with the big red emergency stop sign I feel that I will be able to stop myself even before it starts.
What will be on your "emergency emotional stop sign"?

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Stop at the Grocery Store

It has been a busy week for this Single Gal!! Still Spring Break for my son and I don't get him back until tonight (woo hoo). Can't wait for Spring Break to be over with - and what is with all this rain. Drove into a small Hail Storm yesterday and now it is raining again. The ever trustworthy weatherman is saying we might get Sun and the 70's next week, but I will believe it when I see is. When they say that March Come In Like A Lion they are not kidding - hoping that April will Come In Like A Lamb...or how does that saying really go?? Did I get it right.........

Ok - Ok - so I am getting off track here...........

You see, there have been times in the past when I have had a FREE Mom Week or FREE Mom Weekend (sometimes it is a perk to have an ex) that I get the chance to enjoy a night out. I love to go out with the girls, but there were times that I just needed to have a night out with the grocery store. (Maybe I would find a nice looking guy in the milk section - yeah, right.........)

Friday afternoon - the work clock is about to hit 5 pm and this single girl has planned her evening and is excited about heading home, but wait - what am I doing for dinner? Let's stop for some "treats". A movie, maybe even a good magazine, but the grocery store was my escape. A good place to get a cheap and LARGE meal of take-out Chinese food, then proceed down the Frozen Food Aisle - you know the one - the Ice Cream. I have always been thrifty, so sometimes I would go back and forth as to what was cheaper - the 2 for $6.00 offer or should I just get the Ben & Jerry's pint?? And of course I had to make my way down the soda aisle - a large thing of Coke. Sometimes other things would fall into that basket too....chips, dip, another sweet treat for Saturday or Sunday, and what the heck, how about a pizza or other not really good for list of foods that I was going to eat before the sun came up on Monday morning. I was a "closet" eater. I would "hide" these food from my son. I don't force him to eat healthy, but I used to make sure that if there was a "treat" in the house that it was limited. I would endulge in the treats and not let him know that was the reason why I was not losing weight. I didn't want him to get into the same habits as I did. Oh, what was I doing. Wow - the memories are coming back.
Well, Wednesday night I had that moment, that memory. I had that Single Gal kind of Free Mom moment. I had a late night with my Parents Without Partners meeting and I was so proud of myself for not being tempted to get Pizza, as the meeting was at Round Table Pizza. Someone offered me a slice and another offered me Chicken Wings....I just drank my water with every intention to eat dinner at home. But, the meeting went so long and I was tired and I didn't want to cook - how about fast food - oh, it was so tempting - Sonic, Jack In the Box, Moo Moo's Hamburger Joint.....but, no, not that - how about the grocery store. Yep - that's the ticket - something good. A roasted chicken for the rest of the week, a thing of soup (because it was raining again)...the list went into my head. As I was crossing the parking lot it occured to me - "Remember when you used to do these evening trips to the grocery store and get the ice cream??" I so laughed out-loud. I wasn't tempted. I wasn't going to cave. I have been doing great. I am loving this new life for me. I am feeling charged, energized and just around the corner to feeling sexy again - I can do this!!!

I left the store with a bunch of bananas and two frozen healthy (actually pretty yummy) meals (one for lunch the next day). I was smart with my purchase and proud that I had a very successful shopping trip without a list and without the temptations all around me. This Gal is doing it - fully charged and ready to tackle that next memory, that next moment!!!

Keep it up - you can do it - I can do it!!!!

Staying MOtivated

Thursday, March 24, 2011


SMILE costs nothing, but gives much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it, and none is so poor but that he can be made rich by it.

A SMILE creates happiness in the home, fosters good will in business, and is the countersign of friendship. It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and it is nature's best antidote for trouble. Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away.

Some people are too tired to give you a SMILE. Give them yours, as none needs a SMILE so much as he who has no more to give.                       

Scribe - Richard Withers

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Calorie Calculator

A few years ago (4 to be exact) I was in a wedding. It was a Las Vegas destination wedding. The weekend was spectacular - I was celebrating with friends and celebrating my official date of my divorce. That was the last time I actually lost weight. Wow - Four years - WOW - 4 years ago I worked hard at making sure I looked good in that Bridesmaid dress. Most of my days consisted of a 30 minute workout, went for a 30 minute walk at lunch and sometimes hit the gym on the way home for several months. Once the wedding was over - I decided that I was done. I dropped close to 20 pounds. I can honestly say that it took about 2 years to gain back what I lost, but in this last year I put on about 10-15 more pounds beyond that. When I realized that I was not "maintaining" anymore it was time to find that motivation again.

It just makes me wonder - why didn't I keep going with that lifestyle? Was it the wedding that was my goal? Why did I need an "event" to reach a goal? Some of us look towards our next birthday, class reunion, family wedding - heck, even this year I am looking forward to being in front of over 300 people at Scout Camp to show off my new figure. But, that is not really why I am doing this - this time I am doing it for me. My health, my motivation, gaining confidence, climbing a rock wall, playing soccer for more then 5 minutes with my son, taking that 3 mile hike on a nice June day....the list goes on and on and on.

I was reminded yesterday of that wedding day and how much I "glowed" that weekend. I have been doing better, but when you have a week where work is Heck, Lemon is arguing about his child support (hasn't paid in 5 months) and well, "Eve" is visiting - yep, reaching for that glow would be nice. So - I hit the punching bag and did some Pilates last night, got up this morning and did another 30 minutes of light aerobics - needed it! I am getting me back - my motivation is there - now just have to reach for the "GLOW"

 Being reminded of that wedding event made me think of a favorite website -

The Calorie Calculator is great and helpful, too. I plan on putting it back into use again.  - It gives me the chance to see how many calories I am burning for over 222 activities. It's easy - you put in your weight and the time you did this activity and - presto, chango - they do the calculating for you. As my weight changes I will plug in the new number. If I up my exercise time (from say 30 to 45) then I will put in the new time - presto, chango - a new type of "burn". Now, I know that it just depends on how hard you really are working out and I don't really believe that I am working off calories as I sit at my desk, but I do feel like this is a good resource.

Give the site a shot - keep track of what you do for the week - it might give you extra motivation, or just keep you going to that next pound lost. They say it takes 3500 calories to make a pound, so burning 3500 calories will lose that pound. I look at it like this - if I want to lose an average of 2-3 pounds a week, I need to strive to burn 7000 to 10,500 a week in exercise and activity. It isn't that easy, but it does give you a number to reach for. Each week will depend - the shock to the system, what you are eating, how often you are eating - all of that plays a factor and I am sure you know that. Just stive for the Glow !!! Keep going  - the wedding, the reunion, the birthday, next big event - but in the long run realize that you are reaching for a goal for yourself - your health, your looks, your motivation - you can do it - keep going - can't wait to read about your success!!!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 59- Heart Hunger "insteads"

From 100 Days of Weight Loss (Linda Spangle)-

Just like the "head hunger" make a list of ideas for "heart hunger"- they will need to be things that are more soothing so yelling into my pillow won't work for this list.

Here is my "Heart Hunger Go Away" list-

  • Take a hot bath with scented Epson salts
  • Ask for a hug
  • Get a massage
  • Listen to my favorite music
  • Reread my favorite happy stories
  • Watch my beta fish swim in his tank
  • Plant a new seeds in the garden
  • Garden in the backyard
  • Pick a flower from my yard to put in the house
  • Write a nice note to myself
  • Take a moment to breathe and stretch 
  • Send my BFF a friendly note via snail mail
  • Drink a hot cup of tea
  • Read a book of my choice
  • Learn a new song on my ukulele
  • Write in my magic notebook
  • Cuddle with my kids or spouse
  • Cry until I let all the frustrations out
What would be on your "heart hunger"list?

Two more things that Spangle suggests that I do-
  1. Make several copies of this list and put them in places where you can look at it quickly
  2. Do at least 2 of them today


Day 58- Heart Hunger

From 100 days of Weight Loss (Linda Spangle)-
Heart hunger is another type of emotional eating. With heart hunger "you don't get a specific food craving- you just start thinking about eating."
"Anytime you want to eat, but don't know what you want, think heart hunger."
"It can make you want comfort foods or ones related to fond memories or happy times."

Heart hunger stems from empty emotions-

  • depressed
  • discouraged
  • lonely
  • bored
  • restless
  • hurt
  • disappointed
  • let down 
  • yearning for attention or appreciation
Key questions to ask myself- 
"What is making me feel empty right now? 
"What am I missing or needing in my life?
Will eating change this?

I have never read about this kind of emotional eating, but I see myself having "heart hunger" a lot in the past and sometimes even now I get home at the end of the day only to feel restless and discouraged by work or the circumstances of the day.  I would wander though the cupboards looking for something to make me feel better. Many times I would eat a little of this and then a little of that. The food did not make me feel better just more frustrated because the feeling of restlessness and discouragement was still there. 
I am going to be aware of the next time this want for food comes up, but don't know what I want to eat. During this time I am going to identify what is missing or empty and then do something that deals with what I really need. 


Something Fun......

Not that I haven't had anytime to I really want to blog....but, I have been busy. Work is busy, home is busy and not to mention that I let my little sis borrow my computer this week and I haven't been able to get to the blog in the evenings - hoping to get make to normal in the next few days. So much to write about - but today - want to just share some of the fun we had this weekend!!!

I had my son this weekend - we were to go camping with the Scouts, but thanks goodness for the huge rain storm - we didn't have to go. I love to camp, but in the rain, not so much. So - instead my son created this tent in the middle of the family room............
Sorry for the side-ways view - but can't get it to turn at the moment.

Then we worked on his Mission project. Thanks to his Uncle for providing the huge tub of frosting - it is working - and you thought you could only build a 4th Grade Mission project with Sugar Cubes - LOL

Still punching the Punching Bag of Fun - getting up every morning exercising (a record for me)...drinking the water - staying on track. We did have a good Friday night - enjoyed Home Made Sundaes - I had one scope of Ice Cream and made sure I added a fresh banana to the treat.

Going to be a good week  - hope all is well with you............

Staying MOtivated

Monday, March 21, 2011

Glow and Grow

"Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. Think only of the best, work only for the best, and expect only the best. Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. Live in the faith that the whole world is on your side so long as you are true to the best that is in you! "
Christian D. Larson -
New Thought Leader Quote of the Day for March 21, 2011

This quote speaks to me today so I thought I would share it. Sundays night I always reset myself on the path to a healthy lifestyle. I reflect and think about the past week and try to understand who I am, what my life was, what to glow and grow on. It gives me perspective and it makes me appreciate my life in general. 

Who am I:

I was the busy working mom trying to make sure that all the baseds are covered.

What my life was last week:
  • Listening to my son narrate the his imaginary play and watching my daughter put effort into her own writing craft and seeing her at her voice lesson.
  • Everyday finding time to connect with my husband- a lunch date, time talking, texting or just listening to each other is enough.
Glow: I got 3 compliments last week-
  • My boss telling other science leaders about the effect that I have had on the elementary and middle school science scores.
  •  A parent of one of my students said that I was a kind teacher.
  • My bootcamp instructor telling me that I inspire others via my blog. 
  • Learning to really listen to what I really need and not use food to fill that need. 
  • Being ok with making mistakes and learning from them.
  • Back to the basics- Write down everything I eat!
What was your Glow and Grow from last week?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Punching Bag of Fun!!!

If you have read my blog or are family, even a friend, you are well aware that I have a lot of Hand-Me-Downs, borrowed, begged and just plain given to me things to make my house a home. My house was bought from a good friend, much of my furniture is from my family (ok, about all but 2 items), even my lawn mower was free from a friend, too. Well, that is the case with some of my exercise equipment.

Back in September I received a punching bag from a friend. At first we thought we could hook it up somewhere in the garage, but I really don't have rafters that show - so I was going to need the stand - on the floor the bag sat. In December I was finally able to get the stand and well, one thing after another has kept me from putting that stand together - busy, too cold in the garage, I can't do it by name it, I have avoided it and well, just needed to do it.

This past Monday  - my first Monday off from my son since January. He is gone for the week because of his school Spring Break. The tides turn while he is on vacation and I get him on the weekends - love my custody schedule when it comes to this - then I get good quality time with him on the weekends and don't have to worry about homework, meetings and well, if you are a parent you know what I mean. So, I have the week off - week off where I don't have to wear my Mom hat - time for me!! Monday it was - tackle that pile of nuts, bolts and stuff - put that punching bag together.

I did it all by myself. Screws went in - the tools were put to use - a little bit of confusion, but I did it in about 1 hours time. The funny part was trying to get the bag onto the hook - can't lift it that high by myself. So, a large sturdy storage container was first, that wasn't high enough, so I added another smaller box on top - it was funny to watch me try to position the bag in just the right way to get it to the right level - hooked up the hooks and the moment of truth - would this work - oh my goodness, don't let this bag fall on my feet - I pulled out the first box - down the bag went - locked into place - it worked - it worked!!!! WOO HOO!!!! Now for dinner, boy that was a workout in itself - laughing out loud....this is pretty much what it looks like...

Ringside Heavy Bag Stand

Well, luck would have it - just less then 2 hours later I realized that I set up that bag in the nick of time!! One of the worst (in over 6 months) phone calls with Lemon. I won't and will not go into details - because you really have to know me better to understand that my phone calls with my ex are not out of anger, but pure frustration. I will say this - afterwards I felt very empowered!!!! Glad that my friend in Arizona knows my pain and was there to help me celebrate (and hear only one quick cry) - love her for that - and glad that we can talk about her Spring Cleaning all in the same phone call!!

Ok - Ok - back to the punching bag....

Tuesday morning - Time to Take out my Frustrations (I mean, have a good workout) - 5:30 am - I got up out of bed excited. I had treated myself at Christmas with the gloves as a gift and my family laughed  - many wonder if I will put a picture of a Lemon on the bag (but I don't want my son to know). I started a load of laundry and thought this would be a good time frame to do my workout - when the laundry was done, I was done! Now, I won't say that I was Floating Like A Butterfly or Stinking Like A Bee like Muhammed Ali or even had the speed like Sugar Ray Leanord, but BOY DID IT FEEL GOOD!!!!!!! Jab, hit, smack - I kept my legs moving the whole time and when I got tired of hitting I would do a few good laps around the car in the middle of the garage - heck I even jogged a bit. I hit the heck out of that bag - over and over again!!! Boy, did it feel GOOD!!! I not only realized that this was a great workout for my whole body, but it was going to help me with stress, having a change up to my workout routine, get me motivated to do more and well, make me look GOOD!!! It has helped with work this week - the most on the go, don't know when it is going to stop kind of work week I have had in a very long time - glad that the punching bag was there to help - did several workouts with it this week!!

I am truly grateful for my borrowed (and hoping to keep) Punching Bag of Fun!!! You are going to see a new woman soon - stronger, thinner, fit and able to handle stress at a moments notice

Staying MOtivated

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 57- Head Hunger "insteads"

From 100 Days of Weight Loss by Linda Spangle-

Here is my task-

Create a resource list of instead activites. It won't solve the problem of emotional eating, but they will be buffers between you and the issues that tempt you to eat.


  • Read a book or magazine. Keep in them in the car and at your desk.
  • Take a walk outside
  • Play my ukulele
  • Sing summer camp songs
  • Call Mo or my sister
  • Yell into my pillow
  • Write in my magic notebook
  • Hoola-hoop for 10 minutes
  • Jump rope for 10 minutes
  • Take a walk through the nature area
  • Do crunches on my ball
  • Run around the block
  • Do a 2 minute plank

(Spangle suggest that you make your own list and keep it handy so when an unexpected emotional issue comes up use this list of "insteads" to interrupt the automatic response of using food to take care of your feelings)

Day 56- Head Hunger

From 100 Days of Weight Loss By Linda Spangle-

I have never heard of "head hunger" before, but here is what Spangle says it is-
"...starts with a specific food thought or craving." Mine is usually something crunchy like crackers, chips or popcorn, but it can also be a chewy "smash-like" variety like granola bars, chocolate or caramels.  "That "mashing sensation" is what you would like to do something else or someone else. It is related to pressure type emotions- anger, frustration, or resentment. The reasons can be stress, deadlines, and other people."
Spangle poses that you ask yourself this question when you get this "head hunger" kind of craving-

" What do I really want to chew on?"

I found myself wanting a cookie because I saw a whole package of them in the break room.  I was stressed because today is my open house and I have been at school sites today observing the administration of an assessment.  I was feeling the pressure of getting my classroom ready, but yet I was still doing my other job.  So I wanted to chew on that cookie really bad. 
Then, Spangle asks the next question- " Will eating change this issue?"

No, is my answer right now, but I will be honest that I went back to my desk and there was a box of shortbread cookies on my desk and I gave in to one of those.  But if I had read this passage early in the day I would have not eaten that cookie or the other two butterbrickle cookies that I ate while waiting for familes to show up for open house. I realize now that eating those cookies did not improve my situation or fix my relationship with some families. It did not make any parents or students show up any sooner.  My stomach did calm down a bit after eating the cookies, but open house did not go away.  And I was tempted to reach for another one!
After all that fretting and worrying, only 3 families showed up for open house.  It is what happens with English Language Learners and their families, but I am thankful for whose who did show up. I was able to spend some quality time with those 3 families.  I even got a nice compliment from one mother who said to me in her very broken English that I was the kindest teacher her son has ever had.  So next time I will pull out my magic notebook and write my little heart out all my anxieties, fears and stresses. I am not going to let that "head hunger" get me again.


Day 55- Food is the consoltation prize

From 100 Days of Weight Loss by Linda Spangle-

The more I read this book the more I think how people who are struggling with their weight need to read this section about emotional eating for themselves.  It gets down to the root of the problem.  There is a link between food and your emotions. 

For me it started with my family life growing up in a big Filipino family where food is an important part of my culture and heritage.  Food is a way for my mom and dad to express their love to me and my siblings. They would make for us our favorite dishes- Adobo, puncit, lumpia, fried garlic rice, pinkabet, lechon and babingka.  Encouraged us to try everything and to clean our plates because in the Philippines when my parents lived there food was scarce.  And when I was not feeling well no matter if it was a real sickness or not mom was always there with food.  There was always the greeting when you came home- "What you want to eat?; Did you get enough?, Eat, eat, eat now!" So I ate and ate all the time whether I was hungry or not. Just to please my parents and my grandmother. I associated food with comfort, praise and belonging. 

So when I went away to college and chose a place that was 7-8 hour drive. Food became my comfort away from home since I was very close to my family and my boyfriend.  I was homesick. As Spangle states in her book, "Food becomes the consolation prize. It is better than nothing, but not even close to what you really wanted- to be loved, appreciated or comforted." College was stressful at times so food became a way that I dealt with stress. I remember one time going to Moonstone beach with the Pepperwood gals (Yup, Mo was there! We were roommates and since we were both education majors we were joined at the hip that first semester.) and eating my pint of Ben and Jerry ice cream on a big boulder overlooking the ocean. I was trying to drown my stress with food instead of dealing with it some other way.

I ate to get comfort and I ate to relieve stress.  It got worse when I left for the working world of teaching.  My first 3 years teaching in the classroom were the hardest 3 years of my life! I ballooned up to 190 pounds!
I could go on and on with this, but now my view on food has changed. Food doesn't meet my needs. It had become the way I deal with stress and it had become a bad habit to want to get comfort from the emotional hardship. 

I don't want the consolation prize!
I want the real prize!
I want to win!
In order to win I must-
Address my needs in some other way
and don't let food take care of it.


Day 54- Eating to Feel Better

From 100 Days of Weight Loss by Linda Spangle-

"If I eat something, maybe I'll feel better."
"If you are tired because your body needs fuel, eating probably will make you feel better."
"Make sure that you can recognize the difference between fuel needs and wanting an emotional fix."

Ask yourself- "Why are you tired?"

"Instead of reaching for food. Try these non-food methods for boosting your energy."-

1. Move your body- take a walk, hoola-hoop, take a bike ride instead of sitting down when you are tired. I just start putting away laundry or picking up things around the house then I feel like I accomplished something and I got my body moving.
2. Get some rest- lay down and take a 20 minute nap. If you are tired then go to bed early and rest! I feel better when I take a "cat" nap.
3. Distract yourself- Keep your mind off how you feel until you are ready to deal with it. Read a book, go shopping or like me pick up a new instrument to learn- I started the ukulele as a way to forget my troubles for a moment and I always feel better when I play. I don't play well yet and I may never play well, but I have found something that brings me joy.

One thing I will do for myself-

Create an instant energy plan for myself using activities and fuels that will reenergize me and revive me.


Day 53- Food is my best friend

I don't like the title of this day because Mo is my best friend not food. But this is the point of this reading- FOOD WORKS when it comes to comforting us when we come head to head with stressful challenge or emotional situation. We really have to look at what we are struggling with and learn to manage the challenges and emotions another way instead of using food. Because as Spangle states" can become your best friend, the only way you know how to fix your problems.  
So when has food become my friend?
  • When I felt like I was the only one dealing with the problems at work.
  • When I had no support in trying to make changes in my lifestyle.
  • When I felt lonely because spouse is too tired to spend time with me.
  • When I was overwhelmed with all the things a working mom has to do.
  • When time was my enemy and I feel like "fast food" is the only option to get things done.  

My patterns have changed. The way I go about my business during the day has changed. I really make an effort to listen to my body and really have in my mind that food is fuel not comfort. I now eat only when I feel that hunger pains and it is about 3 to 5 hours between eating. I plan my intake of water, snacks and my main meals. I have finally started to leave food on my plate. This pattern took a long time to get use to, but it means slowing down and eating so that when I do get full that I am paying attention to that.  I had to be ok with leaving food on my plate. I started with leaving just a spoonful which my family looked at me funny, but now I have more left on my plate and I am truly ok with that. 
When I get overwhelmed, stressed or lonely I stop and recognize the emotion, write it down in my magic notebook and creatively find ways to deal with the emotion of it instead of reaching for that piece of chocolate or that salty popcorn snack.   I have found that a quick walk outside does wonders. A text message to my spouse helps me get reconnected to him. It took time to listen to myself and know that I had it in me to solve my own issues.  I am not perfect. There are days when when I still get a piece of chocolate, but the days in between are getting longer and the amount is significantly different. For me it has been about give myself time to get use to the new habits of mind. I got the best advice from a friend when I was struggling with grief from the loss of my father and I always remember this-"Be gentle with yourself." To add to that treat yourself like you would your best friend and put food in its place. 


Day 52- Food is an instant fix

Food can be for me can be a way to instantly fix a need and it takes so little thought on my part because since I want it and it is available to me I will have it and eat it.  It is that simple.  As Spangle points out in the reading that it is easy to slip into wandering around and eating- where you use food to solve your problems of boredom and restlessness. Also, eating can become the excuse for procrastination and escape life. 
So here is the action that Spangle suggests-
  • Recall what you ate to avoid doing something
  • When did you use food as an instant fix? 
  • Recognize when you are eating to-
    • procrastinating 
    • avoiding life
    • entertainment
    • boredom
I have to admit that I am doing this less. The heightened awareness and my magic notebook keeps me in check. In the past, I used food to do all that is above especially procrastination. I am horrible at making myself sit down and do what really needs to get done.  My high level of discipline and deep commitment are what is different in this healthy lifestyle change.   I got it started.  I am not going to quit. No matter what. Just keep going!

Willpower and Grace Workout

My boot camp instructor did a very special session with us this morning. She lead us in a Willpower and Grace Workout. It was a silent workout that is set to music some rhythmic music and it is all about listening to your body. It is a barefoot cardio workout. I was surprised at how what seemed like small easy movements really got my heart working and my feet were loving the challenges of having to balance and strengthen.  I felt very energized by it all. It was a nice change of pace and it really made me focus on my body's movements. 
This workout is also known for its world plank which builds your core strength.  I now love doing the plank and can hold it for 2 minutes! It has taken me awhile to work up to 2 minutes, but I am so happy that I can. For me, the plank is a symbol of mental concentration, strength and balance which is part of the bigger goal for myself.  
Here is the website so that you can check out Willpower and Grace workout for yourself-
On there website this week's word is LISTEN-
Here is something that I would use as a meditation that I copied and pasted straight from the Willpower and Grace website- 

This week: exhale…and listen:

To someone who loves you
They may need you
To your competition
You could learn their next move
To your inner child
She may be reminding you of something important
To your intuition
The most important of all your guides
To the music
It's art created to move you
To the silence
It's space for you to expand
To your body 
It's smarter than you may think
To your thoughts
Your most private and precious gems.

Listen to your body!
You have the willpower to do this!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Ever have one of those days where you just can't seem to catch a break - Bid Documents had to be tracked down because UPS didn't sent it to the right destination today - I am so done. Had a GREAT workout this morning and will update you on that later - glad that I did - let's just say I really LOVE LOVE LOVE my punching bag!!!! Got it up and running last night and glad that I did just in time to deal with a huge "LEMON" issue - got tons of frustration out and well, more on that later too!!! Have to run to the Reptile Museum with the Scouts ----- wishing everyone a good Tuesday (or what is left of it)!!!!

Not quite going crazy yet - but I think I was just about there today......

Staying MOtivated

Monday, March 14, 2011

Keeping Momentum Going

I had the most inspiring weekend being with other dedicated, innovative and creative science teachers.  I came back renewed, energized and ready to take on the world!  I always feel like this after hearing from visionary speakers and hanging out with people who think the same way. 
Then, reality hits me and I am back in my own world with the stresses of deadlines, grading, etc... It happens with the weight loss too. I get motivation from watching those weight loss shows like my favorite- Biggest Loser, but afterwards when you are dealing with your own reality it all of a sudden it can feel overwhelming.

So here is what I do to keep that momentum going and don't crash after seeing something so inspiring-
  • Refocus on your goals- What do you really want? I want to be healthy, happy and balanced- spiritually, mentally, and physically.
  • Reality check- What is reasonable? Exercising 3-4 times a week, eating dessert once a week, portioning my food daily, drinking my 64 oz of water daily, taking my ukulele lessons weekly, spending time with my family daily, and losing 1-2 pounds a week.
  • Relook at the benefits- What do I gain? I feel healthier, stronger, and have energy to do all the things that are important to me.
  • Reward yourself- How do I celebrate my successes? I plan active playtime with my family and friends- going to the playground, zoo, museum, beach, hike, bike, etc. Or I buy myself a new book to read, or go get a pedicure, etc.
Time for me to do what is above!


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Exercise - I AM DOING IT!!!

Thera-Band Exercise Ball, Blue, 75cm / 30" by Hygenic Corp

I have this new Exercise Ball - you know - the balance ball kind at the gym - the one that you can purchase at Target or your local store, put air in it and bounce on it - forget the gym, you can do it at home. Well, I got this ball about a month ago from Mer and have not used it but once. I think my son has had more fun with it then I have. Wondering what to do with it besides sit on it and balance was going to have to be researched. Do I look it up on the internet or get a DVD or better yet - what about Mer's sister - she has a Pilates studio - I have seen these balls at her place before - she can help me. I thought that she could just write up some exercises for me to do, but it really is not that easy writing these things down. So, this Saturday I headed down to the South Bay and was excited about this pending workout session. I was correct - it was AWESOME!!

I learned so much about muscles and the stretching that I was not doing and that I don't just sit on the ball. I kind of knew there was more, but was I totally surprised at all the things I learned. I even got an anatomy lesson about the one muscle that goes from my back area all the way to the top of my leg. That when I sit all day (which I do working my 8-9 hours behind a computer) the back part of the muscle is getting smaller as I sit and at the end of the day I really need to stretch it out (and other muscles too). Plus, I am not doing that at all. What is going to happen when I get old - my body is going to shut down faster! I learned that is one reason I have this tinge in the front of my leg when I press down on this muscle - it needs to be stretched. Using just the ball is giving me the chance to work on strength, involve my son in a fun game, stretch myself out and wow - what a concept - even help myself lose weight while having fun.

With Sunday came mowing the lawn - both front and back - I have a huge lawn - this is just part of the backyard...(times this picture by 3 - that is the size of just the back)...(I love my house)...
It took me 2 hours to do the front and back lawn. I had to weed part of the front and did some minor cleaning up. I didn't even get a chance to do the trimming (my trimmer is broken and well, after 2 hours I was done). My yard is a lot of work - even more so since I don't have a bag on the lawn mower (got it free) and until I can replace that free gift I have to rack the lawn trimmings. The whole time I was mowing today it occured to me that I have been here before. I have huffed and puffed, groaned and moaned, been out of breath and just worn out. However, today was a bit different! I don't know if it was the windy bit chilly weather, but I didn't really break a sweat. I wasn't worn out until just about the end. I kept going and only got annoyed at the electric cord once or twice. I felt good after the job was complete and realized that I got through it a bit easier because I didn't have 22 extra pounds to carry around. I then started to think - what is going to happen when I am down another 20 and another 20 - wow - I will be able to do the lawn faster and easier, the rock wall I want to climb will be possible, I can play soccer with my son for longer then 5 minutes. WOW - look what I am accomplishing!!!

This was a great weekend for me!!  But, ouch my legs!! Just getting up and down has been hard for me today. I am amazed at the muscle pain I am feeling. It is good - I know this - and wonder when it will go away. This time I will keep doing my exercises - day after day - the pain will go away - there will be new pains - but it is all good pain!!! I LOVE MY NEW LIFESTYLE!!!! Glad that I decided to make a change, sad that I didn't do this sooner or kept going the last time and the time before that and the time before that - what happened before - but not looking back - moving forward!!!! Doing this for me!!

Staying MOtivated