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Monday, February 28, 2011

When The Going Gets Tough

My thighs and butt muscles are angry with me this morning.  As they should be.

Last week was a rough week.  Life piled stuff on top of me and instead of fueling myself with healthy fighting foods and working out even harder to sustain the energy and attitude I needed, I just crumbled and caved.  The cause and effect is staggering, and I'm going to call this a terrific lesson.

As the week went on, my food choices got sloppier and sloppier. Sure, I had my veggies.  Mostly.  And a little extra cheese here.  And there.  Then it was, "nawwww I'll pass on the salad" and then, oh heck, why NOT have sour cream on that potato?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, no exercise was getting done either.  And by none, I mean ZERO.  No treadmill.  No trainer.  Nada.

As the week continued, I had less and less energy to do the things I needed to tackle in life.  105 minute commute each way, mega concentration on work, my windshield broke, got a warning for not having my emissions done so I had to deal with that, extra forms and things for son's schooling, bills nearly past due that needed attention, the normal laundry, groceries, etc.  Demands-a-plenty at the 'ole Carly household.  

But here's the cause and effect.  The less I worked out or ate well, the less energy or desire I had to tackle what I had to tackle.  And the less I did what I needed to do, the less I felt like eating well or exercising.  It was a depleting downward spiral.

Interestingly, by waking up, eating my apple, working with "Da Boss" (today's nickname for Nina, my trainer), getting my son off to school and focusing on the work I need to do for the past hour (working from home today), EVERYTHING feels right again.

My attitude is good.  My energy feels good.  My concentration feels good.  My outlook is good.  The only down side is that we worked my legs like workhorses today and my thighs are not too happy with me for slouching off for a week.  My butt muscles ache already, and the obliques are cussing at me under their breath.  If they had breath, that is.

I didn't have to have an 'off' week to learn this lesson, perhaps.  But I had one, and I learned it.

"When the going gets tough, the tough get going" is a popular saying FOR A REASON.  Ok.  Got it.  Awaiting instructions for the next lesson......


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Living In The Problem

I am a food addict.

I don't have a "little control problem" when it comes to eating.  I don't eat super healthy naturally for weeks followed by a few bad days.  I don't eat normal portion sizes ordinarily, with occasional days where I overeat.  Nope.  I, for my entire lifetime, have struggled with food addiction, binging, periods of bulimic binging/purging, and I cannot control it on my own, in silence or secrecy.  I know I can't because after 30+ years of trying, it hasn't panned out so well.

On QUITNET, a gentleman named "wiskbroom" posted this:  "When I stopped living in the problem and started living in the answer, the problem went away."  I saved it over a year ago since it really resonated with me while I was quitting smoking.  When I accepted that I was a nicotine addict and stopped focusing on how I couldn't quit, and instead accepted that I needed help, and reached out for it, the answers came.

This morning I googled the quote to see where it came from.  Go figure, it's from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous!  I think there's a ton of wisdom in there that can apply to all of us.  (Alcohol is one thing I'm not addicted to.  But I suppose in this whack-a-mole game of life I better keep that in check because it appears I can become quite addicted to lots of things when the goal is trying to escape myself.)  Anyway.....
Here's the quote in context:

"At last, acceptance proved to be the key to my drinking problem. After I had been around A.A. for seven months, tapering off alcohol and pills, not finding the program working very well, I was finally able to say, "Okay, God. It is true that I--of all people, strange as it may seem, and even though I didn't give my per mission--really, really am an alcoholic of sorts. and it's all right with me. Now, what am I going to do about it?" When I stopped living in the problem and began living in the answer, the problem went away. From that moment on, I have not had a single compulsion to drink.
And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation--some fact of my life --unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing, or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God's world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, 1 could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes."

I spend a helluva lot of time living in the problem.  I live in a state 600 miles away from my relatives.  I am a single working mom with a god-awful commute and no time to do all that needs to be done.  I bought and live in an old house that all at once has decided to start falling apart including appliances, leaking roof, plumbing issues, etc.  I could go on and on and on and on.  And I could add my own shortcomings onto the list.  I spend too much time online.  I don't spend enough time doing things with my son like playing games, going for walks, etc.  I [insert x, y and z here.]  

In fact, I think I list these things out in my head so often they become almost paralyzing.  There's so much piled on me sometimes I don't feel I can move, and instead, I'll sit here online living in the problem.  Hmmmmmm.

So here's the path that seems to work for me when tackling my "issues" (weight, parenting, work, the house, etc.) For each one, I need to:

  1. Acknowledge "what is." (Acknowledge)
  2. Accept that it is what it is, and That's OKAY. (Accept)
  3. Figure out small steps to move forward. (Plan)
  4. Get off my ass and do them. (Do)

I have been doing so, incrementally, for the past few years.  I am so far ahead of where I started it's amazing when I look back.  But it's still so easy to fall back into the trappings of my old ways.  Today I'm not going to focus on the house falling apart, the mounting bills, the parenting, the job, etc.  I will focus on the food/weight for today and for this post.  So applying my steps above:

  1. (Acknowledge) I am a food addict and if I start slipping, it can set off a chain reaction into the great abyss.
  2. (Accept) I have overeaten this weekend, including red velvet cake and chinese food because I am a food addict (not because I am inherently bad or lacking in character.)
  3. (Plan) I can't go back, so I can choose wisely today and do my abs, legs and arms exercises and treadmill.
  4. (Do) Gotta sign off.  I have some things I gotta do....  ;-)


Friday, February 18, 2011

What The Day Brings

We just don't know what each day is going to bring, do we?  This week has been wrought with challenges - mental, physical and emotional.  And amazingly, I am able to effectively deal with the challenges as they are being flung at me.  Could it be I am able to handle life better when I am eating healthy and exercising regularly?  Could it be that it strengthens me physically and emotionally?  Why, I do declare that is the case!

So today has turned out to be a no work day.  My son has some medical issues and needs to be seen by his pediatrician.  I was planning on doing that Saturday, but he decided to speed up the process by getting his finger jammed by a basketball yesterday.  I took him to one of those nighttime clinics, but now I need to let his own doctor take a peek.  So that's one thing that the day brings.

My trainer is sick this morning (waving to Nina...hope you feel better soon!)  My first reaction (after feeling bad for her) was "Yay! I get the day off!"  What???? I can't let that be an excuse to not do anything!  I'm doing this for me; allow me to pledge right here to all of you that no matter what, when I am done posting this I will go workout.  So that's another thing today brings.

But the most important thing that today is going to bring is......The Avett Brothers concert tonight in DC!  I have been looking forward to this since the last time I saw them (Nashville Oct 31/31st).  This is my son's first time seeing them.  I hope I don't embarrass him too badly by standing, screaming, singing, and crying like the fangirl that I am.  What can I say? I'm a big dork.

I never really know what each day is going to bring - work challenges, parenting challenges, fitness challenges, spiritual and relational challenges - some days a combination of all the above.  What I DO know, however, is that the more I focus on making my own next right choices, including eating healthy whole foods and working out faithfully, the better able I am to handle them all.  And that's a fact!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

To Juice, Or Not To Juice

Everyone is juice crazy these days.

And so many juicers to choose from, too. There's the Breville (pictured), the Omega, the Champion, the Montel Williams' one, the Jack Lalane one (RIP, Jack) and the Lequip, just to name a few.

If you Google around there are a lot of detailed comparison charts, most of which are probably put up there by the manufacturer trying to sell you theirs.  :-)

One thing I like about the juicer craze is the "whole foods" concept.  Take a whole apple, a whole stick of celery, some whole tomatoes (we're talking stems, seeds, etc.), toss them in, and out comes a whole food beverage packed full of nutrition.  It's actually VERY healthy and a great idea.

But here's where it falls apart for me.  For starters, I didn't get obese by drinking too many times per day.  I got this way by eating too much.  Because I love to eat.  Therefore, if I am going to be consuming calories, by God, I'm going to EAT them and not waste them in a beverage that you can't even get to chew!

Secondly, the juicer requires you take the juicer out, take a bunch of steps (cut some things up etc.), pop them in, pour the stuff, drink it, then CLEAN UP.  Um.  No, thanks.  I can take the apple, eat it, and toss the core.  DONE!  I can eat the celery, eat the carrots, eat the tomatoes, etc. and get nearly the same nutrition and not have to do anything except, well, eat them!  That works for me!

I don't knock the juicers at ALL.  It's just that I want to eat, and I don't want to clean.  So I'll stick to the old fashioned way...and get those fruits and veggies in one bite at a time!

10,000 Views, 10,000 Thank you's!!!!

I want to thank you for coming, reading, commenting, and walking along on this journey with me.  There have been 10,000 views as of today.  WOW!

Posting here is like chatting with old friends, and new friends.  I feel like there is some accountability for what I'm trying to do, but there is also compassion, understanding, and a whole lot of sometimes vocal, sometimes silent support.  I feel it.  I really do!

So thank you!

Today I had an awesome arm/back workout.  I can do more than I could when I started.  I can lift more, do more reps, and with more stamina.  My trainer was very pleased with me today!  WOOHOO!  My shoulders are becoming defined.  They feel good.  I've got to stop fondling them in public or people are going to start whispering about me.  teehee

And I jogged today for almost 10 minutes. Not "walked."  Nope, I really jogged.  I don't think I've jogged since I was a teenager, at least not on purpose.  Maybe running from the men in white suits, but that's another blog entirely.....

I think knowing I have this blog helps keep the momentum up.  I mean, what am I going to come write "Hey, today I laid on the couch eating bon bons?"  I think not!  So once again, thank you for joining me on this leg of my journey.  You are truly helping me!

*hugest hugs*


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ab Lounge 2

Just a little update about the workouts.  I still have my trainer coming 3 times per week but am about to start cutting that back to twice per week (after February, I think.)

I'm totally out of sorts because I have no idea WHAT to do on the off days.  My trainer says to keep doing the same things we do when we're together (practice, makes perfect), but that doesn't seem right, especially since I have SUCH limited time.  So today I did 20 hard minutes on the treadmill and 10 minutes on the Ab Lounge 2.  If I'm not mistaken, I think what she wants most is for me to be sure to be doing something rather than relying on  just her visits for my workouts.  I agree completely but have had a hard time jump starting myself when she's not here.  I'm still thrilled that I have her coming here.  It would be so easy to just stop showing up and slide back into lethargy.  I don't want that!

I feel SO GOOD when I work out.  I love this feeling.  My legs are tightening up.  I can feel my butt muscles getting harder.  My pants are LOOSE.  Really!  The payoffs are darn near immediate at this stage.

Oh, and let me tell you...the ab lounge works.  I could feel it working and had to keep in mind how to breathe to reduce the pain!  I also googled how to use the machine and found out what to do to work the obliques (sides).  I tried it, but it didn't really feel like it was DOING anything.

Anyone have luck with the Ab Lounge 2?  Tips?  Suggestions?  I like it but not as much as this new move Nina showed me yesterday.  I think she called them military lifts.  I lay on the ground, on my back, and she stands over by my head.  I use my hands to hold onto her legs (ankles) while I lift both of my legs up and then back toward her and she swats my legs back down and I lift 'em back up again.  I could totally feel it working but for some reason I also could not stop laughing.  Probably the most fun workout yet!!!


Monday, February 14, 2011

♥ Happy Valentine's Day! ♥

Another holiday centered around chocolates.  Oh wait.  It's supposed to be about love and arrows and swooning and all that crap.

But I'm single and a food addict.  So it's another holiday centered around chocolates.  :-)

I was thinking, truly, about making a nice concoction like I have done in the past:  bananas, strawberries (optional), hershey's lite chocolate sauce and a big 'ole dollop of fat free cool whip.  The whole thing is next to no calories and actually pretty healthy.

But instead I went for a nice bowl of strawberries.  That's it.  Just strawberries.

If that's not showing total affection for a loved one, I don't know what is.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Beautifully Imperfect

If I were perfect, I would not be able to relate to others.
If I were perfect, I would not appreciate reaching a goal after struggling.
If I were perfect, I would not have compassion
If I were perfect, I would not know the heavy heart of guilt and shame.
If I were perfect, I would not reach out to others with empathy.
If I were perfect, I would not know humility.
If I were perfect, I would not be human, because there is no such thing as a perfect person.

I am a unique mess.

It took me DOZENS of quit smoking attempts before I "got it."

I have yo-yo'd on the scale so badly even my scale has stretch marks.

I have yelled at my child and then felt so guilty I couldn't bear it.

I have been an awesome employee. And a slacker.

I have had a perfect credit score. And mismanaged finances so badly I earned a credit score of 411.

I have been a wonderful example. And a wonderful example of what NOT to do. Intermittently.

Embrace who you are and understand that who you are, and where you are, is OKAY right this very minute. It really is. 

"We did what we knew to do. Now that we know better, we do better."

Live. Learn. Try. Rinse. Repeat. Whether it's smoking or weight management or finances or relationships or parenting or drugs/alcohol or ......? We are ALL a work in progress. Progress. Not perfection.

Be human. And don't forget to love along the way. That includes loving your imperfect self.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

On Vanity and Girling Up

I have spent a lifetime being pretty unconcerned about my appearance in many ways.  I really never "girled up" very much.  I have had a few short-lived phases when I focused on hair and clothing choices, but they never lasted and weren't big deals.  For the most part, I just wash and comb my hair, wear very little, if any, makeup (for the past decade the most makeup I'd wear is possibly mascara and lip gloss most of the time), and my clothing has been whatever was clean and had the least amount of wrinkles.  I really didn't care.

Lately, though, I'm getting more and more interested in my appearance, and web surfing time is including product searches on moisturizers and night creams and makeup and other girly things!  And since I've been spending more time looking at my face, (applying these creams, etc.)  I have just noticed something that's REALLY bothering me!

When I was 14 or 15, I got in a kind of bad car accident.  My brother hit a soft shoulder and the car spun off the road and hit a tree - exactly in the spot where I was sitting in the back seat.  Fortunately, my window was up so instead of my head hitting the tree, it went through the glass and I apparently fell back into the back seat, with a face of embedded shards of glass.  A few spots required 1, 2 or 3 stitches around my forehead, right eye, and right side of my face.  They left scars, but I never really paid attention to them.

Until now.

One of them is in the corner of my right eye and the way it sits, it looks like a deep friggen wrinkle.  Well, it's NOT A WRINKLE!  I took a pic of it yesterday because I noticed it screaming to me while sitting in my car waiting to pick up my son.  

At 45, I've been told I look younger.  Whoever said that mustn't have been looking THERE at the time. lol  I know, I'm a goober.  Now, after a lifetime of not really caring about it, it matters to me.  I Googled and there's a product called Freeze247 that's supposed to help plump wrinkles out.  I wonder if it can fix this?

Meanwhile, I really am on a vanity kick like never before.  For the first time in my life I now own daily moisturizers and night creams and luxury bath bars and facial cleansers and "hair products."  And I'm kind of having fun with it, really.  I love the pampered feeling of the day and nightly regimens I've started.  I love the "girly" feeling of it.

The sad thing is how it's all tied to my weight and body image.  When I am heavy and not taking care of my food choices, my brain puts me into the category of "masculine."  I don't know why.  It always has.  When I'm not eating healthy, or exercising, or making good next right choices, everything falls apart, I don't WANT to look or act or be feminine and I don't WANT to attract attention.

On the other hand, as I increase the self care in the areas of eating right, exercising, hydration, etc., the femininity comes back out.  I hold my hands differently.  I want everything to smell good and girly.  I even girl up my house.  I break out the flowered, pretty sheets and softer blankets and robes, etc.  It's like I give myself permission to be feminine - to go there and know I am drawing attention back to myself.  

Part of this whole makeover is the hair, the makeup, the clothing, the accessories, etc. to go along with the emerging body and attitude - so, maybe I'm going to be a little vain for a while.  Or maybe, it's just that I finally care enough to try to really .... shine ... ?

It's a little scary, frankly.  It means I have to also get busy practicing good discernment, judgment and boundaries because not all the attention I will attract will be from healthy or kind people.  And I don't have a great history of telling the difference until it's difficult to detangle.  But I think I'm up for the challenge.  :-)


Friday, February 11, 2011

Understanding My Workouts

I am such a novice with this whole working out business.  It frustrates the heck out of me.  I want to know what each move is supposed to be working, what the perfect form is, why the reps, why the particular weights, etc.

In other words, I feel I'm kind of a pain in the butt when it comes to my workouts.  I get SO discombobulated if it all doesn't "work."  I need to watch it being done, imagine myself doing it, practice it slowly a couple of times, feel that I'm hitting the right muscles and doing it the right way, then roll with it.  And the moment something is "off" I want to just switch to the next thing.  Normally the trainee swears at the trainer during a workout.  I'm afraid I'm such a pain Nina's going to start swearing at ME!

New resolution for Monday:  Ease up, let go of perfectionism, and for pete's sake, PRACTICE IN BETWEEN SESSIONS!  I think I'm going to spring for a full length mirror, too.  I haven't owned one of those in a LONG time.  But I want to watch my form when doing these things, so, the time has come.

I have to remember with my workouts that the next right choice is that I'm freaking DOING the workouts in the first place!  And remember I'll get it all, eventually.  I didn't get this big in a day and I'm not going to be a fitness pro when I'm such a novice.

So I hereby pledge to keep my expectations realistic and just take each move as it comes, knowing I'll keep getting better at them and eventually be able to do them fully and correctly, when my body is more fit and able.  I needed this little pep talk.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Soup's On! (And a nod to Amy's Organics)

I am enjoying the Amy's Organic product line in general, but I really love the Amy's Light in Sodium Organic Split Pea Soup.  It reminds me of the kind my mom used to make, only Amy's is a bit more brothy. And doesn't have ham. Or any fat.   Okay, it's not really like my mom's except it's made of split peas. Don't worry, mom, yours is still best.  This is a good runner up!

The nutrition is awesome, too.  A 100 calorie cup packs a whopping 6 grams of good fiber, 7 grams of protein and NO fat.  Weight Watchers calculates a cup to be 2 points and the whole can to be 4.  I LOVE that.  Since veggies are point-free, I can have a can of pea soup which is really stick-to-your-ribs hearty, along with a nice big side salad for 4 points plus dressing.  Not too shabby!

I am really starting to embrace the concept of "you are what you eat."  I don't want to become:

Bisphenol A (BPA)
Sodium nitrite
Modified corn starch
Cullulose gel
Xanath gum
Monosodium glutamate
Potasium chloride (also used in lethal injections)
Disodium guanylate
Sodium phosphate

All of which I just found reading the labels of my other popular name soups (Campbell's and Progresso but Campbell's was the worst in adding things I can't pronounce.)

I want to put quality real and, whenever possible, whole foods in my body.  It seems like my body is thanking me by rearranging itself into a more pleasant shape and by providing me lots of energy to tackle my insane daily schedule these days.  Way to step up, body!  Way to make some good next right choices, Carly!  And a special thanks to Amy, whoever she is, for having the vision to provide a whole line of truly healthy foods for people who also require quick and easy.  You rawk!!!!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011


All of a sudden, I looked, and right before my very own eyes were..... MY COLLAR BONES!

Hello, Collar Bones!

I missed you!  You don't mind if I have a little grope do you?

My goodness, it's great to see you again!

Let's permanently change your residence from buried underground to a room with a view out into the world, shall we?

Ahhhhhhhh, it's the little things, people, that really get me excited!



The Mint Green Dress

Can you remember feeling amazing in a particular outfit from years gone by?  I do.  One outfit was this mint green shirt dress from circa 1987. 

I was always a heavy kid, but at this time I had lost a ton of weight and kept it off for about 3 years.  (That record would never be broken going forward.)  When I wore this dress, I got so many compliments, mullet not withstanding.  (Look at me - business in the front, party in the back hehe).

I have looked at patterns online and Googled "shirt dress" trying to find a pattern in this same style.  Not that I'm going to attempt to sew, mind you.  I'd rather give myself a labotomy.  But I'd pay someone to make it as a reward for when I reach my goal.  I can't tell you what SIZE I will be when I reach my goal, or even what the final weight will be.  I'll know it when I am there, I think.

But I'd love to have this style dress.  It really accented the right places and made being 5' 10" seem okay.  (I have always had issues with being so tall, I never liked it.)  And I loved the color, too.

I think I may print this picture out and tape it to the refrigerator as a positive affirmation of what I am working towards.  I will never be 21 again, but I can definitely work towards being able to rock a shirt dress.   The sad thing in looking at this picture is that I really thought I was still huge when I looked in the mirror back then.  I NEVER felt even close to "normal."  Those distortions and filters are deeply entrenched, but this time, I'm getting rid of them for good.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Batwings Are Great For Batmobiles, Not Arms!

One of my biggest concerns with this whole weight loss/fitness path I am on is that no matter what I do, the floppy under-the-arms sag won't go away. I do know, and completely understand, that after losing such a significant amount as I will have lost by the end of this, there may well be "loose skin" issues that I will need to deal with.  That makes me sad, not so much because of how it looks, but because I did this to myself.  I can argue that I wasn't ready to lose the weight, I needed the food as comfort and now that I know better, I do better, etc., but the fact is, I have known for decades that the older you get, the harder it is to lose weight and that some parts just won't return to their original state.  Especially at 45.  There was a bit more hope when I was 30, I think.

Anyway, I have been reading and researching on how to give the batwings the boot (as much as possible, anyway.)  And it seems that cardio, overall weight training, eating more protein and less carbs, and burning overall body fat is the answer.  From everything I have read, there is no such thing as a way to get rid of fat in a concentrated area.  I read that targeted triceps exercises won't get the results one might expect.

Still, I love doing the arm exercises.  I FEEL like I am doing something proactive and that helps my motivation.  When Sergeant Major Nina arrived yesterday I was on the treadmill and the first thing she said was that she could really see definition in my arms.   w00t!  That's incentive enough for me to keep doing the exercises anyway!  I have NEVER had definition in my arms.  Hell, I couldn't even FIND my shoulder bone before and now it's starting to peek out and say hello! :-)

So I'm going to crunch and lunge and press and lift and squeeze and completely disregard my research that says doing so won't help.  I'm of the opinion that doing nothing is a guaranteed FAIL, and that doing everything I can will leave me feeling at peace, no matter what the outcome.

Get ready triceps, you may become the most clearly defined, toned and muscular flabbyflappers in history!


Monday, February 7, 2011

Ten Thousand Words

One of my (many) favorite Avett Brothers songs is Ten Thousand Words.  You can click the song above to hear it.  One part of the lyrics states:

Ain’t it like most people? I’m no different
We love to talk on things we don’t know about
Ain’t it like most people? I’m no different
We love to talk on things we don’t know about

I write almost every day now as part of my blog and it's funny - I am writing on things I don't know about. I guess the fun is we're learning together!  I don't know what it's like to work out every day and be fit.  I don't know what it's like to instinctively make healthy food choices.  I don't know what it's like to just be a normal body size and do things with ease physically.

But I'm definitely learning and by the end of this whole process?  I'll be talking on things I LIVED first hand and I WILL know about them!   Ha!  Then Seth and Scott Avett will have to come up with a new song for me.  It's the least they can do since I'm converting the world into Avett fans, one friend at a time.  hehe


Sunday, February 6, 2011

No Excuses, But.....

During my travels this weekend, I started strong and healthy and finished pretty weak.  I am cutting myself some slack. I saw friends who I haven't seen in nearly two years and visiting them is like visiting a personal chef.  When my friend G. gets cooking, it's an event and it's a treat to enjoy what he's made.  This morning it was Andouille Hash with Poached Eggs and Artisan Bread.    It was delicious.

 I'm sure it was way too many weight watchers points.  I didn't even try to calculate it. The eggs and orange slices weren't bad points-wise, the potatoes were probably fine, the sausage was a little high and one slice of whole grain bread wasn't terrible either.  In fact, I was planning on coming home and calculating and tracking it.  But something awful happened during the drive home.

I became possessed by a madwoman on a mission.  She took over the nearly 5 hour drive home and forced me to eat a dunkin' donut.  Which would have been bad enough, but the beeotch drove me to Arby's for lunch.  Somehow I managed to pass up the vanilla shake, so somewhere deep inside was the desire to regain control.

On the 'up' side, there were some beautiful sites along the drive home and my son and I got to enjoy a truly gorgeous, bright sunny day together.  I'm going to pick myself back up and keep going.  I have to remember that doing this twice in as many weeks is bad, yes, but not as bad as doing it every day which is how I used to roll.  No more friggen excuses going forward.  Somehow the scale keeps going down each week, but if I repeat today's bad choices, the scale will start rebelling.  And I'm not willing to let that happen.  

Below are some pics from the day.  The seagulls were catching food mid-air and it was just a lovely 50 degree day down in Virginia Beach, VA!  ♥♥♥
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel in Virginia

Mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach, VA

Mouth of the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia

Mouth of the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia

Almost home now 4 hours from the starting point!
A different Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Annapolis, MD

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Road Trip

Stevensville, MD returning from another road trip.
My son and I are going on a road trip this weekend to visit some really special friends we haven't seen in quite a long time about 3 hours away.  I can remember so many road trips in my past that consisted of packing tons of food (sandwiches, candy, chips, sweets, etc.) and then eating throughout the entire trip.  It was a part of the trip I kind of looked forward to - permission to eat whatever I wanted - because it was a trip, afterall.  (I also chain smoked on trips when I didn't have my son with me.  I had a dream last night about smoking, must be because of this drive ahead of me.)

Anyway, we are going because we want to hang out with some pretty special people and just enjoy them.  I'll pack some healthy snacks, I might stop and grab some grapes, and all will be well.  It feels like FREEDOM to me to make a deliberate choice to eat healthy.  Some people think "dieting" or choosing healthy foods is a difficult task and stringent and too structured, etc.  But to me, choosing to be healthy and fit IS the freedom I have always wanted.  I don't feel enslaved by a driving compulsion to self destruct.

So I'm waiting for the freezing rain to turn to just plain rain and we're off.  A couple of refillable waters, some apples and trail mix, The Avett Brothers on the iPod and I'm good to go.  See you when I return.  ♥♥♥

Friday, February 4, 2011

Grocery Shopping: Part 2

Groceries are freaking expensive these days.  Regular, every day, nothing special grocery prices have risen steadily for the past 3 years to a point where I don't even understand how people can afford to feed large families.  And healthy foods?  ¡Ay, caramba!

I don't even get that.  Artificial junk, with fillers and chemicals and additives and processed garbage which requires, um, processing.....all that is cheaper than foods that are just natural.  Foods that are NOT processed and added to and ruined cost more.  Go figure.

I am a BIG fan of GROUPON where they send out a daily email with the local coupon of the day.  A while back the morning groupon was for a year's subscription of the Baltimore Sun weekend edition, for the low low cost of $10.00.  (That really IS a huge savings!)  I don't care to read the paper (except during special times hehe) but I got thinking that the weekend edition coupons are amazing. 

I figure, if I can clip coupons, then shop places where they have double or even triple coupons, or wait until things are on sale, I could save a lot of money!  Especially on things I always need like laundry detergent, toothpaste, etc.  I'm not fussy about brands, so the sales would work for me.

What I didn't calculate into the mix is allotting time to actually look at, clip out, organize and use these coupons.  This brilliant idea comes from the same girl who has a trashbag full of papers I need to go through "one day."  I've been needing to do that ever since I left my ex, about 5 1/2 years ago.  This organizing idea also comes from a girl with 3 rubbermaid bins full of photos she's going to organize one day.  And the same girl who, on a whim, decided she wanted to take harp lessons.  She got the harp, signed up for a semester of harp lessons, then proceeded to take exactly two lessons.  Oops.  (The follow through on wonderful ideas isn't always there. :-)

Anyway, a picture is worth a 1,000 words.  In this case, the picture is probably worth $100 bucks if I could only get clipping.  The process appears to have stalled.  And by "stalled" I mean I haven't cut even one out yet. I have a lady who comes in once in a while to help me organize my junk/ stuff/ papers/ clothes/ closets, etc.  I know she peeks in on this blog from time to time.  I'm thinking she's not going to like the looks of my living room chair! 

Carly <----waves to JoAnn...I'll be calling you soon! lol


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hiding In Plain View

When I am at my heaviest, as I have been all this past year, I find myself feeling invisible.  I can walk down the halls at work and people don't speak to me.  I can be out at the stores and though I may get a glance or two (like if my cart is in the way), people aren't friendly and overall, I feel like I am not even noticed.  I have generally thought this was because my weight caused some kind of aversion and people just didn't want to look in my direction.

I'm going to rethink that.  That might be one of those tightly held core beliefs that needs to be taken out and examined for truth.  Rather than people not seeing me, or people not being interested in me, or people not noticing is possible that when I am heavy, I am actually hiding in plain view.

Understand, I am still extremely overweight and this past month of eating right hasn't altered that fact one iota.  But yesterday, people were very friendly.  They made a lot of eye contact with me.  Walking down the halls at work in the afternoon someone introduced himself and offered up some friendly small talk.  At the grocery store, someone smiled at me, I smiled back, he smiled even bigger, and I almost laughed out loud.  I kept walking down the aisle, still chuckling, then I turned back around and yep, he was glancing back smiling, too.  Don't get me wrong, it's not like anyone was hitting on me.  It was that people were SEEING me.

And it all of a sudden occurred to me, perhaps it's not that way at ALL.  Perhaps it's that I am seeing THEM for a change.  Instead of keeping my eyes down at the floor, avoiding people, maybe I'm looking straight ahead and taking the world head on right now.  THEY haven't changed,  It's ME that is changing.

It's all a matter of perspective, but this morning I'm seeing this pretty clearly.  When I am making really unhealthy choices, shameful choices, "bad" choices, I don't WANT to look anyone in the eye.  I'm not proud of who I am and I certainly don't want people meeting THAT me!  But after a short time of making GOOD next right choices, I feel so differently.  I feel like I'm doing all I can do today to be a better me, and if you don't like it, pffffffffffffffffffttttttttttttttttt.

I have a little zip in my step lately and I do feel like I am coming out of hiding.

Carly <------ waves to the world "hello!"


Wednesday, February 2, 2011


In a stroke of absolute genius, Weight Watchers has made all fruits and vegetables "point free."  That's Z-E-R-O points for broccoli, mushrooms, onions, peppers, brussels sprouts, tomato, zucchini, asparagus, summer squash, winter squash, spaghetti squash, string beans, cauliflower....and the list goes on.

I am quite certain that no one ever got obese from eating too much spinach.  And I also have believed for quite some time now that you really have to EAT in order to lose weight.  You have to eat those vegetables, the dark greens, the leafies, to get your body functioning at it's happiest.

So my main foods are now apples, cantelope and berries and a really high amount of ALL the veggies.  Yesterday I worked from home (icy roads morning) and so I fixed a nice breakfast for my son and I before I sent him off to school.  I lightly sauteed broccoli, mushrooms, onions, yellow, red and green peppers, then added in a mixture of 2 real eggs and 2 egg whites to the mix.  Once set, I tossed on about 1/3 cup of lowfat shredded cheese.  Mmmmmmmmm talk about an awesome way to start the day!  I sometimes will do the same thing and stuff it into a whole grain pita pocket if I'm on the run.

What fascinates me is that when I am eating healthy, I LOVE the food.  I mean, it's GOOD.  It tastes awesome.  I PREFER it!  When I'm eating junky it's pretty gross, doesn't taste all that great, and makes me feel like crap.  So why on earth would I do that on purpose?   Well, there's a million reasons and I'll save all that for other upcoming posts.

This morning I want to just stay with the joy that I am finding in my vegetables.  That includes shopping for them (love the produce section of Whole Foods!), finding recipes for them, enjoying the colors, the textures, the aromas and of course, the flavors.

And in the mornings, they are so much more interesting than stupid donuts!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Managing Change

I was just telling a coworker yesterday that back when I did IT tech support, it would drive me bonkers when we'd upgrade software and people would freak out simply because of a change.  Sometimes change is good, but we get so used to things being a certain way, it becomes comfortable and people often prefer staying in the comfort zone.  (The reason I was telling my story in the first place was because the company upgraded our web access software yesterday and I was bitching about it - lol-  so ironic.)

Starting today (or more likely tomorrow since the weather's icy today), I'm going to be reporting to a different physical work location for the foreseeable future.  And while the change doesn't freak me out, it IS going to mean shifting schedules and routines.  I'm going to have to plan better each day what I will be eating for both lunch and dinner.  I'm going to have to closely coordinate my schedule with my son's activities to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.  I'm going to have to see if my trainer can come 30 minutes earlier or somehow adjust my schedule and daycare options to make sure training doesn't fall away.

I could easily let this sudden shift derail me.  In the past, it would be a great excuse, really.  Who could blame me for pausing my efforts while I adjust to the new routine?  Well, I would blame me.  All this really means is that a new slight obstacle has presented itself and my job is to keep my focus and work around the changes, while staying the course.

Because I have MUCH bigger changes I want to see happen!  (And clearly, some of them have already taken place...starting with my attitude!  Yeee Hawwwwww)

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