Breathless

Yes, I know, I have been MIA the past two days. It honestly is not like me at all. I have just been so tired lately. This has been a bad week. Not just for me, but for many of my friends as well. I haven’t had trouble sticking to eating right. I haven’t had trouble having the will to exercise. I just have felt tired and run-down. I got on the scale this morning and disaster struck. I had gained about 5 pounds….since yesterday.

I decided that since I was so tired, I would just go back to bed for a nap. This is something I have done everyday this week. It USED to be something I did everyday. Then I started eating right, exercising, taking Plexus and was full of energy. Just yesterday, Alice commented on how nice it was to have me cooking family meals again. I didn’t tell her I took a nap.

This nap was different, though. I should have realized something was wrong when I just was not up to riding with Mickey and Alice this morning to take Alice to school. I used to struggle with insomnia. Then, I started exercising and was suddenly in bed by 11 each night and sleeping straight through until morning, But this week, it hasn’t been enough. This morning, I went to bed with Mickey, my night shift worker. I want to say we were in bed (back in bed for me) before 9. My sister texted around 11ish and I answered, then fell back asleep. I slept until after 1, when Jenni, concerned that I hadn’t replied to her texts or Facebook posts, gave me a call.

When I realized the time, I got up and staggered into the kitchen. I got back on the scale, hoping the sleep had done me some good. Erm, no. I gained two pounds between 9am and 1pm, sleeping. Then, it hit me. My CHF has flared up. *sigh* So, I am now sitting in my recliner with my feet up like a good heart patient. I took a Lasix and surprise, surprise, I have been living in the bathroom and I have dropped 4 of the approximately 7 pounds.

I was breathless when I took the dog out earlier. I decided that today should probably be a rest day. All I need to do is pass out doing Jillian, clunk myself in the head with one of my weights and then be forced into the hospital. Some days, it is so easy to forget I have CHF. I was starting to think, to hope, that maybe, just maybe, I was curing myself of it. No such luck.

I am frustrated to be forced into my recliner today. I am frustrated that this week has been such a struggle. BUT. I don’t feel hopeless, which is how I lived most of the past two years. I know now that when I am excessively tired to really look at my scale. I know that eating right and exercising is helping, because I have had five glorious weeks of feeling NORMAL. I can feel myself feeling better as the fluid comes off my body. I am betting by tomorrow, I will be back to where I was.

Jillian isn’t going anywhere. She will be waiting to punish me tomorrow and maybe, tomorrow won’t be like the majority of this week has been, where I felt off balance and had to push through molasses to get my workout in.

Normally, I would never use my blog to whine. But, i am all about being truthful- to myself and to my readers. The truth is, I have a disease. The other truth is, it is a disease, not an excuse. I may be stuck sitting in a recliner and on the potty today, but I will not eat use today as an excuse to eat wrong or to have a hopeless, negative outlook on life.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, the bathroom calls yet again.

 

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I Get Knocked Down (But I Get Up Again)

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Yesterday was Mickey’s 50th Birthday. Saturday night, I had a surprise party for him at his favorite restaurant. I had pretty well decided what I was going to have for my supper. I chose a Cuban sandwich and I split an order of fries with cheese, bacon and green onions with Alice. I only ate half the Cuban, which was the plan. Turns out, it wasn’t hard to do. I apparently do not like Cuban sandwiches. At least, I did not like this one. Alice loved it. It had a lot of pickles on it, which is fine. I like pickles; I just don’t like hot pickles. Also, the pork part was unseasoned. Anyway, what I didn’t count on was getting in the party spirit and consuming two drinks. One of which was milk-based and contained whipped cream. It was really yummy, though. I only ate one bite of cheesecake, so at least there was no dessert damage.

Between hamburgers Thursday, lunch out Friday, and the party Saturday, I was very nervous about getting on the scale this morning. I planned for everything I ate. I worked out and each day I still had a few calories left over from exercise. I ate at least half my exercise calories each of the three days and I try so hard not to touch those.

Anyway, even though I enjoyed my week, had two drinks and had two hamburgers, as well as fries with CHEESE, I still lost 1.8 pounds. I now weigh 279.8. I have lost 20.2 pounds in 42 days. I am not complaining at all. I also measured but, I don’t know. My body seems way off. I have lost a total of 4 inches in each of my arms. But, I have gained now, equally, in both thighs, At least I won’t be dragging that one mutant thigh around, like I was afraid of last week. I was kind of picturing myself as Jillian Michaels own Igor. “Mahhhsssttteerrrr, I can’t do that exercise, I have the mutant thighhhhhhhh.”

In Phase One of Body Revolution, there is a segment of balancing. On one foot. Like a flamingo, Now, picture a flamingo in your head. They are not very heavy birds. Not only that, their bones are HOLLOW. I kept falling over. Like on my fanny. Lift, kick, fall. Lift, kick, fall. Then, there are abductions, where you kick one leg out to the side with your hands on your hips. Jillian allows for a step-touch as the “easier mode.” I found myself kick out, touch, stagger, kick out, touch, grab the coffee table. Finally, I broke down and brought a chair into the living room. Workout ready. Weights, check. Mat, check, DVD, check, Dining Room chair, check.

I have been doing these every three days for about a week. Some days I can’t balance at all on my own. Some days, I only grab the chair every four steps and kicks. The point is, I am not going to wait until I can do it to even try. I will get knocked down, but I will get right back up again. And in the same vein as my last blog post stating “don’t wait to live your life until you lose the weight.” I have registered for my first 5K. It’s a ZOMBIE RUN!

Here is the description:

EXTREME
THE ZOMBIE RUN: EXTREME is a mud-filled, daytime 5K obstacle course through a zombie-infested wasteland.  Register as a human and maneuver through 3.1 miles of mud, blood, and brains, with 8 treacherous obstacles, and a hoard of 700 ravenous zombies on your heels.  Or, sign up as one of the zombies and receive a free movie-quality makeover before heading to the course to chase after the humans and steal their life-flags.
 
Will I be able to run? Hahahahahahahaha. NO. Do I care? Nope. There is no timer, no winner. I love zombies. Will I have trouble getting over the obstacles? More than likely. Do I care? No. Will I be dead last (get it, dead last?) ? Probably. BUT. I will have beat every person who stayed home on their couch because they did not think they were fit enough to even try. I will try and even if it takes me until the night run, I WILL FINISH. BTW, Alice is VERY excited. She is old enough to register as a zombie.
 
I saw a video about a young man who was disabled in the Gulf War. He gained weight. He couldn’t walk without help. He had blown his knees out as a para-trooper. He ALMOST gave up. ALMOST. I can relate to him. I ALMOST gave up as well. But, I didn’t. He didn’t either. His knees and hips are bad. I have a bad heart and bad ankles. I get knocked down, but I get up again. What’s YOUR excuse?
 
 
I haven’t figured out how to embed a video yet, so trust me. Click the link. You won’t be sorry. You just MIGHT be inspired.

Cheeseburger in Paradise

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful Saturday morning. Mickey just got in from work and is snoozing and Alice is still sleeping as well. Right now, it is just me and my cats and my breakfast. We are going out to dinner tonight to celebrate Mickey’s 50th Birthday. So, I am making sure I eat light and do my exercising. I have a date with Jillian as soon as I finish this post.

Speaking of Jillian, I have finally decided on an exercise program after playing around with all of them. This first month of exercising has been trial and error. I am finding out what I “Like” and can stand to do. Let’s face it. If you TRULY hate your exercise program, after a while you are going to burn out and not want to do it. I enjoy my recumbent bike, but I would get very bored doing it every day. I have reserved it for short workouts to round out my strength training and I use it for a leisurely workout on my rest day.

I can’t say I love the Jillian workouts. In fact, they are pretty akin to being in a torture chamber. I do however, love the way I feel after I have finished one. Nothing like finally getting a big whiff of oxygen to make you feel better. Seriously, I feel a sense of accomplishment when I am done. I also feel dirty, icky, and sweaty. While I don’t enjoy that feeling for long, I do feel as if it is proof that I have pushed my body as far as I can possibly push it.

Jillian has a real “in your face style.” She doesn’t take excuses. Unlike her persona on “The Biggest Loser,” she is very encouraging on her DVDs. She constantly tells you if you can’t master a move, not to worry, just to work on form and to keep trying, to do what you can, and to KEEP MOVING. That is the kind of encouragement I need, personally. It may not be for everyone, but it is what works for ME.

After trying each DVD, I have decided how I am going to approach this. I am going to restart and complete Body Revolution. Only that one for the next 3 months. (It may take me 4) I then, will return to Ripped in 30. From there, I will go to Six Weeks, Six Pack and finish it out with 30 Day Shred. I just don’t feel like I am getting much done by jumping around. Oh, I was getting exercise in and strengthening my body. I can feel that, already. But now I have sampled each and have a PLAN! Y’all know how much I like a plan.

This week has been tough adjusting my MIND to my eating plan. Notice, I didn’t say DIET. It is funny, adjusting my mind set. Part of me wants to say, oh no, I am on a diet, I can’t have that. BUT. I can. I mentioned my Uncle Donald and Aunt Daisy were going to cook me a hamburger because I had been craving one. Thursday night, we went over there and I had my hamburger. Actually, I had TWO hamburgers. Yes, I did. I ate a light breakfast, a light lunch, and did my normal exercise routine. Then, for supper, I had two hamburgers and a handful of chips. I savored every bite. Those were the most delicious hamburgers I have ever eaten in my life.

Uncle Donald had grilled them, so they were delicious and juicy without being greasy. Aunt Daisy had fresh lettuce and a juicy tomato and onions and pickles. I had mine almost Jimmy Buffet style. “I like mine with lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57 and french fried potatoes, big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer, Good God Almighty which way do I steer for a Cheeseburger in Paradise?”

I skipped the cheese, the french fries (we didn’t have any, thank goodness) and the beer. I had unsweetened tea with lemon, instead. I did have the lettuce, tomato, pickle, Heinz 57 and onion. Guess, how many calories, I went over by? Not what you probably think. I went over my eating calories by 237. However, even though I don’t usually eat any of my exercise calories, it is ok to do so, every now and then. I only ate HALF of my exercise calories. I admit, I got on the scale both Friday and this morning. Did. Not. Gain. An. Ounce. But, if I had? It totally would have been worth it. Not to do every day, mind you, but after six weeks? Oh yessssssss.

It’s life, you have to live it. You have to enjoy it. If you are thinking, “Once I lose x amount, I will be happy,” I am sorry. You are lying to yourself. If you are not happy in your life now, losing weight is not going to help. Oh you may be happier about your body and your health, but that is ALL losing weight is going to make you happier about. It is not going to fix any of your relationships. Losing weight is not going to cure your boredom or relieve your stress. Only you can do that. And why on earth would you say, “I will enjoy my life when I lose weight.” Enjoy your life NOW. Enjoy your journey. Do things you wouldn’t have done before. Don’t let being fat stop you. Live in the moment. Have the occasional cheeseburger, but balance it out with light meals and lots and lots of exercise.

We Could Be Heroes ( Just For One Day )

I have to say I am overwhelmed, touched and at a loss. For the past week, I have received private messages, emails, and comments on Facebook. I have been told by several people I am an inspiration and a hero. No, my head hasn’t grown as fat as the rest of me. I am truly being told this, and it bewilders me. I’m just an ordinary woman who is fat and who is trying as hard as she can to get back in shape and undo the damage that has been done, by both an unhealthy lifestyle and hereditary heart disease.

When I was first thinking of this blog entry, I thought about just saying flat-out that these people were/are crazy. But then, I thought harder. I realized as I was panting and melting my way through Jillian’s cardio workout of Phase One of Body revolution, that yes. I am a hero. I am finishing what I started. I also realized that every single one of us, the tall and the small, to quote Dr. Seuss, are heroes.

Everyone of you that blogs. Each time you put your feeling out there, your life out there, for strangers to read and gawk at, every time you open yourself up, YOU are a hero. Those of you like my daughter Ariel, who battle extreme depression, every time you get dressed and make it through the day and go see your psychiatrist and your counselor, YOU are a hero. Those of you who are overweight, like me, each time you make a healthy choice, or do a workout, YOU are a hero.

Preachers and pastors, heroes. Those who stand up for the oppressed, who speak up for the bullied, REGARDLESS of the reason, heroes. Those of you who encourage others, heroes. Parents of children and teens, muddling through as best you can, YOU are a hero. Those who have been hurt by life, by love, who have been disappointed by friends, by family, yet keep an open heart and a sunny disposition, YOU are heroes. Those battling addiction, each time you choose not to do drugs, or drink, or overeat, or smoke, or refrain from a meaningless sexual encounter, YOU are a hero.

Those who teach, a hero. Doctors, lawyers, rich, poor, heroes everyone. I am not forgetting true heroes such as police, soldiers, EMS, firefighters, etc. I am just saying everyday, in some small way, each of us is a hero. Each of us inspires someone, even if we don’t know it or aren’t aware of it. There is not a person among us who is not a hero, even if it is just for one day.

Pink ( Is My New Obsession)

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I know I did. Saturday, Alice had her friend Ann Marie over who requested that her new name be Rapunzel, so Rapunzel it is. Alice, Mickey, Rapunzel and I went over to my Aunt Daisy and Uncle Donald’s house to play board-games. Mickey gets every other weekend off and we often go over to my Aunt and Uncle’s house and play “SongBurst” and “Apples to Apples” and “Logo.” We have a great time and I get to spend time with my family.

Aunt Daisy and Uncle Donald have been VERY supportive of my journey. Aunt Daisy makes me unsweetened tea with lemon and provides a snack such as popcorn or chips or veggies and salsa. In fact, Uncle Donald asked if I had been craving anything. I admitted I had been craving a big juicy hamburger. Uncle Donald said if lean ground beef was used and the burger was grilled, then it shouldn’t be too bad. So, Thursday, we are going over there for supper and I am getting my hamburger!!!

Sunday, we all celebrated Eric’s Birthday. Ariel invited us all to a restaurant named “JimnNicks.” It’s a barbecue place. I was kind of worried because I am so incredibly picky over my barbecue. I was also worried about calories. I ended up with the smoked turkey breast plate with a salad of field greens tossed with a vinaigrette. That smoked turkey breast was off the chain. It was so good, I didn’t even mind not eating pulled pork. The portion was so generous, I brought over half of it home. There is enough for two good-sized sandwiches.

After lunch, we went back to Ariel’s and Eric’s. I had a small glass of wine and a small slice of the sinfully delicious Supreme Ganache cake from Publix. This cake is amazing. The really good news? I had breakfast at home, lunch out, wine and cake, and a light supper at home and still had 40 calories left to spare. I never feel deprived because this is NOT a diet. 

Today was weigh-in day. I lost one pound. I admit. I was a little sad. I want to see big losses like last week ALL the time. But, it doesn’t work that way. I am still very happy. I lost one complete pound. I didn’t gain. I have now lost 18 pounds. I really can’t tell or couldn’t tell at all, until I noticed my shorts are falling off. Alice took a picture of me in the same pose as a picture that was taken in January. When we put the pictures side by side, we could both tell. Before you know it, I will be able to use the restroom out in public, without kissing the floor. 

Today was also the day I started Week 2 of Jillian Michael’s “Ripped in 30.” It wasn’t as bad as I thought. It was a million times worse. I hurt. I thought I was going to puke about halfway through it. I just THOUGHT Week 1 was bad. I have a feeling I will be on Week 2 for 2 months. I was involuntarily making grunts and groans as I attempted to follow along with her. The last time I involuntarily made noises like that, I was in labor. Given a choice, I will gladly take labor again. I was back to using the coffee table to pull myself up off the floor back into standing position. 

I do have to say, the only reason I even have the energy to tackle Jillian, ( and I would gladly tackle her, except I know she would outrun me.) is because of my pink drink. I have been taking Plexus Slim since I started watching my diet and started exercising.  admit. I was VERY skeptical of it at first. Everywhere I looked on my Facebook, someone was promoting it and recruiting Ambassadors. First off, I do not have the time, inclination or even the mental prowess to be an Ambassador. Secondly, I was getting really bothered by some of the people who friended me JUST to promote Plexus products. 

I have a trusted friend, though. A friend I have known since I can remember. We went to church camp together We were in high school band together and we suffered through Geometry and Trig together. She casually mentioned she was an Ambassador and she would give me the chance to try the product. If I liked it, I could explore my options. She did assure me I was under no obligation to become an Ambassador myself. If I liked the product, I could get it through her. If I didn’t, no harm, no foul. 

I gave it a try. Did I feel full of energy and ready to take on the world? Well, no. BUT, I didn’t feel as tired as I had been feeling. I felt, well, normal. For me, as a heart patient that is a BIG deal. Did it suppress my appetite? Again, no, but that isn’t what it is designed to do. What it did was eliminate my sugar cravings. It made detoxing from my sweet tea and soda addiction much easier. 

Plexus Slim isn’t a miracle cure or a miracle diet aid. It was developed to regulate blood sugar, and for me it seems to be working. It doesn’t replace a meal. It doesn’t make me feel full. It doesn’t burn my fat. I do that by eating healthy and exercising. It works for me. Since it works for me,  am going to keep taking it. I got the approval of my doctor before I tried it. One day, before my order came in, I was without it. I could tell a difference. I didn’t feel normal anymore. 

I wanted to be upfront with you, my readers, as to what I am doing. Again, these are MY results. I have lost 18 pounds and I have also lost 2 inches from my bust, 2 inches from each of my upper arms, an inch and a half off my waist, 3 inches off my hips, 3 inches off my right thigh, and because I am weird, I have gained two inches on my left thigh. I have this mental picture of myself dragging around some hugely deformed thigh in about another month. Do I give all the credit to Plexus? No, not at all, I am the one suffering through Jillian. I am the one deciding to eat an apple for a snack and not a cupcake. But, I give Plexus credit for giving me back my pre-heart attack and pre-heart surgery life, simply by stabilizing me and giving me the energy I need in order to make wise choices. 

Disclaimer: I am NOT a Plexus Ambassador. I was not given any items for free from Plexus. If you choose to try Plexus, I get nothing at all. If you are interested in learning more, you can check out my friend’s site at http://jennirom.myplexusproducts.com/      She won’t push you to try it or become an Ambassador, but she will answer any questions if you have them. 

I also received nothing from the makers of any of the board games I mentioned. They are just fun. JimNNicks barbecue is another place I mentioned. No free barbecue, no money. Just a good lunch. Publix also gave me no money or any other type of compensation for mentioning their cake. 

Jillian does know who I a now, but she gave me nothing for buying her DVD or for kicking my fanny. 

 

 

What is Love (Baby Don’t Hurt Me)

Happy Valentine’s day to all my readers. I hope you are all having a fabulous Friday and a fabulous holiday. I have been flying high since about 8pm EST last night. We will get to that in a minute. So far, I have had a wonderful day. Mickey is off work this weekend, so we get to spend the weekend together. Alice is starting to feel better, so I am looking forward to spending the weekend with her as well. I have so much to say today, so hang on. In fact, I could not decide to name my entry today after Valentine’s Day, which I gave in and did, or whether to name it after what happened last night, or whether to name it after the exercise I did today.

Up first is Last Night. About 8pm EST, I decided to give my stats a look. I didn’t have anything better to do and I was bored. Now, my blog is less than a month old, so I don’t expect much. I have (had) around 190 followers, which is great. I also average around 100 hits per day. Not bad for a brand new blog that is really about nothing but me. (It’s ALL about ME!!!!) According to the little doohickey at the top of our stat site, my blog was getting tons of hits. I was puzzled. I looked at the bottom, but there weren’t THAT many likes, no more than usual. Same people commenting, no more than usual. So why was my blog hitting the stratosphere?

I decided to check my email. Maybe there was an explanation. Maybe, the SEO Gods had smiled on me, although that seemed silly, considering I write this blog for me without an worry about SEO practices. I opened my email, which is linked to my blog and my Twitter account. I auto tweet all my entries. I think so far, it has garnered me one hit, LOL. BUT, Bolthouse Farms has been reading my blog and following me. When I saw what was in my email, I about died. I could NOT breathe. I turned to Alice and began gasping and pointing at my screen. It took three tries before I could get the words out.

If you are my friend on Facebook, you know what happened. However, most of my readers are not. This is BIG, people. JILLIAN MICHAELS READ MY BLOG AND RETWEETED IT OUT!!!!!!!!

Here it is people:

JillianMichaelsTour ‏@JillianLiveTour 21h

Love this, @hunterswriter! Movin’ on up – you’ll be at 70 pound weights before you know it 😉 a great read!

THEN, she included the link to my blog.

Now, I can never claim in my disclaimer that Jillian Michaels doesn’t know I exist.

Now, onto, what is love? Many people think love is flowers and chocolates and cards and nice dinners out once a year. Not me. I don’t dislike Valentine’s Day, I just celebrate it differently. Mickey and I have a weekday getaway planned for March. Today, we took a HEART healthy walk together (more about that in a minute.) Alice fixed me a protein filled breakfast. It’s the little things.

Mickey proved his love to me three years ago when I had heart surgery. He sat by me constantly. Mickey helped me to the restroom and wiped my fanny when I couldn’t bend or move to do it myself. That is love people. Anyone can buy a few roses and say, “I love you.” Real love is wiping your partner’s bottom, when she can’t do it herself. Mickey gave me sponge baths after I got home. He did every single chore there was to do around the house because i was helpless.

Mickey works a job he doesn’t like. He goes in faithfully and works in 140 degree heat pulling splintery plywood off a conveyer belt. It is hot, sticky, splintery work and Mickey does it so he can provide for me and Alice. Even though, biologically Alice isn’t his and most of the time Alice ignores him. He still does this. He pays the bills, he allows me to plan great vacations and scrimp so we can have them. Everyday, in little ways, Mickey tells me he loves me and it doesn’t involve flowers or cards.

Now, as far as our walk. We went for a pretty intense walk for me, anyways. I downloaded Map My Walk, because a friend swears by it. Off we went. I walked as fast as my short little legs would carry me and I swung my arms the entire time. When I was done, I found that Map My Walk had listed my walk as a leisurely walk. I went with it, but geesh. I was sweating. I was out of breath and panting. I managed almost a mile and still have to get on the bike for a bit. I guess it is because I was walking basically a 23 minute mile. However, I never thought panting and sweating meant leisure!

That is all for today my friends. I hope you all have a lovely weekend and remember, love isn’t just about having a boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse. It’s about being with people you love who understand you and love you back.

Movin’ on Up

The sun is shining. The ice is melting. Georgia will have spring weather next week. We are supposed to have temperatures up in the 70s by Friday, the 21st. I can’t wait. I truly do not care if I ever see snow or ice ever again. Usually, I am not one to complain about the cold. I used to really enjoy cold weather. However, the older I have gotten, the more the cold makes me ache. I do love Spring and Fall. They are probably my favorite seasons. Spring feels so fresh and clean. Everything is being reborn. Fall is crisp and smells like leaves and bonfires and football games. I am anticipating Spring.

It is time for The Fat Girl Next Door to move on up. Today, when I got on my exercise bike, I found the pedaling to be very easy. That has NEVER happened. So, I decided the time has come to move it up a notch. Granted, I was only pedaling at Level 2, although I usually pedal a moderate 14 mph and on certain workouts, a vigorous 17-20 mph. Today, I kicked it up to Level 3 and was able to maintain a vigorous 17 mph for my 16 minute ride. On days I have a date with Jillian Michaels, I only bike 15-16 minutes to ensure I get a 45 minute workout.

I put in the dreaded Jillian Michaels “Ripped in 30” DVD and began the 30 minutes of torture. I really prefer “Body Revolution”, because in Phase One, it truly is a little easier for me. I alternate it with “Ripped in 30” and I only do those workouts every other day. I know Jillian expects everyday, but a friend I greatly admire and respect, told me to wait a full day between anything having to do with weights. On my “off circuit days” I bike at a vigorous mph for 30 minutes and also throw in a walk outdoors.

Today, as I followed along with Jillian, I began to plan my blog. I made a mental grocery list and planned supper for the next two days. I reminded myself to send a message to Mufasa in Germany and have him call me. Then, it hit me. I was more than half way through my usual Week One exercise session. I didn’t feel like I was going to puke. I was sweating, but I wasn’t having to stop the DVD after every circuit to catch my breath and have a drink of water. I wasn’t even thinking, “OH MY GOD, PLEASE SWITCH TO FLOOR EXERCISES BECAUSE I AM GOING TO DIE.”

Then, I realized my weights were above my head like they were supposed to be. I was lunging and lifting without feeling a pull or strain. I had a HUGE moment of pride. Jillian wasn’t kicking my fanny. I was kicking hers. I was DOING this workout. She had NOT defeated me. I glowed at the thought of how the first day, I had collapsed in a soggy heap in the middle of pushups. I had to take a rest break after the FREAKING warm-up. I was always a beat behind Jillian, because I had to use the coffee table to pull myself up off the floor. I had done this! I was officially on my way to being RIPPED IN 30!!!! (years, maybe. If I am not too old then. Can you be ripped at age 76?)

Then, reality crashed in. My moment of pride gave way to a moment of horror. Dear Lord, I have to move up to Week 2. I suppose while I am at it, I had best buy another set of hand weights as well. It is time to move up in weight. I guess the 50 pounders just aren’t cutting it anymore. Ok, ok, I don’t use 50 pounders. I am pretty sure I can’t begin to lift 50 pounds, I use 3 pound weights. I guess I am going to move up to 5 pound weights.

I am still on Phase One of “Body Revolution” and think i will be there quite awhile longer. However, Monday, I move up to Week 2 of “Ripped in 30,” or as I call it, “Jillian gets revenge on me for daring to let my mind wander during one of her workouts.”

Disclaimer: I receive nothing from Jillian Michaels for talking about her or her products. Nothing free, no recognition, no promotions. I bought my “Ripped in 30” at WalMart for 9.99. Ariel brought me “Body Revolution.”

Misery Business

     So, yesterday, try as I may, I could not get a minute to blog. Alice was home sick, and she was at the stage where you feel just well enough to whine and be demanding. I spent my time making milkshakes, baking bread pudding, and preparing food she felt like eating. I also spent time at the crowded grocery store, because I live in Georgia- in the area forecasted to get an inch of ice. Saturday and Sunday, I was walking outside in shorts.Tuesday, I was in the middle of the crowded grocery store. I posted on my Facebook page, I truly went to the store to get a can of reduced sodium Cream of Chicken Soup and I walked out with my soup and a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk. It has to be Southern genetics. Storm=bread+milk. Even though I don’t eat white bread. I eat rye or flatbread or pita.

     At least my stove is gas. Even if we lose power, which I am praying we don’t, no one here will go hungry. We did get a good bit of ice last night and this morning. There seems to be a lull and I hope it stays that way. The thing about being in the middle of an ice storm, is I have the overwhelming urge to bake and cook. Of all the things I can’t do or am not good at doing, cooking is not one of those things. AND, I like to eat my cooking. Luckily, Alice and Mickey devoured the bread pudding, which was made with chocolate chips, custard and croissants. I ate half a cup for dessert. It was amazing.

     Today, I got up and made this for breakfast: http://www.lynnskitchenadventures.com/2013/11/cinnamon-roll-baked-oatmeal.html Cinnamon roll baked oatmeal. People, I do not even like oatmeal and this was delicious. Great for a cold, winter, iced-in day. It tasted decadent and it is HEALTHY!

     So, why is today Misery Business? I have been planning this blog post for awhile. Being fat is miserable. Oh, not only do you have to deal with the fact there are virtually no cute clothes for the heavily overweight, you also have to deal with the snide remarks people make and the looks they give you. No matter what you buy to eat, you are going to get “the look.” You know the one I am talking about. The disdainful one that says, “why are you taking up space and breathing my air, fat person?” Try being a handicapped person with an invisible disease like heart failure. Summer is horrible. I swell, swell, swell in the heat. In order to grocery shop, I have to use the ride- on carts. I get plenty of looks and have heard people say, “If she would get off that cart and walk, she might not be so fat.” Fat-shaming and fat-bullying are alive and well and are the ONLY forms of bullying that seem completely socially acceptable. I even venture to say it is encouraged.

     Additionally, try using the restroom anywhere other than in your own home. Men, you have it a little easier. I have literally (and yes, I am using the word correctly) been almost standing on my head in the WalMart restroom, as I attempt to wipe my behind. Why? Well, I would LOVE to say because my arms are too short. However, I think it is because I have a giant stomach in the way. I have often wondered if I was just going to flip over and land flat on my back in the stall. Head down towards the ground, a$$ in the air, wiping my bottom like I just don’t care.

     I also keep a raw place under my breasts. Not fun at all. Misery Business, actually. Part of it is caused by being fat, the other is caused by being large-breasted. I was a 36DD by 9th grade and I was a size 7. The girls aren’t as perky as they were back then. In fact, I am pretty sure while they aren’t quite friends with my knees yet, they do have a fairly good relationship with my belly button. I wash under them 3x a day with Dial, dry carefully, blow-dry to make sure they are REALLY dry, (Aside, my hair sweats and my breasts get blow-dried.) and apply different remedies. Since I started working out, they are getting worse, due to the sweating. I do clean immediately after exercise. It’s one of those have to get worse, before I get better.

     Even friends can be vicious. I once had a friend tell me after heart surgery that I had “done this to myself.” I was just too heart-sick and tired to tell her that no, I might be fat, and it probably didn’t help, but I have hereditary heart disease. My grandmother, who was a size 4, had a two heart attacks. My uncle who is slightly underweight has CAD and has undergone by-pass. My great-uncle dealt with CHF all his life and finally died from it. My grandfather had PAD, a close cousin to CAD.

     I am changing my lifestyle for ME, though. It just won’t work if you are doing it for others. It has to be for you and for reasons that inspire you. For me, it’s small things. I want to wear a pair of real jeans. I want to ride a real bicycle again, outside. I want to buy a cute sweater and undies from Victoria’s Secret. I want to quit sweating just from climbing a set of stairs. Oh yeah, I want to be able to wipe my fanny in a restroom without having a close, personal relationship with the floor of the stall.

Disclaimer: I received nothing from either WalMart or Victoria’s Secret for mentioning them. I can’t wear ANYTHING from VS at this point, anyway.

 

Celebrate Good Times, Come On

     Well dear readers, it is Monday. For me, Monday is weigh-in day. I was really dreading today’s weigh-in. Because of my CHF, I have to weigh daily, to ensure I am not holding fluid. Any gain of 3-5 pounds overnight and I have to call my doctor. Regardless of what YOU may think, you can’t gain 3-5 pounds of fat overnight. If you show such a weight gain, it is water. Even though I weigh daily, if I see a loss, I still only log what my loss is on each Monday.

     All week long, I have seen a loss of half a pound. While any loss is a loss, I’d still like to see a little more than half a pound. I am aiming for at least 2 pounds per week after all. Now, half a pound is nothing to sneeze at or blow off. There will be weeks when a half a pound is a good thing. Shoot, as I continue on with my new lifestyle (not a diet) there will probably be weeks where I see NO loss. However, this was NOT one of those weeks.

     When I stepped on the scale this morning, I showed a loss of 5.8 pounds. That means in the last month I have lost 17.4 pounds! I now weigh 282.6. This was my best weight-loss week since I started. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I got back on the scale 3 times before I rushed to tell Mickey. Now, for those of you reading who are also changing up the lifestyle and trying to lose weight, please do NOT be discouraged if you are not losing the way I am. You have to remember, I started at 300. This means I am going to have high weight losses for awhile. Then, it will taper off.

     Losing the 5.8 pounds is not my only reason for celebration. Yesterday, I got the kindest, most inspiring comment on my blog. Someone told me they had just discovered my blog, had read the entire thing and found ME inspiring. People, I don’t think I have ever been an inspiration to anyone in my entire life. It made me feel so good. Better than homemade chocolate chip cookies, even. I have spent the last few years thinking of myself as a sick person who no longer had anything much to offer to anyone. I am sure I am not the only one of us who feels this way. I also bet I am not the only one guilty of eating my feelings. The point is, that kind comment gave me another reason to celebrate.

     I want to say, changing my lifestyle is harder than quitting smoking. Quitting smoking is difficult, to say the least. But like my sister, Judy said,  “you don’t have to smoke to live, but you do have to eat.”  I have worked hard for every single one of those 17 pounds. I have let Jillian Michaels kick my fanny until I was panting on the floor and dripping sweat. I don’t mean my body was sweaty. I mean drops of sweat have been dripping off my the tip of my nose and off my hair. You know it’s bad when your hair is sweating. (OK, so it was really my scalp, but having your hair sweat sounds tougher.)

     I also have to change the way I celebrate. For instance, Valentine’s Day is Friday. Mickey and I decided instead of rewarding me with food, like a supper out or a box of candy or anything like that, we are taking a getaway. Just me and Mickey next month at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino. I am looking forward to it. Oh, we will have a nice dinner and we will gamble, but I have a month to prepare and it is life. I actually feel like I am living it, not sitting in my recliner watching it pass me by.

     Because I have so much weight to lose, I am going to reward myself when I hit a milestone. When I hit 50 pounds, I am going to the spa in town and I am going to have an hour long massage, as well as a mani/pedi. When I hit 75, I am going to treat myself to a fancy haircut, color and style. I am also hoping maybe I will need a few extra items of clothing.

     The point is, every single one of us has something we can celebrate daily. Did you have water with a meal instead of soda? Did you exercise even though it was really the very last thing you wanted to do? Did you eat a piece of fruit instead of a cookie or cake? Did you eat a serving of vegetables with your supper? No matter what you have done or haven’t done today, there is something to celebrate. Maybe you were like the sweet lady who commented on my blog and simply said something nice to someone.

     Speaking of something to celebrate, how many of you watch The Walking Dead? I was so happy to see it back on television last night. Love me some zombies and some Rick and some Michonne and ESPECIALLY some Daryl. If you watch, what did you think? I thought parts were a little slow, but I really do enjoy getting to “know” each character. Do you have a favorite character? Alice loves Carl. I even got her a Carl action figure for Christmas. Carl was very inexpensive. Daryl was over 40.00. Needless to say, we don’t have him.

Disclaimer: I have received nothing from the Walking Dead. I just love the show. Again, Jillian Michaels does not know me and I am pretty glad she does not. I receive nothing from using her products except some hair sweat. I also got nothing from Harrah’s. I did get a great deal on our rooms, but that is because I purchased a Groupon.

Never Going to Give You Up

     I really, truly wish I were more familiar with WordPress. If I were, I would insert a video here and laugh and tell you I had Rick Rolled you. Alas, I am not proficient enough with this platform….yet. You have been warned.

     So, yesterday was a pretty big day for me here in the blogging world. Bolthouse Farms, the maker of the yummy, yummy dressing I was telling you about yesterday, read my blog and tweeted me. It takes such small things to make me happy. Speaking of small things, Sundays make me happy. The Walking Dead returns tonight! The weather is beautiful. I am getting better on my walking. Little things that add up to make a very nice day. I am going to have to extend my walking route. What once took me 30 minutes at a brisk pace, now takes me 20 minutes at a moderate pace. I would have extended my walk, but Alice wanted to come home. She is still very tired from attending Winter Jam last night. Because I am a heart patient, Mickey does not like me to walk alone. So, I came home.

     One of the small things I enjoy about Sundays is brunch. There are certain foods, I am never going to give up, so I wait until Sunday and have a nice leisurely brunch. They aren’t big things, in fact my decadent brunch only contained 312 calories. However, some of them are things I don’t think I should have everyday.

     For instance, I dearly love coffee. However, I like my coffee more as a mocha latte. I don’t put sugar in my coffee, but I do “doctor” it up. I enjoy my coffee with a packet of cocoa mix and 4 tablespoons of cinnamon vanilla creamer. Each tablespoon of creamer has 30 calories, so 4 tablespoons has 120 calories. Now, I could have coffee everyday with some stevia and some skim milk and I could probably add half a teaspoon of cinnamon and have a half version of my favorite coffee. I don’t want to do that, though. I would rather drink hot tea (which I also enjoy) with a little honey 6 days of the week and indulge in my favorite coffee drink one day of the week. I sure do sip and savor that cup of coffee. It is like heaven in a mug.

     I also love real butter and bacon. Mmmmmm. So, on Sunday, I put half a teaspoon of butter on my rye bread and toast it. I also cut a piece of bacon in half and fry it up. Before I fry my bacon, I cook my egg in my favorite non-stick skillet and even sprinkle just a teeny bit of salt over it. I would much rather enjoy this breakfast once a week than just give up butter and bacon and mocha lattes. I could sub in turkey bacon and I could use some type of margarine and probably have this breakfast every day. I’d rather have the real thing and not give anything up I want to eat.

     Other things I won’t give up are sour cream and mayonnaise. I have many friends who swear they can substitute plain Greek yogurt for sour cream. I tried it. I truly did. I HATED it. I would rather have no sour cream than plain yogurt on my baked potato or taco. I generally don’t use it now, but every two weeks or so, I will plan a meal where I include one tablespoon of Daisy. I also still make egg salad and chicken salad. I just cut the amount of mayonnaise I use in half or even thirds. It is just not egg salad or chicken salad or tuna salad or potato salad without my Dukes mayonnaise.

     I will substitute on a sandwich, though. I have given up mayonnaise on my sandwiches. I have substituted Kelchner’s Horseradish sauce. It is nice and spicy and takes much less than the serving size of a full teaspoon, which has no calories. It is in the refrigerator section of the grocery store, usually over by the seafood. It is another food with nothing artificial and with no preservatives and I LOVE it. You can find it here: https://www.kelchnershorseradish.com/products/horseradish.html

     Are there any foods you won’t give up? Have you found any great substitutions? Let me hear from you. Tomorrow is weigh-in day and I am hoping for at least a two pound loss.

 

Disclaimer: I have received nothing from Daisy Sour Cream, Dukes Mayonnaise or Kelchner Horseradish sauce. Not even any coupons off their products. They do not know I exist. But Bolthouse Farms does!!!! (Know I exist, they haven’t given me anything for a mention.)