Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ok... so this is my first challenge!

Ok... now that the first 50 lbs. are gone forever, I'm ready to send the next 50 packing. Lately, so much has been going on, I am struggling to stay focused and keep my momentum going. I am still abstaining from the sugar and caffeine, but am not journaling, and definitely not exercising... so after watching a success story on Joy Fit Club where a woman lost 130 lbs by walking, my friend and I came up with this idea!

Let's walk our way to weight loss! I know I need a kick in the butt... but don't we all? In order to help us meet our weight loss goals this summer, I am challenging all of my friends to compete with me to see who can walk the most minutes between June 4 and August 3. That's 60 days whole days! The winner gets a $50 SuperCertificate from, that can be exchanged for gift cards from hundreds of places.

At, I have signed up for a league, where all of my friends and blog followers can log in their minutes of walking. You can also log in other types of exercise, but for this challenge we are only counting the minutes you walk each day (just so everyone is on the same page). I sent an invite to everyone who I have an email address for, but all you have to do is go to the sight to sign up. The league is called "Hollie's Hottie's", because I know we all want to be hot by the end of the summer, right!?!? I think this link will also take you there...

Sign-ups will go until June 4. The site is really easy to use, and you can actually log lots of different exercises and statistics with it. I don't know about you, but I like graphs, lol! I really think this is going to be a FUN challenge, so help me spread the word! Who DOES NOT want a $50 gift card, right? And we are all getting healthy and HOT in the process!

C'mon - Let's do this! Mark your calendars for JUNE 4!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Day 46 - Getting down to business...

Today has been one of those productive days for me. Had to take my mom to the dr. this morning, so it was an early rise. I got several things done I've been putting off. I still need to STUDY and wrote a paper, but I'm getting there.

This afternoon I took a break from studying and played in the yard with my kids for a while. They LOVE playing with our neighbor kids, and are so much more active than they used to be. I like to get out there and work in the yard and just be OUTSIDE now. Especially when the weather is nice like today. I decided to take a couple of pics of the flowers in my yard, and my daughter asked to take my picture since I had on one of my new outfits, and she said I looked "pretty". So being the wannabe photographer she is, she took several pictures.
I was just posing away - and then it dawned on me that I was NOT hiding from the camera! This is SO not me way I used to be. But I feel so much more confident than I used to. I was downloading the pictures, and couldn't believe the pictures were of ME. I realized that I not only feel genuine, but I look that way, too.
In the past, I would have sat and looked at pictures of myself and immediately would get depressed. Today, I was pleased, and actually think I'm kinda HOT!

In my comments from yesterday (thank you for all the compliments!) someone mentioned arms, and wearing sleeveless tops. As you can see, my arms are still very big, but that has NEVER stopped me from wearing sleeveless! When it's hot, the sleeves have gotta go! Big arms or not! But this year, I do think they have improved. Of course, I still have a LONG way to go - but I'll get there!
One other thing - I have been trying to comment on my favorite blogs all week. But for some reason, I cannot post comments from my home computer. I used to just wait and comment from my school computer, but since I still have not got my laptop Internet-ready, I'm stuck on my PC for blogging for the time being. SO I just wanted you all to know that I WANT to comment, and will even type out the comments. But it won't POST! I don't know why? But I am still reading all the blogs daily, and am so encouraged by you ALL!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day 45 - New Clothes!

I am so happy right now! Just got back from SHOPPING with my birthday gift cards! Ask and you shall receive, right? I told you a few days ago about a wonderful someone who reads my blog (thanks Ritter!) sending me a $50 Lane Bryant Gift card, right? Well, two other good friends (thanks Jacal and Yvette) gave me gift cards after that for my birthday, so I got to go and FINALLY get some clothes that fit!

I am a firm believer in trying on clothes before I buy them. If I don't love an item, I don't buy it. So, I got to try on SEVERAL pair of pants, and it's official - I am now a size 22. 9 out of 10 pair that I tried fit perfectly! And I am also wearing a size 18/20 shirt!?! What?!? Yeah... since giving up sugar and starting my new plan, I've noticed that I have lost a lot of fat around my belly, which might explain the even smaller top size. Here is some of my loot:
I also got 3 more ribbed tanks (size xxl from Old Navy!) because I love to wear ribbed tanks in the summer. With the ONE pair of capri's I already had that are still wearable, I think I'm good to go! Most of my tops and bottoms will mix and match, so I don't need anything else until I am in a size 20 bottom! Yes!

I decided to also do a side-by-side comparison. The picture on the left is me at the beginning of my journey (9/2008). The picture on the right is me today, weighing 50 lbs less! I still can't tell a huge difference in the picture, but the difference in real life is amazing!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Happy Birthday to ME!

Things that make this the BEST and most UNUSUAL birthday I've ever had:

1. No birthday cake - I used to LOVE birthday cake... lived for the icing. This year for the first time IN MY LIFE... didn't want one, didn't get one.
2. I can't count the birthday wishes I've received today - from both online friends and friends I see all the time. It has been overwhelming!
3. I got actual GIFTS for my birthday. I never get anything, so wasn't expecting anything. But this year, I actually had GIFT CARDS given to me for new clothes!
4. I had FUN this year - not just today, but for almost an entire WEEK beforehand! Lots of fun!
5. I did not use my birthday as an excuse to have a food free-for-all. I have still set my limits, and feel good about how well I've done today.
6. This is the first time in over 5 years that I set a weight-related goal for my birthday and actually succeeded!

There is probably more, but I'm so tired I can't hold my eyes open! Tomorrow is a new day, and the start of my 33rd year of life! And for once, I can say I am ready to LIVE!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Day 43 - Memorial Day Weigh In

After a crazy week of stress I weighed in at 284.8 - which is a loss of 2.4 lbs. this week! Great considering that my schedule was non-existent AGAIN, and that I have not been getting any sleep AND drinking alcoholic beverages like I think their going to run out, lol. ***I just noticed that I have officially broke the 50 lb. mark! My total weight loss is 50.6 lbs!*** I also got a total of 2 hours of activity last week. Might not seem like much, but it's better than ZERO!

Today is back to basics. School is out, and I have at least a week off with no plans. I am wrapping up my birthday celebrations, and don't have any alcohol/club/late night plans in my future. Going to a movie with a friend this afternoon, and no plans for tomorrow (which is my actual birthday). I don't NEED to do anything for tomorrow, since I've been celebrating for a week! It's been a great birthday! First time in YEARS.

Bottom line is that I have time to CONCENTRATE on getting back into my healthy eating and exercise. I also need to focus on my school work, and try to work ahead where I can. Next week starts summer school, and that will keep me busy for a few hours every day. I am also going to try to get with Target again and start that ASAP. I am just glad to be able to kick back for a little while before the madness begins. I'm thinking long walks outside, some pool action, and sleeping in!

On Saturday evening I got a chance to take an hour-long walk ALONE. It was so great, and I've got a new route around the neighborhood now. Right now I am off to mow the grass, and plan to do a little grilling for lunch. Turkey burgers (for me), hot dogs for the kiddos, and plenty of watermelon! Now that's what I'm talkin' about!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Day 41 - School's OUT!

Today is my "last" day of school for this school year! We said goodbye to our students on Thursday, and had a teacher work day yesterday. Today we will be here until 10 a.m. or so passing out report cards, and then that's it! I will be teaching summer school starting June 2 for 4 weeks, but for right now, I get a break!

I am still celebrating my birthday week. Had an afternoon "outing" with some co-workers yesterday, and plan on going out tonight. After I leave school today, I have soccer games for a few hours. Then I'm going shopping! Last week I got an email from someone named Ritter who reads this blog, and who also works with Lane Bryant. To reward me for my weight loss, they offered to send me a gift card to Lane Bryant so I could buy those capri's I've been wanting! I couldn't believe it was for real, but I got a $50 gift card on Thursday via FedEx at my job! That same day I got a coupon from Lane Bryant for 20% off my purchase for my birthday, so I'm sure I will be able to afford not only a pair of capri's, but a shirt to go with it! So, shouts out to RITTER - and thank you!

My plan is to get my act together starting tomorrow as far as alcohol is concerned. I've still been eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong foods, but I know alcohol and mixed drinks have SO many calories. I peeked at the scale yesterday and today to see if I'd done any damage, and I'm actually DOWN 2 lbs. since Monday. So after tonight (my last planned "outing"), I'm going to get back to the book with my eating plan. I really want to lose as much weight as possible over the summer, so I can return to school in the fall and people really be able to tell a difference. I'm almost at the 50 lb mark, and I would love to lose at least 20 more before school starts back at the end of July.

Still slacking on exercise, but this week has been SO busy. I have been moving around so much at school these last few days because of all the packing and cleaning we've been doing in the classroom. I've also been cleaning and organizing at home (when I'm there), so I'm definitely not vegging in front of the TV instead of exercising. Next week is a "free" week. No plans except for taking my mom to the doctor on Thursday, so now that my house is clean I can hit the park with the kiddos and hopefully get some walking in (for real). We really LOVE to be outside in the summer.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Day 39 - Greetings from La-La Land!

Yes, I am a little loopy today, lol. I went out with a friend last night unexpectedly, and had a really great time. I didn't work out yesterday, but did dance a lot! I ran into some other friends and everyone commented on how good I looked, and how much weight I'd lost. I was so happy about that, especially when my friend made a comment on how much smaller my stomach was. She even used the word "flat", lol! I did drink, but didn't make bad food choices - or any food choice for that matter. On the way home, our group of friends wanted to stop at I-Hop, but even in my tipsy state I knew I didn't want to eat there. It almost seemed... gross? And then we ended up stopping at Steak-n-Shake, where my friend ordered me a kids meal since my stomach was feeling a little queezy. I ate one french fry and spit it out the window. I couldn't even swallow it - I thought it would just make me sick. This morning when I left for work, the hamburger and fries were still sitting in the bag on my friend's kitchen table. I have no desire - sober or not - to eat fast food.

I also didn't eat any of the pizza yesterday. Thankfully my co-worker is respectful of my abstinence from what we call "crack", so I didn't have anyone pushing it in my face. There was also chips, Ding-Dongs, and sodas. I ate my salad and was quite content. After school, we still had about 1 1/2 pizzas leftover, so I took them home for the kids to have for dinner (since I knew I would be going to Jessica's house). Still absolutely no desire to eat that damned pizza. It amazes me that I have gone so far that I can turn down pizza. Besides soda and sugar, pizza was the one other thing I thought I could never give up. And now I finally have control of it.

Today is the last day of school, but I still have a teacher workday tomorrow, and then I also have to report on Saturday for 1/2 day. I can't believe this school year is already over! I really love my job and look forward to Summer school in June. I will be working with Special Ed. students with severe disabilities, which will be a total change for me. Even though it will be a challenge, I am glad to get the experience. I finally turned in my lesson plans on Monday and everyone in charge liked them. I also found out yesterday that I am got accepted into a grant program that will pay for all the classes that I will need for licensure. I am in the Master's program, but the undergrad classes I need for my teacher license are not included in that tuition. So this program will cover the difference, and finally get me on the track I need to be on.

One thing that I am going to HAVE to be disciplined with this summer is my school work. My job at the school has made it easy so far - because I do my school work during my down-time. I rarely ever have to do school stuff from home on the weekends. But this summer I will have to get my butt in gear so I can keep my 4.0 GPA! I have the privilege of being able to bring my school laptop home with me over the summer, and have also found out that they are going to let me take our class's Wii home, too. They don't want us to leave it in the classroom for fear someone will steal it over the summer, and since my co-worker doesn't have kids, he offered to let me take it! We have a lot of active games that will make you break a sweat. That's actually why we have it. Our students are alternative/behavior and do not get to participate in gym class or any type of P.E. So the director bought us a Wii so we could be active in the classroom. We actually got approved for a Wii Fit, but can never find one in the store when we have the Wal-Mart card. So we got Outdoor Challenge, which is good. It also has a mat, and makes you move a lot.

Ok... gotta get to work. We only have 1 student (lol) but there is so much end-of-the year stuff to do.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day 38 - Shiny Happy People

That song has been in my head for the past couple of days... my oldest is SO annoyed that I busted out the old R.E.M. cd to play in the car, lol. But I am really trying to adjust my mood - something that is necessary for me from time to time. I have struggled with depression for most of my life, but am currently not on medication for it. The stress and struggle that is my life has just been so much the past couple of weeks. But I'm so thankful for the sunshine we've had the past few days (weather also affects my mood) so I can hopefully snap out of this funk. And music helps, too!

I had WW yesterday, and lost 6.6 lbs. That is for two weeks since I didn't weigh in last week because of the concert. I didn't stay for the meeting because I planned to go walking. Until, that is, my daughter reminded me of soccer practice! Damn! I had forgot. So instead, I spent 3 hours on the soccer field. But the sun and weather was so nice, and I got to work on my blanket.

I planned on doing a DVD before bed last night, but of course I didn't. I decided to do my hair instead, lol. Plus I was super-tired and wanted to get at least 6 hours of sleep - which I did! I also got a lot of cleaning done last night. I have really let my household chores fall to the wayside the past few weeks. I am so unmotivated to do ANYTHING it seems. The only think I am doing with any type of consistency is eat right and do my school assignments. I have decided I really need to focus and write out a plan for the next two months. There is SO MUCH I need to accomplish, but I have to get my ass in gear to make it happen. Mentally, I am my own worse enemy sometimes.

Today is the pizza party at school, and I'm no longer stressing out about it. I'm over it the urge, and ready to say no. I brought an awesome salad for lunch (roasted chicken, lettuce, tomato) and am even treating myself to a drizzle of reduced-fat honey mustard salad dressing that I found in my fridge. I have also brought watermelon and strawberries for my a.m. and p.m. snack. So, I feel like I'm getting a treat, only with healthy food instead of greasy, fattening pizza and chips. I'll let ya know how it goes!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Day 37 - Out to Lunch/Goal Pants

I just got back from going to lunch with two of my co-workers. It was unexpected, but a nice treat. We got to take this little excursion for helping cover classes during Spring Fling a few weeks ago. We went to a local place called the Cukoo's Nest, and it was pretty good. I got salad sampler, and only ate half. They brought this really delicious bread out with an orange marmalade butter. I had a tiny piece of it, and was satisfied with just trying it. Although I could have eaten the whole plate full! It's a BEAUTIFUL day here in TN! I am so glad I got that lawn done yesterday, so now I can get out and WALK this afternoon.

Hopefully I can leave my son playing with his little neighbor friend, so I can put the baby in the stroller and my oldest daughter and I can walk for at least an hour. Thirty minutes is usually as long as my son can go before he gets tired. But he's only 8, and a really good sport about going walking with us. Either way, it's on as far as getting a workout. Last night it took me 1:15 to cut the yard, but I'm only counting an hour ($10) since I did have to stop once to re-fuel, and another couple of times to un-clump the wet grass. It's a really good workout, though! My arms are tired, and I'm breathing hard from start to finish. You can't tell in the pictures, but my back yard is as big or bigger than the front. It's not a small job.

This morning I was getting ready for work, and decided to try on my "goal pants" again. It's been a week or two, so I figured it couldn't hurt. THEY FIT! I have two pair that are identical, except one pair is white and one pair is olive green. The olive green one's look better because they're not so transparant. But honestly, I don't like the way either pair look on me! They are linen, so the material is not forgiving at all. They are more fitted in the hips than in my waist, so I have to pull the drawstring on them, since not they are TOO LOOSE in the waist! I started to wear the green ones but didn't. I just don't really like them! Mabye if I loose a little more weight they'll "fall" better around my thighs and I'll like them better.

SO... I am moving on to the next pair. I have a pair of size 22 denim capri's that is next on my list. They are Venezia, but do not have any stretch at all. If they had stretch, I'd be able to wear them now. But my next "goal" will be to wear these capri's by the end of the summer. Technically, my goal was to be able to wear those linen capri's by my birthday, and I made it!

Today is WW weigh-in at school. I will go WI, but I am not staying for the meeting. I'd rather be walking out in this glorious weather! I'm kinda bummed because I have lost my little 25 lb. disc that was on my keychain! I don't know what happened to it :( But it pisses me off that I worked so hard to get it and lost it. I should have put it up instead of putting it on my keychain.

And if you haven't read this blogger or post, you've got to! I laughed my ass off this morning!

What My Scale Might Say If It Could Talk

Monday, May 18, 2009

Mow the grass - CHECK!

Yes, this is me still mowing my grass in the dark...

Day 36 - Weigh-in and exercise incentive plan!

I weighed in at 284.8 - which is only down 1.6 lbs this week. A loss is a loss - so I am okay with it. But I should have done better. I know several things that went wrong this week:

1. My eat-every-three-hour schedule went out the window.
2. I ate too many protein/meal replacement bars because of my busy schedule last week.
3. Not enough f/v on several days.
4. Not enough sleep! Tuesday and Friday nights I stayed up all night, then all day the day after. The nights I did go to bed I only got 5 -6 hours of sleep. 25 hours of sleep over a 7-day period is not enough.
5. My stress level is off the chart - summer break is 4 days away and I still don't have a summer job. Clyde is still not paying child support, so I don't know how I am going to survive the next 8 weeks.
6. I am constipated, which I know is because of too much protein, not enough fiber/fruit/veggies. I also find that stress causes me problems in that area, too.
7. Still not exercising.
8. Did not journal.

All I know to do is to keep going forward, and try my best to get back to 100% success. I am still doing well with staying away from sugar and caffeine, but I know that if I don't get back to where I need to be I will be tempted to slip. Especially with caffeine - Wed. and Sat. I wanted coffee or soda so bad - just for the pick-me-up. And today our class got news we will be rewarded with a Pizza party on Wednesday. Pizza = bad news for me. It is one of my serious weaknesses. I am already struggling because I want it so bad, and I know I will not be able to stop at 1 piece if I start.

But something I am starting today is a new exercise incentive plan for myself. I NEED new clothes - it's not a want anymore. I have reasoned that I don't need a lot - just a few pairs of shorts or capris to get me through the summer months. Since I will most likely be working at Target, I won't need work clothes until late July. So for every 30 minutes of exercise I do each day, I will add $5 to my fund. So, if I do 30 min/ day for 5 days, that's $25 at the end of the week I can use to buy something. Basically, that's a pair of capri's or shorts on sale at Lane Bryant. I am so broke, but if I used to be able to scrape together $5 for Starbucks or McDonald's, I can do it for myself. And who knows, I might really kick it in gear the days I'm off work and get in at least an hour! It is supposed to be sunny all week here in middle TN, so I am looking forward to walking a lot. Today, however, will be mowing the grass again - which is a great workout, and takes at least an hour from start to finish! $10 - cha-ching!$$$

My goals for this week are to:
1. Journal everything I eat.
2. Get back on eating schedule.
3. Get at least 30 min. of exercise EVERY day.
4. Avoid a pizza disaster on Wednesday.

I have no "dates" planned this week - and maybe an outing this weekend for my birthday (which is next Tuesday). I am going to "try" to get to bed at a reasonable time this week - which is as easy as staying off the phone and the computer, lol. I know Memorial Day is coming up, but I am planning on keeping my celebration at home. I'll be grilling lean meats and will skip the fattening sides this year and go for grilled veggies instead. And watermelon! Rain is forcasted, so the day might end up being a total wash anyway. But I am looking forward to local pools opening and the beginning of the lazy, hot days of summer. I love summer! Hot weather included!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Day 34 - Too much fun!

Jess gave me this pic the other day, and I love it. Jess is on the far left, then my niece Sandy in the middle, and me on the right. This was taken a couple of weeks ago when we all went out together. Jess and I are closer than sisters, and Sandy lived with us back in 1996 before any of us started having kids. It was a nice reunion, and I love this pic! I also noticed we all fit comfortably in this restaurant booth, lol.

I have been having a lot of fun over the past couple of months - more fun than I have had in a long time. At first, I struggled with it because I was told for so long (by ex) that I didn't deserve to have fun, and that fun = selfish. But fun has really kept me sane! I am so glad to have friends and family who are there for me during this time in my life. I am also glad that I am learning to have fun in ways that do not WRECK my diet. I don't eat or drink alcohol when I go out. The night this picture was taken, I actually drank THREE bottles of water, and ate a LUNA bar on the way, lol.

Yesterday was a very good eating day, and today has also been good. My schedule hasn't been 100% because of soccer lasting longer than I anticipated and because I also had a late night (or should I say early morning, lol). Dinner will be a big salad, and I've got a lot of water down today. I have yet another cute outfit that fit in 2007, was too small in 2008, and is way too big this summer. I was sure it would be okay, but no such luck.

I am starting strength and toning tomorrow, along with a whole new "commitment" to exercise. I figure that since I am really needing to buy new clothes, I could tie that in to exercise somehow. I am going to start rewarding myself for sticking to exercise. I figure I can squeeze out a little extra money for myself, and it's turning into a true NEED! Really, my capri's and shorts are all coming down while I walk! I don't have to use buttons anymore, lol! Yeah, it's helpful when I am in a hurry to pee, but not really any other time. I don't have a "real" belt, just some that came in jeans or pants I've bought. I have poked holes in them to make them smaller and try to wear a belt when possible, but makes this "pooch" in the back and makes my ass look bigger! I hate saggy-ass - and since I suffer from noassatall disease, it's driving me nuts.

I'll let ya'll know that plan when I get it together 100%.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Day 33 - Back to basics

Yesterday was so stressful. OMG, at one point I just wanted to gouge my damned eyes out so maybe they would just let me go home and hide in my room for a while. But I didn't, and things got better last night. Sometimes I just have to breathe and chill out. I talked to a friend for a while last night, and that got my mind of the disorganization of my life. He suggested that I really need to get my priorities in order - or take time to re-evaluate my priorities and he is right. I have so many balls in the air. And I always end up dropping a few...

I was supposed to have my summer school lesson plans done YESTERDAY - not done. I have a paper due tomorrow - that I haven't started. And do you think I have been journaling my food or eating on schedule? NO. Yes, I am still eating GOOD food, still staying away from sugar and caffeine. BUT I know that I must be vigilant about staying focused on my weight-loss journey so I won't slip.

So today has been back to basics for me. I went back to my food journal from Week 1 of this eating plan, and am taking it from there. So far, I have done very well. I have stayed on schedule and have taken all my supplements and am drinking water like a champ. I am going to MAKE IT MY BUSINESS to keep it up this weekend. There is only FOUR days of school left, so I am going to have to get used to staying on my schedule on days that I don't have a routine going. This summer is still pretty much in the air for me with no definite job plans except for summer school. I have to be able to pull this off no matter what obstacles I might face. I AM WORTH THE EXTRA TIME, EFFORT, AND ENERGY. I AM MY FIRST PRIORITY.

Well, I'm glad I have decided what number one on my priority list is!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Day 32 - Back on Schedule

Today I am concentrating on getting back on schedule! I went through the day yesterday feeling like a zombie, but went to bed at 10:30 and got a solid 7.5 hours of sleep. I woke up this morning, and had oatmeal, and felt very good about getting back to my normal routine. My plan for today is to stay on my eating schedule (every 3 - 4 hours), and to make sure I focus on making the right food choices. Yes, avoiding sugar and caffeine is so much easier than I ever thought it would be. I don't have cravings for it (although I did think I needed a soda for pick-me-up yesterday, but didn't have one). But NEVER do I think I am "cured" or that I don't have a problem with sugar or caffeine anymore. I am an addict, and I will ALWAYS be an addict. So I have to FOCUS on everything I do that even remotely relates to food so that I will never be caught off guard and slip.

Yesterday was definitely one of those days that I felt like I had to pay attention. Numero uno... I was tired and sleepy. Research tells me that when your body is sleep-deprived, it produces chemicals that increase your appetite. The morning was the hardest, because I kept feeling hungry. I know it's because I only had a meal-replacement bar instead of my usual, filling breakfast. It would have been easy to pull over for fast-food, or hit the vending machine. But I just concentrated on making good choices, and that's how I got through yesterday without a breakdown. I want SO BAD to succeed right now. I am feeling so good about myself and my body and my weight loss. Summer is practically here, and I want to be a LOSER this summer. I want to wear sleeveless shirts and shorts and feel good about it, instead of worrying about how gross I look.

I went through my closet last night and started taking out the clothes that were WAY too big. Mostly the size 26's. I am going by that consignment shop today to see what the procedure is to consign. I also thought about eBay. I used to sell a lot of my clothes on eBay, but have noticed that over the past couple of years that not as many people are using it to buy/sell clothes. For the past few days I have been on there looking for deals, and I see that a lot of the good plus-sized clothes are still selling for a good price on there. I have really good stuff, so I might put a few things on there to see what happens. I know from past experience that consignment shops practically GIVE your clothes away. I would rather put in a little more work and get more money.

Clyde FINALLY came through with daycare money this week, so I think I might go and try to find a cheap pair of denim Bermuda shorts or capri's, since I can mix and match several different tops with those. Only 5 more days of school after today, woo hoo! I am SO ready for summer!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Day 31 - I'm SO TIRED!

The concert last night was great. Robin Thicke is sexy as hell, and put on a good show. But Jennifer Hudson looked TRAGIC. First of all, I didn't know she was pregnant. And the sequined flapper dress/stirrup pants/blazer/tasselled ankle cuffs/flat, worn-out Jesus sandals were not working for me. Plus she kept sitting down to sing. Plus she only performed for about 30 minutes (and Robin Thicke danced his white-boy ass around and performed for at least 1 1/2 hours). BUT her voice is AMAZING and she seems really sweet.

Before the concert, we went to this local restaurant, Demos'. It's a steak and spaghetti place, but they serve all types of food. It took forever to get seats, AND they screwed up my order. I ordered a grilled chicken salad with no dressing, and I got a half of a pineapple stuffed with CHICKEN SALAD in it with a side of grapes? WTH. But since they brought out everyone's order EXCEPT for mine, and by the time they brought me the WRONG thing it was time for the concert to start and everyone else had finished eating, I just kept it. I only ate a couple of bites of the chicken salad because mayonnaise now disgusts me, and a few bites of pineapple and seven grapes. Oh, and I told them I didn't want soup for a starter, and they brought it anyway. I passed it to a friend at the table who ordered a house salad. Everyone I was with kept bugging me to "try" the bread, so I had to explain that I had eaten there before and had tried the bread on many occasions, but didn't want any. Once again, I wasn't even tempted to eat it. I drank my water and am okay with what I ate.

I got ZERO sleep last night. My kids were spending the night with Jessica, so I took the chance to act like I was 22 instead of 32. This is my Birthday month, ya know? I had a lot of fun, but man I am paying for it today. I abstained from alcohol last night, which I am proud of. I was STARVING this morning, and thankfully I had packed several protein and LUNA bars in my purse. I ate one of those on the way to pick up my kids this morning. I'm at work now, but I have a couple of apples and an orange here with me. And I'm getting a salad for lunch. I am going to concentrate on drinking as much water as possible today, and to get to sleep EARLY tonight so my body can re-charge. I am NOT in my 20's anymore. Staying up all night and trying to function the next day is obviously not something I can do anymore. But it is all good, and well worth the experience.

Oh, another funny thing happened this morning. When I was packing my overnight bag, I pulled a pair of white denim capri's out of my closet. I bought these the summer after Kalela was born (2006), and have not been able to wear them since. They are size 24, so I just assumed they would fit fine. When I was getting dressed for work this morning, the were SO big they were ridiculous! I could actually pull them up and down without unfastening the button! I had to race home this morning so I could change into another pair of capri's! Crazy, right? I am REALLY going to have to come up with something so I can get some new clothes that FIT. Someone told me of a consignment store in our town that carries plus-sizes. I think I am going to take all of my size 24, 26 and 28 summer clothes up there and put them on consignment, so in essence maybe I can "trade" for some new clothes. I am also dropping hints like crazy to everyone that I want clothes for my birthday in two weeks. Most of my summer clothes are size 26/28. I have several pair of slacks that are size 24, and they are getting very loose, too. School is out next week, so I won't be able to wear slacks for two months, lol.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Day 30 - Eating to Live

I made it 30 whole days with NO SUGAR and NO CAFFEINE! Woo Hoo! This is a record - something I've NEVER done before. It feels good to know that I decided to do something completely out of my comfort zone, and actually have succeeded for so long. Yesterday I was back on my eating schedule, and got all my supplements. At dinner time last night, I actually stood in my kitchen and didn't know what I wanted to eat. I had plenty of healthy, great-tasting choices, but I wasn't hungry, so it was hard to decide. In the past, I would have skipped the meal, or waited until I was hungry or famished. Then I might have made a not-so-good choice. So I ate something healthy and filling because it was good for me.

I think I have turned a corner to where I finally am beginning to understand what it's like to eat to live, instead of living to eat. I used to look forward to pizza, or get happy thinking about my donut from wal-mart. Or get excited when someone suggested eating at Cracker Barrel - because where else can you get such great French toast any time of the day? But this past week, eating has been for nourishment. Not for enjoyment. It's not a top priority in my life anymore. If anything, it's making my life much simpler. The time it takes me to shop for groceries has gone down considerably. I no longer go up and down every aisle of the store, because most if not all of my groceries come from the perimeter of the store or the frozen food section. My grocery bill has gone down because I'm not going through 2 - 3 12-packs of soda each week. I don't buy several boxes of sugary cereal and gallons of milk and boxes of pop tarts. Yeah, my kids protested at first, but now they just accept that we're changing the way we're eating.

And another positive change I see in them is their activity. Before we moved, we lived on almost two acres out in the rural part of the county. I used to beg for them to go outside and play, and then they would sit in chairs by the door until I let them come back in. But since we've moved, and also drastically changed the types of food that come into the house, my children can't WAIT to go outside. They are out there all day sometimes. I actually have to give them "5-min. warnings" that it's time to come in and have dinner. I'm sure it helps that we have neighbors for them to play with, but I just love that they're being active and playing a lot, instead of stuck in front of the TV or playing video games.

Tonight is the concert, and I'm so excited. I tried on my outfit last night, and thought it was funny when I saw how LOOSE my pants were. These are the same pants I bought back in Feb. and was so happy to be in a size 24. Now it's official that BOTH my slacks and jeans in size 24 are loose. I actually had to pick another pair of heels to wear with the outfit because the looseness around the waist made my pants longer! I am also able to wear cute chain belt around the shirt, and it's not even swallowed up by my fat rolls! AND I was able to give MYSELF a pedicure last night. Six months ago I couldn't even paint my own toenails! Now it was no sweat to cross my leg to scrub off the dead skin, and then paint my toenails a pretty Emerald green color. Nice!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Day 29 - Weigh-In and NSV

I decided since I am only going through the motions by weighing in at WW, and since I have allowed the scale back inside the house, that I would resume my normal Monday morning WI's. The scale this morning read 286.4, which is a 4.4 lb loss this week! I am happy dancing, since this is another LOW number for me. Today marks 29 days on my new way of eating, and if you'd have told me 30 days ago that I would be THIS far under the 300 lb. mark, after trying to get under 300 lbs for TWO YEARS, I would have found it hard to believe. My grand total is now 46.6 lbs! That's almost 50 lbs lost, and that makes me so damned happy!

I also had a HUGE NSV yesterday. A friend of mine and I were talking a couple of weeks ago, and he mentioned that he LOVED chess pie. For those of you that have never heard of chess pie, it is a very southern thing. It basically consists of butter, sugar, eggs, and a few other secret ingredients that depend on who's making it. I got the recipe from my mom, who got it from her mom, etc. So, since this person was nice enough to buy tickets for us to go to the Jennifer Hudson/Robin Thicke concert tomorrow, I decided to surprise this person by making a couple of pies to share at work. Now, I was aware ahead of time that this might be a challenge, but I was pretty sure I was up to it. I LOVE to make cakes and pies, and I also love to eat them, lol! You can guess since they have large amounts of sugar, I used to eat a lot of cakes and pies, especially during any holiday.

I didn't really do anything for Mother's day, other than take it easy and chill out around the house, so I decided to make the pies. I decided to make two chess, and two chocolate. When I was mixing together the ingredients, which used at least a pound of butter and about three pounds of sugar, and a total of 10 eggs (for 4 pies), I was so disgusted. How could I ever consume that much fat and sugar! I mean, I used to be able to eat a whole pie by myself over the course of a day! Ugh! I made the two chess first, then the two chocolate. Sometimes I had to catch myself to keep from licking my fingers, because that's habit. But I didn't feel tempted at all while making them. I ended up burning the edges of the two chocolate pies, so I decided not to take them. My children BEGGED to have a piece, and I cut them each a small piece.

After they went to bed, I went in the kitchen to wrap up the two "reject" pies, and the one pie that had been cut had this chocolatey, sugary piece of crust that was calling my name! For a split second I thought that I could KILL the rest of that pie. But something strange happened... my stomach turned! I almost felt nauseous at the thought of it! I wrapped them up and put them in the fridge. I brought the whole one to work today to give away, and I'll let my kids have another piece of the one at home for dessert tonight. My mom also said she wanted some, so I might give her the rest of that one. But I don't even WANT it! The old Hollie that still exists deep down inside of myself still tells me to eat stuff sometimes out of HABIT. Because that's what I've done for so long. But FINALLY, I am starting to learn to listen to my REAL hunger and REAL cravings. When I listen to what's real, I know that I don't want it.

I have almost went 30 days without sugar or caffeine. I am still struggling with eating every three hours on the weekends, but that is only because I am NOT hungry anymore. But even when I do feel hungry, I have been doing a good job of staying in control so I make good food choices when I eat. My mom offered to take me out to eat yesterday at this all-you-can-eat-buffet style joint, but I told her no. Yeah, I could probably find something to eat on the salad bar, and could have stuck to plan. But the truth is, NONE of us need to be eating there. Not my kids, or my nephew, and especially not her. I offered to grill out instead, and really enjoyed my turkey burger! My mom declined the grill-out, so she and my nephew still probably hit the buffet. That's okay, though. I can't control what she eats, but I can definitely control what I eat, and what my children are eating.

Tomorrow and Wednesday are probably going to be a little crazy. I am leaving work early tomorrow so I can meet my friends for this concert. I am so excited - this is my first "real" concert (at age 32!). Jessica is spending the night with my kiddos so I don't have any worries and can just go and have a great time. We are going to dinner before the show, but I'm not stressing it at all. The last two times I dined out, I made good choices and even had good WI's the next day. I have just learned to be specific about how I want my food cooked (no oil, sauces, etc.), and eat lots of veggies and drink water. I am still uneasy about drinking alcohol when I go out, not just for the calories, but because I'm afraid I will lose focus and slip. I know that I will not completely eliminate alcohol from now on, but just for the time being. One obstacle at a time...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Day 27 - On Target

Some of you might remember that for a few months during Xmas I worked part-time at Target. I was doing Weight Watchers then, and really stalled on my weight loss. For one, it was the holiday season and I think we all struggle then. And number two... there was a Starbucks and Pizza Hut in the store. Yeah... I indulged a lot! Even since I have stopped working there, it seems as if there is a routine that happens when I shop there. I get the biggest Frappucino they sell, and my kids hit the food avenue for popcorn and hot-dogs. Sometimes we get a personal pan pizza or a soft pretzel - but we always get SOMETHING.

So yesterday after school/work when I picked up my son from my Mom's, she handed me some cash and told me to go buy the something for myself and the kiddos. It's been a long time since we've been able to any type of "shopping", so we were all excited and headed straight to the mall! I found a shirt to wear to the concert at Ross, and was able to find some great deals at Old Navy for my oldest. Then we headed to Target for sandals and a video game for the boy. When I approached the store, I smelled the Starbucks. Uh oh... here we go again...

Am I strong enough to walk past it? The kids are going to want to stop for something to eat... It's 7 p.m. and they haven't had dinner so it makes sense to buy them something from here since it's cheap. But I was a little uneasy. I said out loud - "I can't have Starbucks anymore." My oldest daughter said, "Yeah, Mama, you CAN if you want it." Then I said, "No. It's sugar and caffeine, and I just don't eat that way anymore."

We shopped around Target for a while, and after we checked-out, I stopped by Food Avenue and got the kiddos something to eat in the car on the way home. I grabbed a bottled water. That's it. I didn't even WANT it. And you know, I didn't know if I wanted it in the first place. I think it is just a HABIT to stop there and get it. Kind of like how I used to always get those donuts from Wal-mart. Didn't feel any cravings or urges. Didn't even miss it. I came straight home, at a small dinner, and that was that!

I feel like I was really in control yesterday, and am starting to feel really good about my progress. I am noticing subtle changes in my body. I can tell that my arms and my inner thighs are a little smaller. People are really starting to tell me they can tell I'm losing - even people who don't know I'm trying. They also say my skin is glowing - I attribute that to the supplements and healthy oils I am adding to my diet each day. I peeked at the scale this morning and liked the number I saw. The lowest number yet! I am a few pounds from being where I was after I had my 3-yr old.

The day I had her, I weighed 281 lbs, which amounted to a 50 lb. gain while I was pregnant. A week after I had her, I went back to the doctor for a check up, and also because I was swollen all over. I still weighed 281! So that was the first big discouragement and it went downhill from there. Most people LOSE weight after they have a 7 lb. baby, but not me. I just kept gaining. I actually caught myself for a few months in 2006 when I realized I was back over the 300 lb. mark (304), and got back down to the 280's. But it wasn't long until Clyde and I started having problems and the weight started piling back on. Before I knew it, I had gained back every single pound I had lost between 2003-2005 and was lingering around 326 for quite a while. My all-time high weight was back on August 25, 2008 when I started WW at work, and weighed in at 333. And that was the beginning of this journey...

I don't know what just made me go back in time like that? I guess it's good to see how far I've come. For once, I am more concerned about the what is going in my body that the number on that damned scale. I REALLY don't want sugar and caffeine to be a part of my life. I LIKE eating fresh fruits and veggies every day! I LIKE being able to park in the last spot farthest away from the store. I LOVE wearing smaller clothes, lol. Yeah, the number on the scale is a good measure of my success, but it does not DEFINE my success anymore. Walking away from Starbucks... that is success in my book!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Day 26 - Don't Slip!

My life is still a big ball of stress, but I am coping with it without food. A couple of days ago...Wednesday...I really felt like I was about to start slipping. The day was just really "off" for me. My eating schedule was off because of an observation I had to do that went right past my snack time. Then I had got very hungry, which is a huge no-no. But I stuck to my good food, and didn't binge or make bad choices. I just felt "off". So that afternoon, I gave my kids a treat and let them go to McDonald's to play for a couple of hours. Yes, my house was a mess and I'm sure I could have been more productive. But I felt like we all needed a break. And I spent some time thinking while I sipped my water...

I have come very far in the past few months, and even farther in the past few weeks. I am successfully fighting my addiction to sugar, and I no longer depend on caffeine. I have been putting good food and supplements into my body and physically I feel so much better. I am losing weight, and I feel like I can lose a lot more. But I can't start slipping down that slope - and we all know what slope that is. I made up my mind that it is time to get my ass in gear. Mentally. I will not let the stress of every day life stand in the way of my success. My ex is an asshole, and he is going to be an asshole. Binging on candy and donuts isn't going to make him easy to deal with. Staying shut in my bedroom all weekend isn't going to make my life more manageable when I leave it's confines. I know how to overcome stress, and I know how to eat healthy and lose weight. I just have to figure out how to do it at the same time!

So yesterday I got up and decided that I was going to have a GREAT day no matter what! I was focused on my eating and focused on a positive attitude. The only thing that didn't go 100% was that I forgot to eat my 3 p.m. snack. I planned to eat it at 3:45 when I got home from work, but of course something had to happen. I still don't completely know what happened, but my son didn't get dropped off at my mom's, so I had to drive back to the Central office to pick him up. Then Clyde started calling. I had to pick up b/c he's supposed to be giving me the money for daycare this week. Of course he didn't have them money and wanted to argue about something else, so I just hung up on him. I ended up getting home closer to 5 p.m., and was in a rush to cut my grass before it started raining again.

About half-way through the back yard I started feeling weak, and it wasn't until then that I remembered about missing my snack. I ran inside and whipped up a protein shake and felt good as new! So that was basically my dinner last night, because I didn't get finished with the yard until after dark. It's been raining continuously for the past two weeks, so it was long and thick and took longer to push-mow than usual. But at least I got some great exercise! I actually could feel that my heart-rate was up, and I was sweating like crazy. My arm and leg muscles are really sore today. This is the momentum I need to keep the exercise going, and stop making excuses about it. I like to walk, and since it's been raining I have been using that as an excuse not to. But HELLO, I have an elliptical in my garage. And at least 20 DVD's that I can do in the comfort of my living room. I told Yvette yesterday that I am just going to buy a poncho and walk in the rain! It doesn't matter what I do, I just need to start moving!

I was actually showered and in bed by 10:30 last night, which is a record for me. I had a great night's rest, and am ready to go again today. Rain or no rain, I am really going to try to use this weekend to get my house in order, and to get back on a routine of planning and preparing my food, and eating on schedule. I really just need to FOCUS on what is important right now. I am putting myself first on my priority list for the first time in my life, and it's a strange feeling at times. But I know I am worth it, and it's necessary for me to be able to properly care for my children and be the mother they deserve. It's all about making the decision that going forward is way more crucial than sliding backwards.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I won an award!

Today I have been awarded a "Your Blog is Super" award, from my friend over at The Incredible Shrinking Family. Thanks! The rules are:
  1. Tape it up on your blog somewhere. (Look up!)
  2. Pass it along to 5 fellow super bloggers, and comment on their blog to let them know how lucky they are today!
  3. When you present your Super Blogger awards, link back to the super blogger who gave it to you (thank you!)
This is the hard part... as you can see on my blogroll, I love a lot of blogs! And I read all them every day!

1. Yvette @ w8losschick - Yvette has totally changed the way I eat. She has turned into a real friend, and you wouldn't believe the support she gives me every single day. Check out her blog... she is still looking for inspirational stories!

2. Kath @ katheatsrealfood - I love this blog! This woman inspires me to eat clean, and I love the pictures she posts and I get great product ideas here, too. Kath introduced me to oatmeal! My breakfast has changed

3. Jules @ meltawaythepounds - Jules is my cheerleader... she leaves me the greatest comments! I love her blog because she is real, and because she never gives up!

4. Lori @ findingradiance - This is another woman who really inspires me. She has lost 115 pounds the hard way, and is now training for a triathalon! She has another blog - What I'm Eating that I also love.

5. Gigi @ chunkymonkeymama - This blog is so funny! And sometimes on this weight loss journey if you don't laugh you will cry! I choose to laugh as much as possible, so I come here often!

Wow... picking only five was hard!

Day 24 - Weigh In

Yesterday was WI day. I have allowed my scales back into my house, and my early morning reading was 290.8 - my lowest weight since 2006. I also had WW yesterday, and was only down 1 lb. there. But I feel really good about it, since it is TOM, and I don't think I've EVER lost during TOM. I used to gain up to 10 lbs, and even on plan I usually gain about 3 - 5 lbs. But a loss is amazing. Good thing is that my loss the next week is usually great, so I am looking forward to it. Now that my scales are back home, and I don't feel the need to weight every day, I am going to go back to weekly WI's at home on Tuesday morning and use that number again. I just think that if you are going to weigh, you should do it first thing in the morning.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Day 22 - Habits and Headaches

Can you believe that today starts the 22nd day on plan! It seems like the time has flown by, but it's been pretty good so far. I've heard a trillion times that it takes 21 days to form a habit. So maybe I've actually stuck with this long enough that living without sugar, caffeine, and processed foods is now a good habit that I possess. It's still a struggle, though. Especially with the sugar. But I am making the choice each day to "just say no". It is easier, I have to admit. I don't feel like crying when I pass candy and donuts in Wal-mart anymore. I don't "think" about it all the time. Even when offered something sweet, I am able to say no without having to think about it.

I am also learning how to cope with my stress and emotions in ways that do not involve binging. Let me tell you, this weekend was hard. After the fiasco that was my Friday, things didn't get much better. Clyde is driving me insane with his constant whining and selfishness. It totally burns me that he is so selfish and inconsiderate of his children, but wants to turn everything around so it's somehow my fault. And then last night he flipped the script again and started begging for me to give him a second chance. NOT! I did not sleep well at all, then woke up to discover that one of my kids had left the freezer door open all night. Talked about pissed off first thing in the morning. I was able to salvage most of the food and put it in my deep freezer, but it was still a huge mess, and I'm not even sure it's still working.

But through all this, I haven't wanted to binge at all. Food has not been my comfort. I have played a lot of Mafia Wars. I have also crocheted a lot. I even spent a few hours making a play list of all my favorite songs from the 80's and 90's (which I'm so psyched about). I did not eat any bad food this weekend. The only thing I slacked on was my eating schedule. I find that sometimes I forget to eat on the weekends, and I forget to eat my snacks. I also only got 72 oz. of water yesterday, which is way low for me. But no binging, no uncontrollable urges. Just "other stuff to do".

I got a really bad headache at work this morning, and ALMOST convinced myself to buy a soda. But I quickly told myself NO and started thinking about what a failure I would feel like if I had to start over. It wasn't worth it, so I had to just find someone with some pain reliever. I feel better now, thank goodness! I don't think the headache had anything to do with food - I think it had more to do with stress. We have a student that has been really driving me insane. He starts screaming and singing for attention. That would give anyone a headache, right?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Day 20 - Stress!

Yesterday was quite possible the WORST day I have had in quite a while. But thank goodness the only thing that was good about it is that I controlled my eating! No stress eating, or emotional eating. I still ate good food and made good choices. That is a step in the right direction! So... here's my list of difficulties:

1. I overslept. The storms rolled in Thurs. night and knocked our power out. Thankfully, it was a teacher in-service day (no students) and I didn't need to be there until 8 a.m.
2. Rushing out the door, found that my cat had drug a DEAD BIRD into the garage. Feathers, blood, bird EVERYWHERE! Had to go back in and calm down my poor, traumatized baby.
4. Planned on going home for lunch, but lightning hit our town's tornado siren and no one could leave the building. Didn't get to leave until 2 p.m. Thank GOD I had a yogurt and some almonds with me.
5. By the time I got home I was STARVING and totally off of my eating schedule. But I DID NOT grab the first thing I saw... quickly prepared something easy and on plan.
6. Clyde and I got in a HUGE argument. HUGE! The kind where you scream and curse for an hour and are worn out at the end. The bastard stole my riding mower and trailer out of my yard! And sold it! To pay his rent! When my damn rent was due today, and I only have $20 to last me TWO weeks after paying it!
7. Started my period.

After all this... I was in the WORST mood. I just closed myself in my room to calm down. I wasn't thinking about eating, and didn't feel tempted to binge. But I thought it best to stay as far from the kitchen as possible. I ended up eating a protein bar for dinner (in my room, lol). I got out my crochet project, but ended up playing Mafia Wars for about five hours until I went to bed. I slept like a baby, and woke up this morning feeling like a new woman!

I also need to give "mad props" to my oldest daughter. I have a huge fear of birds - have been ever since I was a child and our cats used to drag them home. My daughter knows this, and volunteered to clean up the dead bird mess out of my garage for me! It was the biggest damn mess - feathers EVERYWHERE! But she put on some gloves and I gave her directions on how to do it without contracting BIRD FLU, lol. After the argument with Clyde, she took charge and made dinner for herself and her brother and sister, and basically held down the fort while I hid away in my room.

Needless to say she is no longer on punishment for the cell phone incident at school the other day. I have awesome children!

Still raining, and soccer was canceled. I officially have "nothing" to do today, lol. I guess I better start that laundry....

AND DON'T FORGET ABOUT INSPIRING STORIES FOR W8LOSSCHICK! I was honored to be featured yesterday, btw.

Some of you guys are AMAZING, and I would love to see you share your story. Don't make me start calling you out, lol :))