Monday, December 29, 2008

The Great Food Purge

And no, I'm not talking about the stomach flu that ripped around our house in the days before and after Christmas! I started this post on Dec. 28, but I wanted to finish the thought before I move on to the New Year topics on my mind. After everyone in my house was finally feeling better last week, I was left itchy to get a head start on my fresh start. In preparation for a year of establishing healthier eating habits for myself, I decided it would be best if I went through all of the food to clear out, inventory, etc. It was an amazingly cleansing and refreshing process! My kitchen is tiny and I do not have a pantry, so our food storage has always been a frustrating Jenga-style system of stacking and stuffing food into a couple of cabinets with limited airspace remaining. This makes it very difficult to find anything, no matter how carefully it is stacked and organized. So, when I go to shop for or use food, things I have in stock often either get missed or forgotten, which aggravates the problem because then I am likely to buy them again.

I try to go through our food supply on a regular basis, or so I thought, but usually it is more for the purpose of reorganizing it rather than purging it. Likewise, the fridge and freezer get cleaned out periodically, too, but this time it had been a while and was for a more purposeful mission.

Bottom line, I ended up throwing out about half of our food. And before anyone goes feeling badly about such waste, I would never throw away any food that was good enough to be donated to someone needy. So, ??? HALF OF MY FOOD WAS SO OLD IT WAS EXPIRED, most for half a year or more!! Sounds crazy, right, because dry foods and cans tend to last for a REEEEALLY long time. But yes, apparently I had gradually been buying so much extra stuff that wasn't all getting used or remembered for so long, that it was past its date. Pasta, boxes of cereal, canned food, all kinds of stuff was done for. So, after throwing out several trash bags worth of frozen, dry, and canned outdated food, I felt a huge uplifting! I am beyond happy with the results. My cabinets are much more open now, and I can see the food I have and even get to it without draining the cabinet! I also made sure that the stuff which remains is healthy stuff, and I feel like it will be so much easier now to plan nutritious and light meals and snacks without buying extra stuff I don't need. Which considering we need to save money is also hugely beneficial. Definitely an important step for kicking off a healthier meal program- you should try it!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Strategy: Focus on the 5's

Ok, so, I am starting to write up my goals for weight loss in 2009, and one thing I have learned from a lot of reading (and some TV) on the subject is that the only way to make a big goal seem less daunting is to break it up much smaller. I've often done that in the past, but I definitely didn't go about it the right way. Previously I have always had very rigid goals for myself of a certain number of pounds lost per week, and then I have added them up to make goal weights corresponding to certain events that fall within that timeline. And by having had it so strictly laid out like that, I think I was setting my all-or-nothing self up for failure. Never did I make one of those exact event goals, by the way, and rarely did I keep up with the "plan" for more than a few weeks. And I'm talking about years and years of making plans to lose weight this way and not succeeding!

This time, I am going to break it up into 5 pound increments. Period. I will always be focused on the single goal of 5 pounds, and when I achieve it and celebrate it, I will again adopt a goal of 5 more pounds. Losing 5 pounds is no cake walk, but it certainly seems doable to me. There may be weeks where it is easier to make progress, and other weeks where the body is PMS bloating and makes none, but I think a nice, round goal of 5 pounds in a month's time is perfectly achievable without killing myself. I will weigh in and record my progress weekly, but will try to focus on the big picture achievements monthly, to allow for those fluctuations without getting discouraged. It may get harder to lose 5 pounds in a month as I do well and my weight gets lower, but if that becomes the case I can always adjust accordingly and slow the rate.

So, all I need to do is lose 5 pounds a bunch of times, specifically between 11-13 times! (My primary goal is to get to 150 pounds, but depending on my physique at that weight, 140 is a really trim but still perfectly healthy weight for my height and build, so I may try for that upon re-assessment...) However, if I can keep up the tunnel vision and only focus on each five pounds individually, I think I can avoid being overwhelmed about how far I have to go, and also avoid becoming too complacent about how far I have come as I succeed. Last time I really tried in earnest I lost the first 10 pounds easily, and then I felt so good I got overconfident. Once some family eating celebrations came up I easily fell off the wagon, and stayed off. That was about 8 months ago, and look where I've been since- I rapidly put it back on +5!

Yes, if I add up my hopeful rate of monthly progress, there is one very large milestone I'd like to be doing well for, and that is my 20-year High School Reunion in October. If I did well with 5 pounds a month I might hope to be approximately 50 pounds lighter, or most of my way to goal by then. HOWEVER, I am NOT going to set myself up like that this time around! Frankly, if I've lost 10-15 pounds by then I'd still look a lot better and have an easier time finding something to wear. But as I said above, and as I am going to keep saying to myself, over and over, as many times as it takes, I am going to look at one month at a time, and I am going to work on losing 5 pounds at a time, only.

So, for these last 2 weeks of 2008 (including Christmas and New Years Eve,) I am going to be recording what I eat, practicing making better choices, working on breaking bad habits, and beginning to add workouts back into my schedule. That way, the beginning of January won't have that huge, looming, start from scratch, cold turkey, all or nothing feeling to it. Much less scary that way. :)

Thoughts for the Week of Christmas

My husband and I are very excited to share Christmas with our three year old son this year, because he really understands Christmas now, unlike before. Not the religious part yet (I've been slack about getting him/us to church still,) but definitely the Santa and presents part. I am soo looking forward to seeing him light up when he gets what he asked Santa for, as well as a bunch of other stuff I hope he'll like. Actually, I know he'll like it all, I just hope it's not too much all at once such that he'll be over it. I tried not to spend too much $ in light of the finances still being dicey, but it ended up being a lot of stuff, anyway! :)

Generally speaking the Christmas season is a wonderful time of year, but as holidays go, Christmas is one that has always had a little too much riding on it emotionally, in my opinion. I greatly appreciate that the month with the shortest, darkest days are filled with bright, twinkly lights and happy music, but it certainly has its flaws. For most people, Christmas as we know it causes so much to do and so much pressure to get the right gifts for the right people without going broke, that the point of good happy times with friends and family can get lost pretty easily. I took it a little easier this season, not getting as much done as soon, but I've felt more relaxed in the process. Which was intentional considering I work full time now. Saturday was the only "tough" chores day, and even that was ok- I waited in line for over an hour to mail packages that took a long time to assemble and wrap, after a late night and long morning finishing the Christmas cards, but everyone was cheerful and chatty in the line and I'm thrilled with how the cards turned out, so it wasn't unpleasant. It's just weird to have that much buildup for a holiday, I guess. I've always felt there was a bit of an awkward "now what?" moment after everyone opens all of the presents. Christmas will certainly be a monster highlight for my sweet boy, but my personal favorite has always been Thanksgiving, and this year Halloween moved way up the list, too!

Looking at the bigger picture beyond this week, I shall return to the broken record issue of health, fitness, and weight loss. I continue to mull over my plans to change my life in the new year, and although I may not find any participants for a Biggest Loser Challenge as I had hoped, I will put it out here for all to see/cheer me on/learn from me if I am successful/counsel me if I am struggling. 2009 is filled with potential and an opportunity for new beginning, and I am continually reminded in so many different ways of how much better I will feel, thereby improving my whole life, if I just take better care of myself. This week I work Monday and most of Tuesday, will enjoy the holiday Wednesday and Thursday, and by Friday I hope to spend some more time hatching the details of my plan and begin implementation in earnest. Basically it will just be an aggressive workout schedule, back to strict adherence to the Weight Watchers eating plan that has worked VERY WELL for me previously when I stick to it, and a structured schedule of weigh-ins, goals, incentives, and strategies. I'm armed with everything I need, and I think my head is/will be in the right place. Merry Christmas, and stay tuned as I may recap/re-post some of my motivational stuff for myself before kicking it off!

(One other nugget- I am going to take a one-time sample pole dancing class next month, and may proceed with the classes on a regular basis if I like it. A pretty weird recreational activity, one might think, but I suspect it will be a unique combination of fun dance, fitness, better awareness of and attention to one's body, and of course a freeing fantasy experience without actually having to rip one's clothes off in public. I'll be sure to tell all, but I'm pretty confident I will love it after hearing my friend talk all about it. She got started earlier this year, and has gotten so serious they're hiring HER as a teacher now, too!)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Biggest Loser Inspiration

Every season of the Biggest Loser since I started watching it, I've thought "I'm going to do it with them this time." But, the time in my life wasn't right yet, and before I knew it these big fat people were weighing in at less than me, and the show wasn't even close to over yet. Michelle looked awesome Tuesday night, and I had a feeling she would be able to win it even before seeing her. But, after seeing even the people who I didn't think could do it do well (Heba and Jerry were the ones who struck me as least likely to lose enough weight to change their lives,) I am again realizing I can do it too. And THIS time, I think I have been taking the steps to have it be the RIGHT time in my life, and getting the holiday temptations out of the way will coincide exactly with the kickoff of the NEXT season of BL, which already starts on Jan. 6, much to my delight. I am going to do some planning this weekend, and I am going to hatch a challenge to make my own Biggest Loser contest with some people I know. I know two certain contestants to do it with me, and I hope to think of some others. I'm talking the works, food and exercise logs, contests, milestones, percentage weight loss goals and check-ins, etc. My "original, realistic" goal is now up to 55 pounds, or 27% of my current body weight (crept up from the nice, round 50 lbs/25% since I've gained a little more), but if I was going to go really hard core, I've been reading that an even lower goal of 140 pounds is apparently still healthy with a decent sized 5'8" frame, putting my goal at 65 pounds or 32% of my body weight. Whoa, a third of myself?! Seems outrageously unattainable. But, the people on this show consistently lose as much as half of themselves, and the whole point of the show, season after season, is to assure America that we can do it, too. Although it seems like it would be so much easier to be successful if one could actually get ON the show, I am quite grateful that I am not to the point where I would be recruited on the show, so I will count my blessings there. (If you know anyone who is big enough, apparently they are casting for Season 8 now...) Look out for the CBL (Cathy's Biggest Loser) Challenge, coming soon!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Great Nuggets of Advice from Other Blogs

Now that I've been blogging more regularly, I'm discovering some other GREAT blogs out there, and have been enjoying following and learning from them. Two articles I ran across today are kind of giving me an "a-ha" moment, so I want to post them here so I don't lose sight of the concepts, as they are very clarifying and motivating for me.

The first one validates my problems with chocolate and sugar cravings, and offers some info and advice. As I have stated before, I am an addict, in the most literal sense of the word, to chocolate specifically and to sugary junk foods in general. This article talks about research into the fact that certain types of people legitimately react to sugar in the same way as a drug addict does. It verifies what I knew all along about myself. Although some (most normal) people can have 1 or 2 cookies, for example, others like myself (and my dad, and now it seems like possibly my kid) can have either none, of if I have one then I feel compelled to finish the whole bag of cookies, and eat anything else I can get my hands on that is sugary, all day long. That is me to a tee, but I've not ever heard others like that discussed this way. Not that it makes any excuse for it, but it does at least validate how hard it is for me to control my food urges, and makes me realize some ways I can fight it a little better. I already knew that starting early in the day on any sugar makes it worse. This is the article from Diets in

The second is one of total brilliance as well, also from Diets in My mom has been trying to tell me this for over 4 years since I got pregnant with my 3.5 year old son, but it just didn't stick with me until I read it in this eloquently phrased context: "Please secure your own mask prior to assisting children."

It is so logical and obviously correct, especially in the literal use on airplanes, but the fact that it should be applicable to all areas of life is a real eye opener, particularly as it applies to diet and health. I am very careful to feed my kid as healthy food as possible, to ensure that he forms good eating habits for life, but then I turn around and stuff empty, crappy junk food into myself that is slowly killing me! How ridiculous it would be for a kid to have healthy eating habits and a sick or absent mom. I am truly a dumbass! And not just in the arena of food, but it applies to everything. I foster an active lifestyle for him while missing most of my workouts, I work really hard to make sure his life is happy and enjoyable, but have to really try to find happy fun time for myself to relax often enough. I could go on. The bottom line is, the only way to have a good, happy, healthy family life is to take good, happy, healthy care of one's self. Thus far I have sucked at that, but I'm starting to see the light.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

186 Steps

Ok, walking up stairs has got to be one of the greatest forms of "not-really-working-out" exercise I can think of, so it's about time I started taking advantage. I work on the 8th floor of a 10 story office building. I used to work 3 partial days a week, but now I'm up to 5 full days (which allows me a lunch break, how novel!) It is 146 stairs up to the 8th floor, and 186 if you go all the way up to the 10th. I just walked up to 10 for a "refresher" attempt, and it only takes until about the 5th floor before I start gasping for air. But with a short rest, and some panting, I made it to 10 just fine, and was left only slightly glistening, not actually sweaty.

Therefore, I officially vow right here and now NEVER to take the elevator in this building again! (Unless I suffer some sort of catastrophic injury that prevents it...) Further, it is my intent from now on to walk up to 10 before returning down to 8 TWICE each work day. 186 x 2wice a day x 5 days a week = a whole lot of sneaked in workouts! Five days a week I will be walking up 372 stairs a day, not even counting the down ones, and that I will not allow myself to count as my workouts!! Heels and a lot of bags (as I often have) add even more challenge, but I need it and am up for it.

The lighthouse at the beach we go to is 200 stairs to the top, and it looks like the lantern is scraping heaven when you stand under it. So, as I get in better shape and the stairs get easier for me, I hope that will allow me to achieve a short-term goal and conquer my claustrophobia/heights fears to go up to the top with my sweetie to enjoy the view together. :) And in the process of getting in shape to handle the stairs, I might actually get small enough not to worry about getting stuck in the hole you have to squeeze through to enter the chamber at the top!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Nifty Diet Tool for the Occasional Golden Arches Visit

I've always had a very soft spot for McDonald's. Of all the brands of fast food it is my favorite, and I believe I have been in one in almost every foreign country I've ever been to. Now, most people would NOT be proud of that, but as someone with a lot of food allergies, it is sooo helpful if you are somewhere else in the world where it's tough to communicate and/or figure out what in local food, and to be able to get a meal you are confident in.

Now, for the healthy minded, McD's has really only started offering healthier options since the brilliant movie "Supersize Me" threw them under the bus. Clearly the health status of some of their choices is quite poor, and although I thought he took it too far to make his point, I thought it was a brilliant and very entertaining/educational movie.

For a long time, McDonald's has offered some limited nutritional information and ingredients listings, but I recently checked back online and it has gotten a lot more sophisticated. In addition to the down-to-every-possible detail ingredients list, they now have a tool where you can choose your items, put them in your "bag", and it'll give you the tally of your calories, fat, etc. Not for the faint of heart if you love a large Big Mac meal, probably, but I was impressed, because if you don't like what you see, you can take some things out and replace them with other things until it looks a little better. The best part? As an allergy person I do not eat the bread on my cheeseburgers, and I always assumed that was only a few calories saved. With this tool, you can "take apart" the sandwiches and see what they would be without the sauce, without cheese, or in my case, without the bread. (And I was happy to find out that the bread I wasn't eating WAS a lot of calories after all!)

Now, the HEALTHIEST meal I should be eating is a 4-piece nugget happy meal with apple dippers and a diet lemonade. But I already knew that. :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Full Speed Ahead in January, but Need Some Changes in the Meantime!

Ok, so now that I'm settling into a full-time work routine and the money worries will gradually ease as the paychecks flow in, I'm going to turn my focus back inward. I have some urgent health needs which need to return to the top of the priority pile, because I'd like to hang around a while, and my kid deserves a mom. As I've discussed in this blog before, I am 37 years old, I have high blood pressure and high cholesterol (for which I am medicated and somewhat lazy about taking it consistently,) I am 5 feet 8 inches tall, and I weigh 204 pounds. Now, I do have a solid, muscular frame and large bones, so visually I am not in the realm of looking like a round, fat person (yet!), but that is still a substantial 54 pounds overweight, and I am quite a bit thicker than looks good, wearing size 16 clothes. On Biggest Loser they sometimes make the contestants carry the amount of weight they've lost to see how much it was, and despite being in better shape it is always difficult for them to carry for long. I know for a fact that 54 pounds is DAMN HEAVY, and I would probably feel like I was floating on a springy feather if that came off of me. How can that not be enough motivation?!

Unfortunately, it took me until now to resolve some of the nagging stresses and problems that were tugging my focus away, and here we are in December, in the midst of the holiday season. Now, it is TOTALLY possible to have an enjoyable, healthy holiday season during a weight loss or maintenance program, but it is extremely unrealistic to expect to start one. Instead, I'm going to attempt to address some of the things that are the biggest problem for me, and those are: junk food intake, sleep habits, and inconsistent exercise. Sleep is just a matter of going to bed earlier, and it's only been a week and a half since I started my new work schedule. I am starting to get more tired which should force me to go to bed sooner as I want myself to, so hopefully that'll come. As that falls into place, I hope to be able to get up early enough to exercise, not just make it out of the house. My good friend is kicking some butt with the Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred workout, and I've only dabbled in it but it is brutal (in a good way, kind of.) I've also said it a lot of times, but I need to become allergic to the elevator, since I work on the 8th floor and it is 150 steps up to my office. If I leave for lunch every day that would be up 300 stairs a day, 5 days a week, surely that can't do anything but miracles!

Lastly, my biggest vice is sugary junk food, especially my dear nemesis and cryptonite, chocolate. (I see light and hear singing angels when I say the word. No, really.) :) I eat large quantities of really bad things, and find myself sucking on pieces of chocolate and letting it melt in my mouth ALL DAY LONG. It's staggering how many calories I must eat when I'm "letting myself go." So, I need to make some gradual adjustments to really break the habits and succeed in the long run. Without having to count calorie intake yet, I still think I would benefit greatly in the meantime from: drastic reduction in sugar and chocolate consumption, avoidance of high fructose corn syrup, and avoidance of hydrogenated oils (i.e. trans fats). Eating a lot of chocolate and sugar has an addictive effect for me- if I have a little bit I can't stop, but if I can avoid for a few days it I lose the taste for it quite as strongly, and regular food starts tasting better. Sugar and chocolate also leave me feeling a little cloudy and sleepier, sometimes, as it is wearing off. (Sound like a drug addict? It's really not that different if you think about it!) High fructose corn syrup, which is in EVERYTHING, has been documented to cause increased appetite. I tried cutting it out once (easier said than done) and I noticed a difference.

Last but not least: hydrogenated oil, aka trans fat. Now, a quick complaint about the trans fats issue- the laws were changed to require disclosure of them on food labels, but I think they goofed the standards. Supposedly anything with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil contains trans fat, but if you look at the labels on these foods, inevitably they have "0 grams" of trans fat listed. It is my understanding that this is NOT equivalent to none, so that is veeeery misleading. Cool Whip, which to my horror I have been eating with a spoon since it was leftover from a dessert I made, is pure hydrogenated oil, yet it still contains zero grams of trans fat. I need to read more to learn more about it, but I think you can have at least a half a gram of trans fat and still list zero on the label, but supposedly some small amount like 3 grams in a day is quite hazardous to the ticker. So, all day long you could be eating stuff with zero grams of trans fat, but have eaten several grams total by day's end. And yes, I do eat horrifying things like Cool Whip, Oreos, and other hydrogenated wonders on a regular basis. It's a marvel I have lived this long at the rate I'm going!

So, my plan is to try to do better for now, and then after the holidays I am going to kick some January ass!

Monday, December 8, 2008

My Friend is a Young Stroke Survivor- Please Read!

Ok, so my friend Shana is someone I've lost touch with a little bit in recent years, but she's back in the front of my thoughts now. Our husbands played softball together when they were just our boyfriends, and the girlfriends used to go sit on the bench and watch a little/talk a lot on Friday nights. We attended each other's weddings, and as our husbands faded from continuing to play, we weren't in touch as much. I've followed the birth and growing of her son Jack through forwarded pictures, and although we talk periodically about getting our kids together, we haven't.

Fast forward. I've gotten into Facebook this year, as have a LOT of my past and present friends my same age. I think of it as an extension of a collective mid-life crisis. :) Anyway, I found Shana on there, and in her comments noticed a status update about speech therapy. Because it is common for toddler boys, I didn't think twice about it. But a few weeks ago her status update astounded me, and I want to share her story with you. She posted that she was happy it had been a full year since her stroke. What the hell?! A lot of people write a lot of weird things on Facebook that do not mean what they seem, so I asked and she was serious. After reading her story, I was freaked out by the prospect of how horrible what she went through must have been, and a little bit concerned about how poorly I take care of my own health and what bad things I am not doing a good job of trying to prevent (Shana was always the picture of health!) I was also re-educated about stroke warning signs and urgency of fast treatment. But most importantly, I was deeply INSPIRED, by how this hardship affected her, how resilient she was/is, and how profoundly grateful and happy she is. If we all looked at our lives through the eyes of the "what ifs" I bet we would live a lot better and happier. She was thrilled to get to go to the mall in a wheelchair with her husband and son, and is happier in every way every day of her life since this happened to her. Shana, you rock, and to any who might be reading my blog, please read her story directly for yourself:

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I am feeling happy tonight! I made it through my first week of work completely unscathed. I didn't have an easy time adjusting to the waking up/morning schedule, but we were on time (or within 5 minutes) every day. Adam adjusted just fine to being in school more often and for longer, and it didn't disrupt his amazing potty training progress (only one pair of soiled underwear in a week!) Our house did NOT go into hurricane mode, and the organization and tidiness I have recently achieved is completely intact. We had home cooked dinners this week and everything! One small debacle with that I had to laugh about, though- I made a crock pot roast and forgot to turn it on after I plugged it in, so that was a big goof, and the room temperature brown roast bit the big one.

Even more surprising than my ability to cope was the fact that I didn't even mind the job itself- it is less boring than I expected, and already the stuff I have learned this week will benefit my career in the long run. It's kinda freaky- I miss my time with Adam and I hate how early it gets dark before I can spend time with him, (and I am not focused on weight loss for myself yet,) but all-in-all, I am enjoying Christmas lights and music, relaxing, and feeling happy. :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Why Do I Think So Much?

Sometimes I think I get too much inside my own head. Is it just because I have so much going on to be thinking about? (But don't most people?) I went through a phase kind of like this in early high school, and another in mid-late college, but not really since then until now... And further, why do I feel compelled to blog about it and offer to let people read my inner thoughts- I feel like it is therapeutic for me and I enjoy speaking as if to an audience, but is it really just narcissistic of me, or am I perhaps just an exhibitionist on some level?

This week carried through some of the BIG, HUGE changes in our lives that I've been anticipating. Adam is now potty training, and is exclusively in diapers except for sleeping. I returned to full time work status with the county this week, but had to move divisions in order to do so. It's newish work that won't be too tough to pick up, newish people but who I vaguely already know, and still on the same floor but down the hall in a different area, with a much better cubicle. Not too bad, right? Adam was totally cool with being in his school/class a lot longer, or so it seems. Only one potty accident in 2 days. If he could just get over his poo fear that keeps him from going often enough to be comfortable, we'd be golden. I have been exhausted from my return-to-work experience this week, yet tonight I am also keyed up with a head full of thoughts to the point of staying up reeeeally late. That will hurt a lot in the morning!

For whatever million previously discussed and other reasons, I've been having a pretty weird year in 2008. I would categorize my status as having been in some sort of mid-life identity crisis. Not necessarily in a bad way, but definitely in a weird way. At New Year's Eve last year, I pledged to "get it together" this year. I figured since the kid was getting older and easier and I was at peace with (which has gradually morphed into being grateful for) having just one kid (and bucking ALL social standards in doing so!), I was definitely to the point of being able to handle my life at a more fine-tuned level. Lose some weight, get in better shape, get more organized, etc.

Instead, however, it became a whirlwind of worrying about family economics and running out of money, starting a business, seeking employment security and eventually full time pay, doing more things than probably realistically fit into a mother's schedule, worrying for a time about my kid's development, etc. As a whole, the year turned out nothing whatsoever like I could have imagined. January I had my month of unpaid leave from the part time job, and recently when I got caught up in my papers filing it was clear that was the last time I had done so. The security of my part time job was in question in January, April, June, and then continuously starting in July after the budget panic hit. Since July I have been scrapping to get a job spot full time while being wanted by each and every one of our supervisors, but our whore of a division director stood firmly in the way, for no good or logical reason that anyone could find. I started a business in April, which I now have little time for, but wasn't bringing enough cash in to support itself anyway, so it can continue to simmer on the back burner for a while. I do have 2 clients and plan to continue on with it, but proceeding with baby steps only.

The one thing I keep coming back to in my head, but failing to do anything about, is the weight and personal health issue. I started this blog primarily to discuss my weight loss journey. Have you read much about weight loss? No. I have stepped into the street a couple of times, but then hopped right back up on the curb. I occasionally feel motivated, but the majority of the time I prefer to abuse food to squash down other emotions, or tiredness, or whatever. "Abuse" food, you ask? Yes, I truly meant it that way, particularly in my case with chocolate. That's not even food, really, it's supposed to only be a tasty occasional treat that I'm pumping into myself all day long some days. I suppose I could say "self-medicate" and it might not sound as bad, but the result is the same. I have been trying to be a cheerleader for others in the same want-to-lose-weight boat, but my own head has only had brief windows of letting me feel like I've wanted to put out the effort and sacrifice of putting myself first. What the hell? Who actually openly admits that without it being a huge revelation that opens the door for drastic improvement?

So, this journal started as a rah-rah "help me and learn from me as I take better care of myself," and has instead become an exercise in full-blown self-therapy. Why can't I seem to care quite enough about myself to follow through? It seems it would take Superwoman to fit it all in. But everybody else seems to do it, and I only have half as many kids as most, and was working half as much as some until this week. What a sorry excuse, you damn slacker!!!