My exercise buddies this morning ^  That is my son Ethan (21 months old) and a girl I baby sit, Izzy (9 months old).  It is a workout pulling that wagon up and down hills!  It is also tough pulling it around in the grass.  My face was red and sweating in no time.  The kids enjoyed the ride around the neighborhood too.  I tried to walk around the yard while the kids were playing to get even more movement in.  My neighbors probably think I am crazy wandering aimlessly around my backyard.  I’m hoping to get some more exercise in this afternoon when Owen gets home from preschool.  When the weather is nice, I’m going to utilize outdoor play time to burn some calories.  Before, I would just sit on my rump while they ran and played.  No more laziness!  I also managed some basic exercises like situps and what not while they napped.  I’ve got a few extra calories to burn off from this past weekend.  I bought chips for Jamie’s lunch, and I couldn’t leave them alone.  I have got to get over this!  Chips are going to ruin my weight loss efforts!

One thing is for sure if I am going to continue on this exercise route, I am going to need to invest in a good bra, and good shoes.  I don’t have proper tennis shoes to wear right now when I go walking.  My feet were hurting a lot when I was finished today.  I need some arch supports too.  I could use some decent workout clothes, but those can wait.  The shoes and a bra are a must.

I had a great day yesterday.  Jamie was working on homework for his masters classes, so I spent all day playing with the kids.  First we played in the backyard.  Then we went to the grocery store again, came home and had lunch.  After lunch, we went to my parents house to let the kids visit and play.  I had a blast at my parents house.  I drove the boys around on the 4-wheeler all afternoon, and they loved it.  I am a little sun burnt from it.  I put sunscreen on the kids, but didn’t even think about myself.  I’ve noticed my face is starting to tan a little better.  I have a ton of freckles.  Usually, I get the smallest amount of sun, and they explode and and get ten times darker.  The freckles on my arms and chest have gotten much darker, but my face isn’t so bad.  It is starting to look a little more tan. I keep hoping that they will all magically fade away, but at the age of 26 and I still have so many, it’s not likely.

Weekends are the hardest

Its funny, the things you notice when you are trying to lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle.  I went shopping for groceries yesterday.  I noticed just how much processed food we eat.  It made me sad to realize all of the prepackaged foods that were in my cart.  Was it out of convenience?  Was it cost?  How did we get to this point?  For example, my sons and husband absolutely LOVE the Velveeta shells and cheese.  I think they are pretty gross.  I like homemade macaroni and cheese made with real cheddar and milk but we rarely eat it because they don’t like it as much.  I need to work on making an effort to cook foods from fresh ingredients.  The hard part will be finding recipes that my family will actually eat, and that fit in budget.

Yesterday I let myself eat more than I should, especially snacks.  Weekends are the hardest for me.  I don’t know what it is about Saturday and Sunday, but I want to eat all day long.  Last night I shared some nuggets and a Dr Pepper from McDonalds with my husband.  You’d think that seeing progress on the scale would be motivation enough to keep me on track those two days.  I’m going to have to figure out a new plan for the weekend.

That is a photo of my new project.  I am attempting to start some seeds for a summer garden.  Jamie and I are going to try a box garden (think square foot gardening), to see if we have a knack for it.  I’ll post more photos to show progress J  I don’t eat too many vegetables, but my husband does.  I’m going to try to incorporate more into my cooking.  I think it will be a fun project to do with the kids.  They will have fun helping us water the plants and just playing in the dirt.  We have enough room in our back yard to do a larger garden later on if we find that it is something we enjoy and can do.  Eventually we would like to plant some fruit trees as well.  I remember my grandma had two or three very large gardens every year.  She would can almost anything.  I loved her homemade pickles.  I love canned tomatoes from my mom’s garden.  I need to pick up a few more seed varieties.

Well, the kiddos are excited to go outside and play, which means time for exercise for this momma!

Embarrassment and 2 more down, many still to go!

I am one of those people who are painfully shy, and horribly self conscious.  I’m constantly adjusting my clothes.  I’m always paranoid that people are staring at me. To say that I am not comfortable with myself is putting it mildly.   I think losing weight will give me the confidence that I so desperately need.   Also, people tend to walk all over me because I am so meek.  I need to start standing up for myself and being more assertive.  I let people use my weight as a way to hurt me, and I’m not going to anymore.  Things have to change.

Embarrassment is a major contributor to negative self  esteem for people who are over weight.  Embarassment leads to avoidance.  When you have gained a lot of weight, it is easier to hide at home so no one will see you than to face that quiet look of shock on their faces at your appearance.   When people haven’t seen me for a while, I can see that look and can almost read their thoughts.  I find myself not wanting to go to certain places because I am ashamed of myself for gaining so much weight.  Recently, I don’t even want to go to family events.  I have especially avoided my husbands work place and coworkers.  I know that he isn’t ashamed of me, but I want to be a wife that he is proud of.  I want him to want to take me to events put on by the university, and introduce me to people.  Right now I would understand why he doesn’t.  (I’m not saying that he does this, I’m just saying that I would understand)  I’m tired of avoiding people.  I’m tired of always wanting to hide.  I want to see people that I haven’t seen in a long time and be proud of the way that I look.  I want to be defined by more than just my size.  Lets be honest, if people meet you for the first time and you are overweight, then you are already labeled and categorized and all but written off.  Being overweight comes with these assumptions that you are lazy, that you don’t care, and is just generally viewed in a very negative manner.  People overlook your other qualities, because your size is all that they see.  I think back at the job interviews I had a couple of years ago, and wonder just how much my weight contributed to their perception of me as a potential candidate. 

I weighed myself this morning.  I know, I’m not supposed to until tomorrow.  I was happy to see that I have lose 2 pounds this week!  Woot!  224 lbs.  I uploaded a pic of the scale to the progress tab.

Mac N Cheese!

I made some homemade macaroni and chees for luch today. It was yummy! I only wound up eating 1/2 or 1/3 of the bowl though. I didnt want to overeat. I think weightloss is all about moderation. Have things that you like, just don’t over do it!

Fighting Urges

I’m already fighting the urge to go munch on something cruncy this morning.  The kids are misbehaving, and once again I am wanting to self medicate with food.  I think emotional eating is going to be the hardest hurdle to overcome for me.  I need to find positive ways to channel my feelings.  Being the mother to a 3 year old and a 21 month old, I find myself stressed out and upset quite frequently.  It’s difficult to keep myself from taking my frustration out by crunching chips. 

I fought the urge to step on the scale this morning.  I become obsessive with weighing myself, often multiple times a day.  I’m trying hard to keep that impulse at bay, and only weigh in on Fridays. Weightloss is difficult in many aspects, but one of the most frustrating parts is the time it takes for results.  I want instant gratification!  But, isn’t  instant gratification what got me here in the first place?  I think that by weighing in once a week, the results will seem larger and I will take more pride in them.  Plus it is easier to track on a weekly basis rather than daily.

I should probably explain my method that I am currenly using to try to get healthy.  It is basically, eat less and try be more active.  One thing I have recently done, is to cut soda from my diet.  We no longer buy soda to keep in the house.  I have found myself ordering soda more often when we go out to eat, and I need to work on making other choices.  I have a love affair with Dr Pepper.  It was nothing for me to drink 5 or 6 cans a day before.  That is a lot of empty calories!  It has been difficult to stop, but I find myself craving it less and less.  I think soda truly is addictive.  The more I would drink, the more I would want it.  We are also saving a lot of money by not buying soda. 

I hope to start posting random photos shortly.  I hope to include photos of myself and my family, maybe a few shots of what I am currently eating.  I also plan to post a weekly pic of the scal on weigh in day 😛  I would like to say thank you for the notes left yesterday 🙂  Encouragement is always needed and appreciated.

Hello world!

Some mornings you wake up and think “Today is going to be the start of something different.”  This was one of those mornings for me.  I’m finished procrastinating and telling myself that I will do it tomorrow.  Tomorrow has finally come.  I have grown tired of my current situation, and have hit rock bottom.  I’m ready to start clawing my way out.

 The defining factor in my life has always been my weight.  I have been overweight since the 3rd grade.  Ofcourse, throughout my schoolage years, I was never THIS overweight.  Currently, I am 226.2 pounds, and only 6 pounds less than my highest-ever weight of 232.   That is a tremendous amount of weight to be carrying on my 5 foot, not quite 2 inch, frame.  Sometimes you have to sit back and just say, “How did I let it get to this point?”  I’ve been thinking about this question for some time now, and I’ve come up with a few reasons.  They’re not excuses by any means, just contributing factors that I have to change if I ever want to change myself.  I can trim it down to 5 causations: emotional eating, lack of anticipation for fun future events, flawed system of rewards, bad eating habits developed in childhood, and the wrong type of acceptance.

One of my most recent realizations is that I self medicate with food.  I am a major emotional eater.  If I am sad or depressed, my first impulse is to go stuff my face.  I went through some depression this past winter and managed to pack about 20 pounds on by eating through my feelings.  Junk food is my instant happy pill, and it has to stop.  I need to find productive, healthy ways to work through my feelings instead of eating through them.

Tieing into the emotional eating aspect, is a lack of happy events to look forward to.  I was reading an article in Good Housekeeping about how to get and keep happiness.  One of the items listed is anticipation.  It said you should have events on your calendar to look forward to.  My calendar is completely devoid of happy events, with the exception of my 2 boys birthdays.  (I enjoy planning their parties so very much)  I’ve come to find, the thing that I anticipate is going out to eat! I don’t have trips planned with the family to look forward to, I don’t have lunch dates with friends scheduled.  I don’t have movie dates with the husband planned.  Nothing.  My husband jokes about how I always want to go out to eat, and I have come to realize that it is one thing I have to look forward to that I enjoy. Don’t get me wrong, I look forward to enjoying playing outside with my kids and things like that, but those aren’t things you “plan” for and have that sense of anticipation build up.  When it comes to going out to eat, I get excited thinking about where we are going to go, what I want to order, and what the atmosphere will be like.  It is sad and pathetic really, but this has been my life as of lately.  I need to make an effort to plan other things to look forward to.  Things that I can plan for and think about, and just get excited about!  I need these distractions, instead of just looking forward to my next meal.

I have become the typical mom.  I do not buy things for myself.  If I have extra money, I would rather pick out cute clothes for my kids, or new toys for them to enjoy.  I love buying them new things, and feel extremely guilty if I purchase something for myself.  Over the last few years, I have forgotten about me.  I have forgotten that I need rewarded to, that I deserve to buy things for myself occasionally.  My method of rewarding myself was always dinner out and not having to cook.  To celebrate anything, typically means a meal from a retaurant.  I need to change this! 

My bad eating habits started early in childhood.  I have pretty much never liked vegetables, and very few fruits.  My mom’s method of cooking was not a healthy one.  She never used spices to flavor foods while cooking.  Her method to make foods taste good was pretty much the Paula Deen way, lots of butter!  It was only after I moved out and started cooking for myself and my own family that I have learned to start using spices to make flavorful food instead of throwing in a stick of butter.  I’m not blaming my mother by any means, just stating that I didn’t know any better.  So, now I have to learn to eat healthy.  This is hard for me because I still don’t like vegetables, and need to find out how to incorporate them in ways that I can tolerate.

As an adult, you want to find acceptance with your body.  You want to feel comfortable in your own skin.  I had this level of comfort, but it was all wrong.  My acceptance of the fact that I am this overweight has allowed me to just gain even more and not do a damn thing about it.  I’m not saying that I want to be unhappy with myself forever, I just never want to be okay with being so unhealthy.  I have a real fear of my own mortality.  I worry everyday that I am going to develop diabetes, have a heart attack at some point in my life, or any number of other things that being overweight can cause.

So what has finally led me to make a change if I had grown comfortable?  A series of events, comments from people and taking a good look at photos of myself.  First of all, I know that I am overweight.  I know how big I am, but it does not make other peoples comments about my weight sting any less.  The truth still does hurt!  My inlaws are the most hurtful when it comes to comments about my size.  My sister in law and mother in law make the most comments that sting.  This past weekend, we had my husbands family down for dinner.  His mother kept making comments about getting “fat” (she is a recovering drug addict and has started to gain weight).  She was looking at photos of the Easter Egg hunt with the kids that she and I did, and she said “I told you I am getting fat, look I am bigger than Kandi!”  Ugh.  First off she isn’t bigger than me, but using me as a point of “fat” reference really hurt.  She made several other comments, but that is the one that stuck out.  I’m tired of letting my weight be the weapon of choice for people to use to hurt me.  Also, I took a good look at some photos of myself from this past weekend.  I don’t even recognize myself anymore.  It is almost as if I am looking at a photo of someone else.  I guess we all have this mental picture of ourselves, and it can be quite unsettling to see how we really look.