From the monthly archives: September 2012

This week I celebrated my birthday by achieving my first mini-goal. And, yes, it was a SV (scale victory), not an NSV and I’m very happy.

When I first started this weight loss journey, I had in mind to get down to 250 pounds by Christmas (which would put me 41 pounds down from my highest weight). But as I limped, lurched, and stumbled my way through my first few weeks, the idea of a half-year goal just seemed too far away. So, I did some math and charting and figured if I was to reach that goal, I would have to be down 23 pounds by my birthday, September 26.

Once I put that goal in my mind (and on my refrigerator), I felt so much less stress. That’s an achievable goal, something I can see in the near future.

This past Monday, when I stepped on the scale, I had achieved my first mini-goal.Yes!!!!

And, second success of the week, I actually celebrated my birthday with a lovely dinner out (treated by my parents at my favorite restaurant) and felt no guilt about it at all, because I made wise choices. This was a major mental break-through for me. I wasn’t treating this as a “cheat” meal. I wasn’t looking at it as, “Oh, well, it’s my birthday, throw the rules out the window” and then feeling guilty and miserable the next day.

Now, I did abandon the “diet” for the day. I deliberately planned for my birthday dinner and made the conscious choice BEFORE the day came that this would be a day of eating at my TDEE and not a deficit day. Wow! After eating at a deficit for 75 days, when I saw how much I could eat without a deficit, it was like a receiving a birthday present. To know that I could eat that much as a special treat and know I was not binging or breaking from my long-term lifestyle goals was such an eye-opener. I had very low-cal breakfast and lunch, to make sure I left enough “eat” room for the dinner celebration.

My parents took me to Stonewood Grill, my favorite steak restaurant! I was sad to see so few entries for their menu here on MFP. The day before my birthday, I went through the menu and picked my favorites and then did some comparisons to other similar selections on MFP. I made sure I would be armed with the right information before going, so I wouldn’t be distracted by lack-of-knowledge from my long-term goals. Now, they did have a wonderful “special” that day, which was not on the menu. But it was just a variation of one of the standard meals and didn’t take too much mental arithmetic to figure out that it was within the calorie range I had allotted myself. Ummmmmm, bone-in filet mignon. Delicious!

Of course, I did not allow for the complimentary chocolate cake they provide to all birthday people. Well, of course, I couldn’t NOT have it. I asked for three forks with it, so my parents could share. I had three bites. Yes, me, the fat old broad had only THREE bites of chocolate cake. Enough to get a wonderful taste and that’s all I wanted.

I confess, I have back-slid on one of my goals this week: weighing myself. I have been just weighing weekly, but since my birthday, I have been weighing daily. Just in case I did see a jump, I wanted to take appropriate steps. And, amazingly, I’m actually down in weight this week :) I know, I know. I can’t trust daily fluctuations, but it has made me feel like counting another small victory. I’m just crossing my fingers that my Monday weigh-in that weight has stayed off.

I’m sure these sound like silly little things to get excited over. But for me, these are major accomplishments, both in mentally, physically, and in terms of NSVs and SVs.

Now, on to my next goal: 40 pounds off by Christmas.


I’ve been posting about starting out at the gym and how uncomfortable I felt. Thanks to inspiration and support from friends at, I’ve kept at it. I’m getting rid of my paranoia that people are staring and laughing. I walk in with the attitude, “I belong here. Look, I have a towel over my shoulder — I’m one of you!”

I’m still pretty wimpy at the gym. I can’t go longer than 20 minutes on the elliptical without my knee saying, “Enough. Stop.” But I do the twenty and then go do ten to fifteen on the bicycle (no resistance, alas, but at least I’m moving.) And i’m working with a trainer on resistance exercises and some beginner lifting.

Yeah, I’m a wimp. But I also think I’m a baby gym-rat waiting to blossom.

I have gotten over the fear that people may be watching, or that somebody will come tap me on the shoulder during a workout and say, “Quit kidding yourself, you don’t belong here.”

While working out the other night, I was doing abdominal crunches working on the exercise ball, and I actually felt the tap-tap-tap on my shoulder. Wiping sweat from my eyes I look up and see a rather attractive gym-rat-type standing over me with a questioning look. Was this my fear coming true? Was someone going to tell the fat old broad to hit the road?

As I precariously got up off the ball, he introduced himself and asked what i was doing on the ball — what kind of exercise it was and what it was supposed to do for you. He has a bad back and was wondering if that might help relieve the stress on it.

I told him what little I knew about the exercise and addressed his fears about how to get on the thing and not fall on your butt (the same fear I had when my trainer showed it to me).

Gym GoddessI left the gym beaming that night. Here I am at 268 pounds and 55 years old, and I’m the person someone goes to for exercise advice. I’m not a gym rat. I am gym goddess!


Had a lovely NSV (non-scale victory) today. I was in a hurry and grabbed a pair of slacks at random and was surprised that they were snug. Lately I’ve been so delighted with how loose my pants were. But suddenly, my pants are snug? And then the thought  hit me! I ripped off the slacks and ran to the light to peer at the label. I had grabbed some old slacks by mistake. These are a size smaller and I can get into them! Okay, they’re snug, but two months ago I wouldn’t even have been able to get them over my hips.

Wow! I’m seeing progress in my clothes. What a great feeling!



Well, I’m 51 days into my journey and I’ve had my first really bad choices day. Went 285 calories over my daily limit. I know, not the end of the world. But I made bad choices for mid-day snack and bad choices for dinner. I could have easily made better choices and stayed within my calorie limit for the day.

And a shame, too. Because I made good choices for lunch. I had brought my lunch (lettuce, tuna salad, carrots), but there was a buffet lunch provided at school. I skipped past the bad choices there, and made myself a lovely yogurt parfait: strawberry yogurt, fresh fruit, and a small amount of granola. More calories than I planned for lunch, but a healthy choice.

I had planned to have two ounces of aged English cheddar cheese for my afternoon snack. But that was when I had planned to have my light-calorie lunch. Once I’d made that lunch change, I should have shifted plans and skipped the cheese. It would have been easy to change, since I had my uneaten lunch. I could have easily substituted the carrots from lunch. That would have put me “even”, calorie-wise, for my plans for the day. And considering I really wasn’t very hungry at snack time, the carrots would have easily satisfied me.

Strike one for the day.

Tuesday is Trivia Night at Wings and Things. I usually plan ahead to have one of my favorite bar food, leaving plenty of leeway calories. Tonight I had planned on having chicken wings. But, I was up in terms of calories from lunch and up from y midday snack. Did I alter my plans and have a lesser calorie, but equally enjoyable, bar item? No, of course not. I had the wings. Did I forego the blue cheese dressing (which would have kept me within the calories of the day)? Of course not.

And here’s my take away for the day. Lesson learned: don’t be married to my “plan” for the day. If I make one change, then I have to re-evaluate the entire day BEFORE I eat anything further. Regardless of my planning, I still have to be flexible. Next time, I need to make smart choices ALL day.

Tomorrow is another day. Shake it off and continue on.


I am now fifty days into my journey, and I have taken a few stumbles. My great plan to go cheap and active is a shambles. I have been walking in the evenings, trying to extend my time and increase my pace. Well, I stretched something — I think I have done some major damage to my left knee. Granted, my left knee has been bothering me for about a year, but now, I have really aggravated it. I’m limping all the time, and when I wake up in the morning, I can barely put my weight on it.

Yes, I have an appointment to see my doctor. In mentioning what I was doing for my weight loss, she said good work on the diet, stop the evening walking. (Gee, who would have thought that all the disclaimers that say to consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program is really good advice.) She said if I was to continue exercising (which she recommended), to do low-stress activity on my knee — no treadmill. She did recommend an elliptical. Which means, alas, I need to join a spa or gym.

Achhh!  Having to work out where other people — thin people, fit people — congregate. Horrors! I’ll be stared at, laughed at, chased out by the beautiful people: all my worst nightmares coming true.

Putting aside the paranoid fear, I joined a gym. Oooooh, that sounds so unlike me. A “gym.” Isn’t that for people serious about exercise? Jocks, muscle men, body builders? That’s not me. But the gym was cheaper than the spa, closer to home, and had extended hours. So I now am a member of YouFit gym. Me fit? Ummmm, not yet.

My first night, I went with my little towel over the shoulder, my old Dasani plastic water bottle (which I’ve been refilling for months), and fear in my heart. I kept telling myself that the fat police would not kick me out of the gym. The fit and beautiful would not be offended by a fat old broad in their midst. As I climbed onto the elliptical, I kept telling myself no one cared that I was there. Everyone was focused on themselves, and no one would be staring, pointing, and laughing at this obese invader. I kept my eyes down on the display; that awful display that seemed to have a broken clock, surely the seconds were actually registering minutes. But I kept going and, making sure my knee wasn’t being strained, kept pushing my heart rate up to good aerobic levels.

After a pitifully short amount of time, I knew I had reached my limit for a beginner and climbed down. I surveyed the gym to make sure nobody was staring and laughing. I didn’t catch anyone in the act. Drenching my little towel in brow sweat and downing the last drops from the bottle, I headed for the door, trying to make eye contact with no one. I was nearly to the door, glad that my paranoia was unfounded — nobody cared that I was there. No one was watching me.

Tap … tap.

I turned around at the woman who was tapping my shoulder. “Hi,” she said, “aren’t you a teacher at Pine View?”

A mother and daughter were looking at me. Checking me out. Well, at least they weren’t pointing and laughing. We chatted for awhile and talked about Pine View and the new school the daughter was attending.  I told them I had just started at the gym, and they recommended I try the circuit training. He-he-he. Yeah, right, A circuit designed to do step-ups in between each machine? Oh, that’s a great thought for a bad knee. In parting, I thanked them for their suggestions and, lying, said I hoped to see them again at the gym and made my exit. Don’t get me wrong, they were very sweet. It’s just, I don’t really want to run into anyone I know when I’m exercising.

I had been telling myself that no one was watching. I was wrong. I wasn’t being paranoid after all. Okay, maybe I was a little paranoid. But, as they say, just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they aren’t actually watching you.

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