Polar Bear

Polar Bear
My Boy

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Diagnosing our Diets

So being a nosy Nelli, and nearing my typical plateau, I was wondering what dieting methods and ideas everyone out there is ascribing to at this time...

So I devised a few questions that I was hoping you could all answer for me, since I can always use inspiration to break through the 180's...I don't care how brief or wordy you are, say as much as you like, but it would be great if you could answer!

1.  Briefly what kind of diet are you using right now, and what supplements (if any) do you take while dieting?

2.  Approximately how many calories do you feel you need to consume to lose weight effectively, without being a zombie?

3.  When/if you have reached your goal, what maintenance plans will you use?

4.  How often do you exercise, and what kinds do you do?

5.  Pre-diet, what foods were your weakness, and how do you avoid them now?

6.  If you yo-yo dieted in the past, what do you plan to do to try to keep the weight off for good this time?

7.  How do you reward yourself for losing weight, if at all?

8.  What is your plateau-busting secret?

9.  Do you feel that the dieting process has increased or decreased your self-confidence/self-worth?

10.  How do you stay honest in your dieting?

I thank you all in advance for any help you can provide!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays from Doogs the 140 lb lapdog

So here is Doogs (aka Duggan), trying to climb on Tim's lap, and Tim trying to protect his family jewels from being nutcrackered...
"I'm right HERE and much more interesting than that bitch on TV!"

You see, Doogs is what one would call a 'velcro Dane'....meaning that he LOVES his people-meaning us-and wants to be near, on, snuggling us all the time...even when I am laying on the floor trying to do sit ups...
"Ok, if you're gonna die, please open my foodbag first..."
 He is a fantastic exercise trainer though, as I spend half my energy trying to keep him from biting my bouncing butt while I am doing Jillian Michael's 30 day shred...and he reminds me that I do not need to eat crap, as he stands and lays his head on my chest looking up at the morsels I am cramming into my mouth as I forage in the kitchen...

"Gimme that fucking cupcake or I'll rip out your jugular when you're asleep..."

 And no one can make sleep look as good as him, though I will never be as flexible to ball myself up or pull my legs above my head (as my husband would like I'm sure)
Doogie ball
Rubber doogie
Fighting sleep...
 But he really is a little kid, above trying to NOT fall asleep, head resting on his chest (just checking out the back of his eyelids, as my husband would say)...but he has his moments when he can't resist sleep no matter what position he is in...

Yes, he is sleeping head down somehow...

See, he is terrified we will leave him, as his original owners did, chained in the backyard to a tree, because they didn't realize he was deaf.  He has separation anxiety for everything, apparently...
Doogs fell asleep while chewing Kong bone
But what a mushy-faced lovebug, never have I felt such appreciation from a rescue dog...granted they haven't all had such dependency issues!
In fact he is so tolerant, and will let us do anything, which is both a good thing and why he got rescued from the shelter after being dumped, and bad because he dealt with way much more than he should have...but he is a smart cookie, after all he chose us!  
He looks better in my glasses than I do!

So here's to our 140 pound lapdog, the best Christmas present we could ask for-I know Polar and Pearl would really love him-what's not to love with those mushy cheeks???

Sunday, December 18, 2011

My Present to You this Christmas!

Since the holidays are tough on all of us (who are trying to keep from stuffing ourselves into a sugar cookie coma), I decided to try to inspire the healthy chefs in all of us (read: me especially!)...

So I challenge all of you to post your original, healthy, home-cooked holiday recipes...paste the address of your recipe post on your page into my comments section on this post...all posts before this Wednesday at midnight will be considered...

The winner will receive a package at their door filled with their favorite products from Netrition.com!  This is a fantastic website with specialty food items and supplements for EVERY diet...just in time for renewing your commitment to weight loss in the new year!

Caveats:  Recipes MUST be original or your novel spin on an old favorite, and holiday related-entrees, appetizers, desserts are all welcome are all are equal-opportunity winners!  One entry per person, please.
Good luck to everyone!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Saving a life besides your own

We all know how wonderful it is to lose weight in order to become healthier...in fact obesity is the cornerstone risk factor for almost all really serious, common diseases...cardiovascular disease including heart attacks and strokes, diabetes, cancer, even Alzheimer's...

I don't need to tout this over and over, because we all hear it everyday, as we strive to put ourselves first in the race to be healthy...but yesterday I got a chance to save another life.

I work with a couple Great Dane rescues in our area, and one shelter has a 'dane' boy who my rescue wanted me to check out.  So I drove up there, an anxious knot in my belly...just the thought that I would be responsible for a dog living or not made me feel sick to my stomach, but so excited that he would be appropriate for us to pull into rescue.

After arriving, my hubs and I were brought back, past a long row of big dogs in other kennels to a large black happy boy in the end kennel.
 The staff let us take him into a room and interact with him.  He passed a variety of tasks...he does not appear to be dog aggressive at all, if anything he is submissive...he approached and was happy to see both of us as complete strangers...he was happy and excited but not destructive or out of control...we poked, prodded, looked at his teeth (and junk underneath), and he didn't flinch or budge like he was not ok with us doing that...

So one reason I had to go see him was because we were all wondering if he was a purebred Dane, and at ~75 pounds he is definitely a mix, most likely lab...

But what a wonderful dog, and we are definitely going to try to pull him into our rescue and get him a home.

What makes me sad is that there were at least 5-6 other dogs in the shelter that were very place-able into homes.  That and the fact that stray dogs are only held for 6 days, and those relinquished by owners are only held for 24.  24 hours that is...

So if you are reaching for gifts for that special animal lover in your life this season, I ask that you research shelters in your area, not to get a dog as a gift for someone, but because many have a special program that can help save a bunch of lives...these programs allow people to pay the small adoption fee for an animal at the shelter, then the animal will be held forever until someone is interested in adopting, and then the animal will be placed free of charge to that special home.

This is a great way to help save animals without bringing them all home and becoming a hoarder...tis the season to give, and not much is better than giving an animal it's life.  Happy Holidays everyone!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Best and Worst Vacations for losing weight

So most of your know that I am a vacation junkie...often planning one after coming back from another.  In reality, planning (and going on) vacations is my therapy.

They REALLY give me something to look forward to...if money were no object, I would probably go on about 5 nice vacations a year, now we are able to go on 1 (well and a half if you count a weekend in Vegas).

Knowing that many of us, me being the biggest offender, like to eat and eat well on vacations, I decided to really think about options that would be more conducive to losing, or even just maintaining weight...without feeling like I'm in a jail cell.  So here is what I came up with, but please add your own suggestions or ideas, I'd love to hear them!
Great options:
1.  Health spa-If all the skinny, beautiful employees doesn't make you feel guilty enough for eating that cracker, then the healthy focus and activities will...often these places have extremely healthy, yet delicious and exotic, menu options, in addition to lots of fun things to do ALL day long.  Heck even getting massages, wraps, mud baths and not moving is better than eating all day!

2.  Dude ranch-This is my personal favorite.  I once spoke to a doctor friend who mentioned she and her family went to the same dude ranch in Colorado every year for 20+ years.  There horses where assigned just for you for your entire trip, that you could take out and ride anywhere, anytime.  There were also scheduled hearty, but not greasy, meals everyday-and everyone dined together.  I don't know about you, but I always eat better when I am amongst strangers.  There are also hiking, skiing, and biking options, and many places also have spa options.

3.  Snow Skiing-This is pretty self explanatory. ;-)  I used to love to go skiing, the day would literally fly by when I was on the slopes all day. I often forgot to eat, which of course is not great, but it is high activity, great fun, and I found I could eat just about anything without losing weight...probably because I would fall asleep pretty early from being so exhausted.

4.  Eco trip-There are many places that you can travel to-in the middle of the jungle, mountains, tropics-far away from restaurants.  These places often cook meals for you, like a bed and breakfast, and there is little room for cheating.  Plus, with such interesting places to explore, hours often fly buy without thinking about that cheeseburger.

5.  Beach getaways-Ok these can go on both lists, depending on the resort and where they are...less touristy places are likely to have less fast food options, and more natural, cultural cooking.  All inclusive resorts can be as bad as cruises...

Not great options:
1.  Beach getaways: At all inclusives, food is often at your beck and call, is pretty processed, and is free-which would be a nightmare...

2.  Cruises:  Stuck on a boat with lots of food options-yikers!  Sure there is lots to do, but I have never met anyone who HASN'T gained weight on a cruise.  EVER.

3.  Las Vegas:  I know this from personal experience-this place is becoming a foodie heaven.  Lots of high and low cost options that are really, really delicious.  And you can only gamble so much...then what???

You guys got ideas?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

But I'm a Cheerleader!!!

So you all know that girl from high school...no THAT girl-who drinks a diet coke (and ex-lax) for lunch, blushes that she's not THAT popular, is exceedingly perky (both in spirit and boobies), guys falling all over her (to touch said boobies), grades don't matter because she is THAT gorgeous...of course she is also a cheerleader (cause what accentuates the annoyance of her being more than a tight sweater and ass-skimming skirt?).
Evil bitches
Yes, I know I am sterotyping, but guess what???  It's my blog, oh and yeah, I was a cheerleader briefly (with great boobs but with more brooding qualities and much fewer smiles and loud "tee-hee!"s across the lunchroom)

But I digress, as usual...my point being this...THAT girl was always "oh I'm SOOOO fat, I have all this flab EVERYWHERE" (said with rolling eyes and pointing to phantom fat in cute skirt/tight sweater).

Me?  I was an athlete, 138 pounds, and I thought "well if she is fat, then I must be a behemoth!"  A.K.A.-A large lake-swelling monster with enormous thighs, etc., and what must SHE think of me if she thinks her perfection is off cause she obviously has it all together?!?

This brings me to this other point...seems everywhere nowadays that people, really thin, naturally thin people are coming out of the woodwork to tell *ME* that they are getting so fat, and they need to lose weight.  Um, 'scuse me???

I realize I lost alot of weight (prior to my small regain) but to bring this up to me makes me wonder...why me?  Because I will agree and lament with you how disgustingly fat you are? (seriously???)  Because I will furiously shake my head INSISTING that no, no, no-you are perfect?  Because it is their way of negating all my hard work (making them feel better about themselves) because I will never be as thin as them?

Even lately in Blogland I have read several posts about people who have lost alot of weight now lamenting how they are so upset because they cannot lose that extra 2 pounds, and boo-fucking-hoo.

Yes, I am angry because I am struggling right now and up a few pounds, and it seems self-serving to dwell on the miniscule when the major goal had been reached (being healthier, etc.)  
Yes, I know we are our own worst critics, and we see what no one else may ever see, either due to our own delusions or because we are never naked in front of anyone else but ourselves.

But here is the thing...I cannot be upset with these peeps, because I am one of them.  Or rather I was one of them when I was 160 pounds a few months ago...I was that horrible obnoxious cheerleader shouting from the rafters "Poor me, I'm only a size 8, and I NEED to be a size 6!" 

And my lovely peeps, I am SO sorry for that.  How fucking annoying.  Hell, I am pissed at me, not only because I did not SEE how skinny I really was (the real crime), but because I drolled on and on. And on.  I did not realize I was inadvertently flashing my success in your faces, possibly unintentionally bringing you down, being THAT girl.  Yuck. I will work on that hypocrisy, I promise, and not shake my perky cheerleadery ta-tas in your face again.

So I apologize.  I cannot promise I will never cheer my future losses and lament my errors, but I will never again harangue again about not being small enough...should I ever be 160 pounds again that is, God/Goddess/Jillian Michaels willing...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Death by Cupcake(s)

Yes, that would be 6 cupcakes.

In one sitting.

Yep, it's official, I'm a pig, and quite the emotional eater, but a tough, long day at work is NO excuse-I know this lesson.  Not a bad put away for one hour.

I don't even want to think about all those empty calories.

I fell asleep at 7:30am on my couch-talk about a crash.

Goes to show I am definitely what I eat-and boy do I feel like an empty, sucked on, soggy cupcake wrapper...cause what kind of obese-brained nutbag would I be if I didn't get every cupcakey morsel off the wrapper???

Oh well, tomorrow is another day...I wish I could just memory-bank how crappy I feel after eating shit like that.  Sadly it won't be my last binge, but they are fewer and farther between these days thank goodness.

Wishing you all a binge free week, with lots of non-sugar highs.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Random Facts and Inconsequential Ramblings

Feel free to jump in!

My current stream of consciousness reads:

1.  I can't believe that people who don't poop for a few days can hold up to 30 extra pounds of shiz-nit in their colon!  Does that mean I am really 145 pounds already???  Imagine all the toxins crammed into my, well, nooks and crannies!?!?  Where can I sign up for a poop chute brushless crackwash? 

2.  Why do people, who have never been more than 5 pounds overweight in their whole lives, proceed to give me ~unsolicited~ advice on how to lose large amounts of weight???  When I need to maintain again-I'll give ya a call, until then can you shut the f-up and check out firsthand the state of your own colon?

3.  A multi-location study worldwide of year-long workplace weight loss programs showed that  between 5-10% of weight loss DRASTICALLY reduced cardiovascular risk factors, and that more than 10% loss was even better.  Yes, a little goes a long way, and no, you may not just lose 5-10%-I know you people! ;-)

4.  How do people run office lottery pools where people put in money each week and collective lottery tickets are purchased?  How do they keep it honest so that douchebag slacker from the mailroom doesn't stake a claim to their powerball winnings?

5.  Do I want to sleep with Hugh Laurie because his character House is hot or annoying or a chauvinist?  Does this mean I have daddy issues and should be working a pole somewhere for some real dough?

6.  Why are makeup brushes so expensive?

7.  Dysons are awesome, though mine smells a little.  (That's what she said...ba-dump-dum)

8.  Would my dogs eat me if I passed long enough out from a low calorie faint?  Would they even try to get into the dog food cabinet first???  Would they start with my meaty boobs?  Or do they stare at my thunder thighs just waiting for the day when they can tear off my juicy drumstick?  That's it I'm sleeping with the door locked from now on...

9.  Why do the large and tiny low fat pretzels taste differently?  Isn't it just a size thing or are the recipes different?

10.  What the fuck is wrong with my brain and why the fuck can't anyone come out with a decent tasting fat free fucking cookie???  And yes, I know fucking a cookie is a sin.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Giving Thanks Bob Harper-style

When my nuggets of wisdom come from reality TV, it makes me wonder about the status of my life. Ha!  But then where in my real like would I run into such veteran weight loss gurus as Bob Harper-the infinitely less abrasive long-standing Biggest Loser trainer?

So as you guessed, I was watching The Biggest Loser this week, and was very interested in the exchange between Bob and Antone, while discussing John's ambivalence on the scale.

You see, every week John gets up there, pulls very decent numbers pretty consistently, yet he is always disappointed to some degree.

And you know what Bob said???  He said that since John didn't appreciate his losses, that he would never realize how far he had come, what he went through to get there, and therefore it would be super easy for him to regain his weight...

I wonder if this is a problem for all Medifasters, too?  See we are conditioned to expect 3-5 pounds of loss per week based on program design, because hey-that is what the posters and ads all say, as well as what my weight loss counselor said initially...

So we see these losses, come to expect them as regular, and pretty soon 30, 40, 50, 100, etc., pounds are gone, and we may have never stopped to realize in actuality how difficult it really is to lose weight, how devoted we were to do so, and how skinny we have become.  Heck maybe this is a problem for everyone?

See, I realized that I never STOPPED pushing myself, being tough on myself, staying focused, to say "hey, that is a shit ton of weight that you lost, look how good you look, feel how good you feel, good for you!!!"  Sure at the end when I hit 159 I was pretty proud of the number, but I'm not sure I really knew how skinny I was-obviously I didn't because when I gained a few back I had virtually no idea.

Now I'm not talking about taking a break from dieting, but snapping out of the zone to have some a-ha moment, doing a happy dance, etc.

I guess I let the routine get so routine, that I never fully grasped how far I came because one week was the same as the next-being a machine is not always good I guess.  This may sound very 'poor little rich girl', but seriously I have to realize that if I don't cheer my success then I won't see my failures coming until the rolls are hitting me in the face (quite literally).  

I think my Medifast counselor even realized that I was not appreciating how well I was doing after a while, but at that point I was a lost cause-being cranky over a three pound loss because it wasn't five...but by then it was too late, my mindset was, well, set.

Therefore this time I will make much more of an effort to appreciate my successes, because I know I will lose weight, that is not in question, but I need to be proud of myself, so that my success does not mean hitting goal, but cheering the journey every step of the way...  
So my journey is just that, a long yet satisfying push to goal, and is not summed up by my destination alone-only then will I be thankful for what I've done, where I've been, and how I look and feel NOW.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"Jillian" starts with a "B"

This Thanksgiving I will be thankful for many little things...

It's amazing how we lose sight of the small joys in life-
like being able to sit to pee.

Yes, Jillian Michaels took that little joy away from me, so this Thanksgiving I wish her a burnt turkey...

Ok, who am I kidding?  I would not wish bad food on my worst enemy, but seriously, her 30 day Shred is NO joke.

After seeing The Biggest Loser for years with her tough love whipping couch potatoes into a fine mash puree, I should have known better.

Sure I do the elliptical 6 days a week, and sure I survived p90x, and of course I discounted the myriads of great reviews on her DVD touting their wonderful fit agony when I was browsing Amazon...

So my brilliant head stated "how can 25 minutes of exercise be that hard?"  And "I can do anything for 25 minutes".  That last statement is true, and I have done her DVD start to finish without missing a beat...but the next morning-whew!

As I was looking for the tire tracks marring my pretty bed coverlet from the truck that plowed me over, I remembered the semi was none other than Miss Peterbuilt herself-Jillian the Villian.  (Yes, I know I spelled it wrong, but I rhymes and emphasizes my drama!)

From the waist down, I am useless (that's what he said, ba-dump-dum).  So I stretched, I popped some ibu's, I stretched again, and yet urination may as well be a four letter word.

First he only gains 5 pounds while eating double the crap that I was, now he gets to stand to pee-more evidence that my husband has made a deal with the devil.  Bastard.

This is SO inconvenient, as I truly need all my muscle coordination and faculties in order to use my extra pounds for the good of mankind and kick some Black Friday ass...

Anyway, besides LOVING my new JM DVD, nothing else new here, eating well, exercising to the best of my hobbled abilities, and plugging forward.

Stay safe and sane this holiday-and if you see any good online black friday ads for an LCD/LED 50+ inch TV, let me know!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What I know for sure and where I'm truly F'd

So it has been one long...LONG...year and a quarter.

I have learned some things about my obese brain, body, insanity-these have mainly come from what I have read, because hey, when you're a food addict it's hard to foster any logic that will keep you from passing on the pie when your smelling it straight from the oven.

I dare say I still mostly operate in a food "haze".  

Let me explain...I read once that men think about sex once every 7 seconds (seriously how do they get anything done??? But I digress...)  However, I can honestly say that I think about food at least every minute less...

Oddly, yet honestly, enough, this explains why I get my good feelings, and release of good feeling chemicals from eating food...not sex.

Sure this used to be different, but for me, eating food has replaced almost every other satisfying activity out there.  Scratch that, it HAS replaced every other activity...

I know obese people need to eat twice as much of the same 'comfort' foods to achieve the same high as normal weight individuals.

I also know that when I eat in front of the TV, that I continue to eat the same food long after it has served it's "intoxicating" functions.  In fact, literature states that as we eat the same food, each subsequent bite holds less and less "intoxicating" power-ie our brain receptors that signal satiation and good vibes are less and less impressed with each swallow.

I also know food triggers the same area of my brain as does narcotics for a drug addict.

This is what I know-though it doesn't always keep me from the food, because I am flawed, and I know I can justify the pants off of eating whatever I want no matter the science that I "know".

Where I'm fucked beyond my physiology, however, is just about everywhere else when it comes to food...see I still remember Polar's passing, and now Pearl's, but I could not (for the past few months anyway), relive, remember, recover any of the agony and just plain old shitty misery I felt while losing all that weight...not enough to keep me from depression-eating back those 15 pounds.

And why could I not see how skinny I was at 159 pounds??  And moreso why could I not see that I was gaining weight again?  I guess body dysmorphia goes both ways...this is not a lesson I wanted to learn this way!

I do know that I am never going to see myself as skinny, no matter what I weigh-this is probably where I am truly fucked, because I can honestly see myself going from a food addict directly into an anorexic mindset.

Yesterday I spoke with hubs about the fact that I trade one addiction like food, for another like shopping-but the fact is that nothing is as satisfying as food for me.  Nothing.

You could say "don't give food the power", but you know what??  It will ALWAYS creep into my brain, every minute or so, and if my only power is deciding not to act on it, then I will have to deal with the constant "foodasizing" in my brain.

Because I'm always going to want to eat chips while watching football, go to dinner for celebrations, grab candy at work when I'm starving, make cookies when I am depressed, reward myself with pizza after a good day at work...

So while I sit here typing AND thinking about what I am going to have for dinner, I realize how food-centric I will always be, and how fucked my fat brain is, yet maybe my solace lies with the fact that knowing this may be the best weapon I have.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Low fat takes on my TG Day favorites

So the old me would have made these with EVERYTHING...but through trial and error I have realized there isn't much taken away at all in regards to taste if I low-cal these up a bit...

Sure they are a bit of a splurge, but the substitutions are pretty numerous and the calories relatively lower than the originals, so here ya go!

Spicy Creme Corn
-Two cans or frozen corn
-Fat Free cream cheese-about 1/2 to 3/4 pack is fine
-Half stick of margarine or equal amount of spread
-Jalapenos (diced), I like them pickled from a jar, but if you use fresh I recommend turning them over in the pan with the margarine first so you don't burn your mouth (and subsequently your asshole) off
-Garlic salt (pinch), or fresh garlic (clove) sauteed in the pan with the jalapenos
-1/4 sweeter onion (in pan with garlic and jalapenos first)
-options-mild chilis or other kinds of peppers or rotel

What I love about this dish is it's flexibility in preparation-can be done days before, the day of, and eaten much after and tastes great each time!

Yukon potato puree
-8 yukon golds
-1.5 cup skim milk
-1/2 half and half or other lower fat cream
-1/4 fat free sour cream
-1/4 cup margarine or low fat spread
-1 tsp salt
-optional-1/8 cup parmigian cheese 
This recipe is a little more in depth, but well worth it, though it is higher cals than the corn recipe, and I usually only make one of these per holiday meal.
So peel and quarter and rinse potatoes, then boil them with salt gently for 10-12 minutes or until ready...
Heat milk and cream until hot but NOT boiling-microwave works well
Drain potatoes and heat in pan to dry them over low heat for ~1 min
Mash/rice potatoes in pan
Mix in butter and optional cheese and sour cream
Add hot milk and cream mixture until puree as soft as you would like
Salt and pepper to taste


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Relapse is a dish best served with Ranch

How are you all??

I'm kind of back.  Sorta.  Kinda.  Maybe.

Everytime I tried to come back, I read my last post and realized that after reaching goal, the wind went out of my sails, and the reason (anger over losing Polar) of why I was pushing so hard just left.

And I felt sad.  And then it happened again.  Pearl, Polar's sister, had a spinal stroke which caused Wobblers, the same thing from which Polar died.  Then she developed diabetes from the steroids which were treating her Wobblers.  Needless to say, it was a tug-of-war in which she would undoubtedly come out the loser no matter which ailment we treated.

So she was put to sleep...on Memorial Day.

And I ate.

I ate 15 pounds back onto my butt, thighs, face, etc...so I'm back in my next attempt to get down to 145, a weight I have not seen since highschool as you may remember.

This time I am not doing Medifast strictly.  I have found these Eating Right micro meals which I love, because let's face it, I am one lazy cook.  The rest will be the same, several small, low cal meals /snacks throughout the day, and water water water.  Also P90x, elliptical, and some Jillian MIchaels thrown in there to keep me honest...cause let's face it she is one scary bitch who would scare the fur off a grizzly.

Oh, and walks every morning...with this guy.  
So this is Duggan, our new deaf baby.  Well, actually he is almost 3 years old.  His street name is Taco, because when the rescue went to get him at the animal shelter they said that he only spoke Spanish...because he didn't respond to the staff.  HAHAHA!  Rescue said, uh no, he is DEAF, not HISPANIC.  
His name is also Taco because he loves to steal them, when you are mid-bite.  No joke.

So here I am...I'm back if you will have me my friends! On to the next weight loss goal!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Year and a Goal-come and gone

One year ago tomorrow, I lost my boy.

One year ago I was sitting on the floor of his room, covered in white hair and pee, because he was stress shedding as he was peeing himself and could not stand anymore.

I was cramping and crying.  I remember what I was wearing, not just because I still look at the pictures. I don't need the pictures to take me back to that day.  
I have not worn that shirt since.
The last day
After he was gone, I cried and hugged him for about a half hour-watching the color of his nose turn from blood-perfused pink to hypoxic purple.  I covered him in a sheet, stood up and accidentally stepped on his foot.  I actually apologized, but he didn't pull it away-it all became more real with each passing second.

While trying to lift his body into transport to the crematorium, I threw out my back-just desserts in my opinion.

I clipped some of his hair which I still carry in a ziplock baggie in my wallet.  Hair and ashes are all I have left.  Or so I thought...

I was 250+ pounds (still harboring a $10K lapband that I failed to use), depressed, and totally uninterested in life.  After he was gone, life held even less meaning.
Before Polar's Death:  March 2010-I actually felt thin that night, I'm hiding behind a plant in the dark , and I'm still HUGE.
My husband didn't know what to do, bless his heart.  I cried everyday for 3.5 months.  I tried really hard not to cry in front of anyone, except Pauli, my brown furry therapist...
In March 2010 prior to losing Polar: with the Fudger

And I tried to understand why I was so upset over the death of a DOG.  Then I stopped looking at the pictures of his last day, and started to remember him this way...
 And this way...
And I realized why I was grieving so hard-
Polar WAS what little zeal I had for life-the sliver of optimism and motivation and perseverance that I was struggling to find and hold-he had it in spades.

He was my role model.  Deaf and partially blind, doing everything he wanted to do, and trying everything even though he often failed.  He never stopped trying new things, repeatedly finding the joy in life.

I didn't have to look far to find my joy, because he gave it to me.  I received the sliver of everything positive I needed in him, as well as in bits of everyone and everything else-except for myself.  

I had stopped trying to push myself to find my own fire, when or why exactly I don't know... But I was living off of Polar.  When he died, I had no choice-my silver lining was gone.  I hibernated, slept away my free time, retreated into grief, ate even more.  I am sure I was clinically depressed, and at times I still feel the all-consuming grief.

When I lost Polar, I realized that alot had changed, and that I was the only one not changing.  If I wasn't going to change and acknowledge what he gave me-respect his memory-then I may as well check out-permanently.  Because I was not living, not really.

Two weeks later I went to Medifast-walked in on a Saturday morning.  Plopped down my credit card, and a thousand dollars or so later, I chose my path.

For me, it was the road less traveled.  I chose change, to push myself, find my fire.  In part because I knew Polar would never forgive me for giving up, since he did so much more with so much less.  But mostly because I knew if I didn't take a risk to change my life, then his lessons would be for naught, and it would be as if he never existed-and what a loss that would be.  Let's face it-I was on a path with an early death.

So I sit here today, 160 pounds.  Shattering my goal of 161 by a whole pound.
When I think I still have a fat body in this pic from last weekend, I look at it in reference to my hand size...
Sure I would like to lose 15 more, if that is even possible with my body type.  

But I am going to Turks and Caicos in two weeks with my wonderful husband, and for the first time, I am enthusiastic about sitting on the beach in a bathing suit.

Now I can cross my legs without having to squeeze them to stay that way, I have no cankles, and I don't feel like my arms are stuffed sausage casings...and apparently I have collarbones and shoulder blades.  I walk down a hallway and look passersby in the EYE.  Who knew?!

I still see a fat girl in the mirror, and that may take years to reverse, but I am starting to believe the compliments.  Or at least I am not immediately refuting them...

But for once, I am happy and hope actually seems possible...And I know Polar is proud of me.
Three weeks ago in San Antonio
Thank you to everyone who has been with me on this journey.  I love you guys.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Fat Ghost

Hi everyone, hope you have all been happy, healthy...

I have continued trying to figure out the chronic abdominal ache, but it still aches, and still no answers.  Frustrating, but honestly I don't have time to figure out this crap anymore.

I figure I am not growing a tumor baby or have some horrible blood disease, as the bloodwork and ultrasound were 'normal', as I think I mentioned, so I need to move on.

Until my faith in modern medicine is restored somehow, I don't think I will pursue other specialists in this matter.

Onto another matter though...I have been debating about this for some time, and I am sure many of you have mentioned this yourselves, but have you received answers?  Come to some resolution yourself?

Upon my weigh in yesterday, the substitute counselor asked me how much thinner I want to get...  Right now I am 165 pounds...fitting into all my size 10's and size 8's, and a few 6's.

Honestly I would like to get down 20 more pounds.  I would like to fit into at least 50% of every size 6 I try on.

Greedy?  Yes, I am.  At this point, there is no concern for fat-related health issues, just mind-body issues.  "Just" is an odd term, because my mind-body issues have probably effected my many other issues for years.  I am sure I am not alone in this issue.

Fact is, that I still feel fat.  I still turn to see my incidental reflection in passing a store window and think either "wow who is that?" or "jeez am I that thin?"  I ask my husband (ad nauseum) if I am thinner than strangers, in order to try to get a handle on how I really look.

And most of the time he looks at me like I am crazy and says "yes, by alot".

I have even seen pictures of myself, then and now, and realize there is a huge difference, but somehow all of this is forgotten when I look in the mirror and still feel fat, consider myself a "fat girl", feel like I need to lose another 20 pounds to be thin.

I call it the "fat ghost" haunting me, but maybe this is the mindset of anorexics?  Maybe this is why my weight loss counselor thinks I should start my stabilization phase now rather than in four pounds like we originally intended?

I know in the end, I am the one who must be happy with my weight loss, I must be the one to deem it finished.  But if my perception is so warped that I keep thinking "just five more pounds and I'll feel thin", then how do I really break that cycle?

Has anyone who has lost most of their weight lost the fat ghost, or do you still feel like you have far to go-maybe unrealistically?  Is there anyway for us ourselves to exorcise the fat ghost, or is external help, possibly psychiatric in nature, required?

Question is, are we ever happy with ourselves, I mean genuinely 100% content?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Resolving Issues-Maybe??

Thanks to all of you for your well wishes and checking in on me...and to Jennifer for reminding me I hadn't followed up...

So they took blood last week, and I had a very scary ultrasound where she took it seemed at least 50 pics of my liver...

Blood work was normal apparently...

Then the nurse practitioner (since I went to student health services), said she would be out of town until Monday so I wouldn't know what the radiologist said about my US until then.

Umm, excuse me??  So I said to myself that if it turns out that I am dying I am going to sue their asses off for making me wait over the weekend to hear about it.

Good news and bad news, good news is that my US was normal, bad news is that they have no idea what is causing my chronic ache.

Lovely.  I know that no news is good news, but maybe a little news would have been nice??

I am happy that my liver is not growing a baby-sized tumor and that my pancreas hasn't withered away, or anything equally horrible, but now what?

So that is where I now stand...coupled with some AWESOME gas pains to challenge my mystery ache and cramping uterus for attention.

Hope you are all doing really well and enjoying the start of spring?!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Resolving Issues

Hi everyone, I'm back but not sure for how long...

I am going to the doctor tomorrow hoping to get my health issue resolved.  I can't even begin to explain what is wrong, but I'll try.

After I eat a larger meal, no matter what it is-high protein, high fiber, etc-I get a kind of dull ache mid-ish right-ish abdomen.

At first it felt like gas, and would pass overnight.  Recently, it has not gone away.  In fact it gets worse each day, and moreso after meals.  However, I must stress that it is not pain, but feels more like a pulled muscle type of feeling, and it does not bother me in all positions.

Since I don't have a gallbladder, you can imagine my googling results to self-diagnose myself has run the gamut from appendicitis, to pancreatitis, to ectopic pregnancy, to ovarian cysts, to kidney infection, to cirrhosis, to diverticulitis, to ulcers, to hernia.  ETCETERA.  Seriously, googling is not always a good thing.

So tomorrow I will find out more-I am hell bent and determined to do so...

Weight loss is still going well, for now, I hit the 160's this weekend.  BUT I can just see some horrible health issue surfacing tomorrow requiring surgery or treatment and not allowing me to continue weight loss.  

Yes, this is how my mind thinks...I may have cancer or a failing pancreas, but SHIT...I may have to stop losing weight!!!  Yes, this is VERY sick, I know.  One of my many issues...put it on my list.  

I'll jump off that bridge when I get to it I guess...cross your fingers for me, please.

Wishing you all well, hope to catch up with you all soon.  Please let me know if you have posted something you think I might be able to help you out with or really want me to read from the past week as it may take me forever to catch up...

Stay healthy folks!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Worn the F- Out

Quick note to say 'Hi' to everyone, and sorry I haven't visited any blogs lately.  No good excuse, just been a bad bloggy friend.

Tired, worn out, burnt out, etc...still on the wagon, but infinitely less enthused about everything.  Feeling very neutral about things that used to trip my trigger.  Feeling down about stuff I used to be able to tolerate.

Don't know what else to say about that.

Will be MIA for a few more days-hope you are all well-wish you the best!

Friday, February 18, 2011

When weight is all you can control

Death, taxes, drunk drivers, February snow in Texas, alien abductions...

And the answer, Alex, is "What are things we cannot control"?

I realized today that losing weight is the only thing I can really effect.  Destiny?  Not so much.

I'm starting to understand more and more why those with undereating disorders starve themselves.  If their lives are anything like mine, they take that little nugget of control and run with it.

I realized today that it doesn't matter how much I prepare, read articles, take classes, offer solid experimental suggestions-my opinion will never be taken seriously by my boss.

Many of you are probably saying, "Yeah join the club."  But in my education, the whole purpose of getting a science PhD is to LEARN how to THINK analytically and use known info to answer new questions-in other words-Independent Thinking.

I have told you that my boss is a micromanager, but today takes the fucking cake.  See I have my own project, one that granted HE chose for me based on what he wanted to pursue, but I have tried to make it my own and take ownership since.  Because at some point I need to be able to pose the future questions and solutions based on the results I see day to day-by myself.

But he has a plan...many in my lab think it doesn't matter what the results say because the boss sees everything through rose colored glasses and will keep repeating an experiment until he sees the results he desires.

Until today I wasn't sure if that was true.  Today I offered a really good suggestion, to replace our current mouse model with a MUCH better, cleaner model that I found in the literature.  And he shot it down.

The fact that my work really doesn't matter, that my name will be put on a paper with less than clean results, and that I will never be allowed to develop as an independent scientific thinker makes me want to fucking drop out.  And it makes me sick to my stomach.

No joke.

And it makes me want to exercise until I drop dead-because I can CONTROL that.  That is the only area where my hard work and initiative pays off it seems.

Sorry for the negative post, but I'm just so frigging pissed right now I can think straight.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ulterior Motive

I admit, when I see celebrities proclaim in a verbose and dramatic manner that they are just so sad because it is so HARD for them to tell who likes them for themselves and not their looks or money, I want to freaking puke...

Then when I see gorgeous, perfectly shaped women prancing around in 6 inch heels claiming that no one takes them (and their unnatural cleavage) seriously and takes the time to get to know the real them inside,  I want to puke on THEM.

But before I feel the bile rise in my throat, maybe I should think about this idea more...

See lately it seems that people talk to me more.  Not men or women specifically, all types of people.  To be objective, this could be occurring because of the way I carry myself, which is different if merely for the fact that I take more care in how I dress.  
This could also be happening because I am more chatty, and maybe less bitchy and reclusive looking-which my lovely mother never failed to tell me.

However, part of me has to think about what my friend Ann stated in her answers in a few posts back, when I made her answer questions pertaining to 'normal' thoughts about how she thinks of obese people.  While she said she wonders why obese people eat fast food crap, she said she doesn't think badly of obese people.  

HOWEVER, we all know that some people out there have a variety of opinions about fat people-that we are lazy, unhygienic, etc-and we all heard about that lovely writer who said she is grossed out just seeing fat people walk across a room.

Frankly, the fact upsets me that people could now like me while they didn't before because maybe my rolls made them feel like they were going to puke.  Or that maybe now that my face is my own again, and I have one chin, that people really are nicer to people they find more attractive.

While I am happy, for whatever reason, that it seems I have more friends and people want to be around me now, the former bitchy, protective me really doesn't want their respect and niceties if thinness is the determining factor in them offering their friendship...does that make sense?

Anyone else question newfound, unlikely friendships?  Could Paris really know what she is talking about?!?!? ;-)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

High Heels and Low Weigh Ins

It is no mystery to those who have been reading for a while-but I love shopping.  Prior to getting less fat (as opposed to 'thin' yet), I started buying shoes-lots of shoes.

I admittedly exchanged one addiction (stuffing thy face), with another (stuffing my feet into new shoes).

Ok, so maybe I have always liked shoes.  Living in a high heel culture, I yearn for high heels, and on special occasions, I have even tried them-at weddings, parties, etc.  But the heels rarely last an hour...

Truth is-beauty hurts like hell, and those high heels are just one ring of said hell...

But I still buy heels, because they are so pretty and I always thought maybe I could wear them some day...a couple weeks ago I found these lovely boots on eBay, and just had to have them...

They have almost 3 inch heels, but I decided to wear them last week-to work!  Where I walk all day!!!  On my way in I thought I must be freaking crazy from carb withdrawl to wear these shoes to work.

But at the end of the day, I was still wearing them AND my feet felt fine.
Then I realized that it wasn't my feet that couldn't wear heels, it was my fat ass.  In other words, being obese kept me from one more 'normal' activity.

Sure, I know many bigger girls have no problem with heels, but I always had.  And when I was thin and younger, I didn't wear heels-boy I wish I had!
So I guess I had a mini NSV on Friday, which turns out to be major for me since I have so many pairs of unloved high heels that I can now wear!!!  I still have to work on my high heeled swagger though. ;-)

On another note, I weighed in yesterday.  I had wanted to lose at least 5 pounds since I hadn't weighed in the week before (Medifast was closed due to our horrible weather).  However, I lost four, down to 173.
First, I was really wanting at least 5 pounds gone, but I guess all that random snacking while being holed up at home in the bad weather crushed my 3 pound loss per week average that I have had lately.  Not that I expect 3 pounds per week at this late stage in my weight loss, BUT when I get on a roll I really try to ride the momentum, while I still have it that is...

However, and second, I am so happy that I am actually in the 170's.  The previous weigh in felt like a fluke somehow, not that I didn't work hard for the 177, but I honestly thought I would never be able to break 180, since I was never able to before.

So I realize this was not an exciting post, but that's all I got for now.  Hope your weekend is going well!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Snot-my new best friend

You know when you are walking through the mall, and you reach the foodcourt area?  I have gotten to where I avoid going anywhere NEAR it-not just for the lines of mean hungry people jutting out into the walkway...

Walking past the foodcourt always makes me STARVING, no matter the time of day.  You know the feeling-the waft of pizza, chinese, and burgers mingling should make us all want to puke, but strangely to me my food addict brain can tease out each food scent and I suddenly want ALL THREE.

Everyone knows foods make us hungry, but why?  Studies have shown that seeing food images trigger hunger, but what about just a waft of fried chicken, baked cookies, french fries?

A study in a 2010 issue of Obesity (18:8, p.1566-1571) conducted at Indiana University School of Medicine by Veronique Bragulat et al. tested the cerebral effects of food ODORS.

Two groups of people, normal weight and obese, were fasted for 24 hours.  They were given four food choices and were told to rank them in preference of eating.  Then they were exposed to these four food-related odors (two sweet and two fatty food scents), and four non-food odors such as chemicals and fir trees.  This all occurred while they were strapped to a brain scanner.

The odors of the most preferred food choice increased brain activation in the reward-related areas of the brain over the non-food choices.  However, what I found interesting and had not heard previously was that the brain areas activated are similar to those activated when cues of addictive substances, such as alcohol, were given.  

In fact, in lean individuals the area of the brain most affected by these food odors is the area responsible for body homeostasis (happy medium), whereas in obese individuals the area most affected controls long-term memory.  

Does that mean that we as obese people form memories around food, so strong that they are causing responses comparative to drug usage, and that the mere odors of such foods can elicit memories and create EMOTIONS?  Just like the scent of your mothers' perfume makes you think fondly of her reading to you as a child...

Many of us talk about being food addicts, and I know I am one.  So then logically speaking being obese means we have actual brain response that makes it harder to break the bonds between foods and memories.  

But if the stimulated area of the brain is the same for drugs AND food cues, then wouldn't it also be logical to think that we would go into similar physiological withdrawal as powerful as DTs when dieting as drug/alcohol addicts who go through rehab?  

Anyone else ready to sign up for a Haldol drip?  Someone on their blog the other day stated indignation that obesity is not considered a coverable medical expense like other addictions, but I think if the results continue stacking up there will be no way the medical and insurance industries can deny the chemical dependence induced by food any longer. 

Until then, I guess we all have our workouts and salads at least! ;-)