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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Great Expectations

Don't worry, I'm not going to talk about that "Oh so wonderful book".  I've been thinking today about the expectations that we have, that others have for us, and those we have for ourselves.  No matter who has them, it is rarely easy to live up to them.

What brought this on?  A book (what else?).  I was listening to a book as I was driving into work this morning.  The heroine was trying to deal with the expectations that her grandmother had for her.  Our heroine was not doing a very good job living up to her grandmother's expectations and it was causing family strife.

Sound familiar?  Yeah, me too.  I had this amazing grandmother growing up.  She was a wonderful seamstress and for most of my growing up years, she made most of my clothes.  We were a very close family and we spent lots of time with Grandma and Grandpa.

The only fly in this ointment was me.  My Grandmother had expected (I believe) a girly-girl granddaughter.  Someone she could teach to sew and cook, and go shopping with.  Unfortunately, I was a tomboy and could usually be found a half step behind my father or grandfather.  Not exactly what Grandma had bargained for.  Oh, yeah, I was a 'bit' headstrong as well. The poor lady, she must have thought babies had been switched at birth or something.  Here she was expecting a beautiful granddaughter and she ended up stuck with me.

Oh she loved me, make no doubts about that.  We just didn't see eye to eye on certain things, and she wanted me to be what she wanted.  I, on the other hand, was determined to be who I was and had no interest in all that "Girl stuff".

She had expectations for me that I could never hope of meeting.  I guess, I had some expectation for her, that she was unable to meet as well.  We ended up at odds a lot!

How much of someone else's expectations do we take on ourselves?  When we do take them on, what happens if (and when) we are unable to meet those lofty goals?  Well, if your me, you do the exact opposite of what was expected.  Then, you internalize that mess of disappointment and use it to berate yourself.  It then becomes a self-fulling prophecy.  You become the opposite of what is expected of you.  Hello extra pounds!

The ironic thing about my grandmother's expectations of me is that I have, in fact, become a lot of what she wanted.  Hair, and clothing are not the be all and end all of my life.  But I love to cook and bake and love to sew and quilt.  By my grandmother's definition, I am now the perfect granddaughter.

We all put expectations and pressure on ourselves and those we love and care about.  But really, how much of those get twisted inside the other persons head?  Remember, what you say is not what they hear.

I expected to have lost another 20 pounds by Thanksgiving, I'm not going to make that.  I was going to go to the gym every day like clock work!  My clock seems to be broken.

Maybe we would all be a lot happier, and thinner, if we stopped trying to be the ideal that others (and ourselves) have for us and instead learn to love ourselves as we are.

Honestly, that is the first step in any journey like this.  First you have to accept yourself as you are.  That is what has given me the strength to move forward.  Good bye pounds.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Hollween Nightmares

I was trying to figure out the scariest thing I could be for Halloween.  This morning I figured out the most terrifying thing I could be. . . .a scale!  Think about it, what strikes fear into the heart of most adults?  You got it, weigh in.

Think about it, I could go out Trick or Treating dressed as a scale.  All the adults would be terrified and the kids would just think I was weird.  It's perfect!

Seriously though, I have come to believe that my scale is sentient.  I am not being paranoid, I seriously think it isNot only is it alive, it has an awful sense of humor and it loves to mess with me.  One day I'm up a pound, next day it's down 2, after that three pounds magically disappear.  I'm telling you, it's evil and it hates me.

I read an article in one of my Prevention magazines that talked about ways to help in weight loss  One of them was to weigh yourself daily (as opposed to weekly).  The idea being that you have the ability to correct small errors and fluctuations quicklyI thought I'd try it this week and see if it made any difference.

Boy did it ever!  I'm having nightmares of giant scales chasing me down a cupcake filled hallway and I have been hesitant to get up this week because it means stepping on the scale.  Seriously, this was a horrible idea!

Back to weekly weigh ins for this girl, and maybe I should go shopping for a scale that doesn't have such an evil sense of humor.  Anyone know where I can get a non-sentient scale?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Waking Up

You all know that I can be a bit impulsive.  Personally, I think that is what makes me, me.  Over the years I have learned to temper the impulsive behavior.  Apparently when you grow up and become a parent, you are supposed to be level-headed, rational, and scheduled, leaving no time for unplanned fun.  Well, I guess one out of three isn't too bad.

Back to the point.  In order to prepare for my placement test on Monday, The Boy has been tutoring me in Algebra.  This evening, we decided that we needed a book of some sort to work from.  I jumped online and checked out the Algebra for Dummies book.  I've always felt like a Dummy when I attempt Algebra, so it seemed a natural choice.

It was in at B&N, so we grabbed the car keys and headed off to town.  We found an entire shelf of books and The Boy spent some time choosing exactly the right one.

As I was standing there, it suddenly dawned on me that I am going back to college.  Weird.  Actually, most of the last year could be termed as weird in my life..

What started out as a simple change of eating plan has turned into an entire new life.  I'm not even sure if I remotely resemble the person I was a year ago.

The me I am now is very happy about that.  I feel as if part of my personality was dormant and has suddenly begun to wake up.  It's a glorious feeling!

Every day is a new adventure instead of the same frustrating routine.  Maybe the princess inside of me is related to Sleeping Beauty and changing my life is the equivalent of being kissed by a prince.

I'm going to have to give this some thought; it's an interesting phenomenon

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Katie vs The Elliptical Machines

When I was a little girl my mom enrolled me into Ballet lessons.  I know it's rather cliche', but what are you going to do?

So there I was, leotard and all (thank goodness there was no tutu!) with all these other little girls.  I have never been the most coordinated person in the world and amongst all of those graceful little girls, I felt like a sumo wrestler in a leotard and ballet shoes!

Needless to say, my career as a Prima Ballerina was quite short lived.  When it became obvious that I was never destined for toe shoes, my parents allowed me to take tumbling, tap, and jazz instead.  I was much more suited to make lots of noise with the tap shoes and the tumbling taught little accident prone me the proper way to fall, so not all of the lessons were a waste of time and money.

I have not thought about the ballet experience for quite awhile until today.  Today, I came face to face with a new enemy:  the Elliptical Machine!  Talk about humiliation!

The trainer at the gym suggested that instead of using the stationary bike, he wanted me to use the Elliptical machines.  Okay, I can do that.  I'm all for working my arms and upper body at the same time as my legs.

Well, it was okay until I came face to face with the evil beast of a machine!  I walked into the exercise room and there were about 12 people working on Elliptical Machines.  Everyone seemed to be having a wonderful time and it looked really easy.  Boy was I wrong!

I quickly discovered that I am in no way coordinated enough to use one of these machines.  For the life of me I could not figure out the rhythm of the one I was on.  If I finally got the legs going, the arms were off, even smacking me in the head when I was attempting to get my legs going.  It was so embarrassing!

I quickly saw the humor in my predicament and began to laugh.  When I started laughing so did all the graceful, coordinated people on some of the other machines.  Quite a few of them tried to give me suggestions on how to get going, but the more things I tried, the worse I got.

At length, one of the Trainers came over and was trying to help me.  He ended up laughing so hard he had to sit down on the machine next to mine to catch his breath.  He tried to apologize for laughing, but I told him it was okay, as I was finding the entire fiasco hysterically funny!  

I finally got to a point where I thought I could bail and jumped off the silly machine.  I wanted to kick it in the worst way, but I refrained (wanting to keep a shred of dignity) and skulked off to my bike.

There are just some things, I am never meant to do; and elliptical machines have joined ballet at the top of the list!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Steps along the path

I am continually surprised by myself lately;   I registered for school today.  It actually feels real to me know.  I am going back to school.  SCARY!!
 
I have to take a placement test for Algebra on Monday.  I panicked!  I don't know if I even remember anything about Algebra!  Just as I was reaching meltdown mode, I was rescued by my wonderful boy.

The Boy is going to tutor me!  How weird is that?  Mom is being tutored by the child.  I have a wonderfully patient boy.  He explained everything in clear and concise language that was easy for me to understand. 

Panic over.  With my boys beside me I can conquer anything, even Algebra and Chemistry!

Watch out world, soon I am going to be a lean, mean (I won't be mean) Dietitian! 

The adventure continues!

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Return of Myron and Couch Potato

Couch Potato and Myron were ecstatic; their new plan was working perfectly.  Having failed in their previous attempts to derail the princess, they had devised a truly evil planWorking quietly they had crept into the princess' brain and had slowing begun to twist thoughts, feelings and even her determination.  Myron had very carefully chipped away at her willpower until she had actually begun to believe that her endeavor was destined to fail and her goals were unattainable.

The two of them were having a wonderful time celebrating and patting themselves on the back.

However, they had not remembered one thing about our stalwart princess; for all of her good qualities, she had one that stood out above all others.  Our princess was quite contrary!  Her favorite thing to do was the opposite of what was expected of her.  This facet of her personality had mostly been channeled into positive things.  Such as helping people who were thought of as not deserving of help, and learning how to control her sometimes impulsive behavior.

This time, her 'charter flaw' was going to work in her favor.  Every time someone whispered in her ear that she couldn't succeed, she became more and more determined to achieve her goal!

While her two nemeses had done a very good job of temporarily sidetracking her, our princess was now wise to what Myron and Couch Potato were up to and all it did was to strengthen her resolve make it to the top of that mountain.

Couch Potato and Myron may have won a battle.  But our princess was in it for the long haul and had every intention of winning the war.

No more would she allow whispers and doubt to enter her world.  She had a job to do and she was bound and determined to finish it.

Our villains knew that they had failed in their attempt to weaken the princess' resolve.  With tail between the legs and head bowed low, Couch Potato and Myron skulked away vowing to return with a new and better plan to harm our brave princess. 

Hearing their mumbled threats, our princess smiled and said but two words to her enemies.
"Bring it!"

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Today, as we all know, was weigh in day.  Have I mentioned that I am beginning to dread Sunday mornings?

Those three lovely pounds that I lost when I was ill are back.  My only solace is that they didn't bring any friends.  

Tomorrow is a new new day and a new week.  I need to get this train back on the tracks!  I am going to go to the gym every work day next week!  I can do this, right?  

Tuesday is my day off, it's registration day for school.  Wow! does that seem weird.  I'm going back to school!  And I don't want to be the only overweight person in the Dietetics department! How humiliating would that be?

Think about it, who in their right mind would hire an obese Dietitian?  Who on earth would seek help and advice from one?

So now the fate of my future depends on losing this weight.  All of my plans could go up in smoke if I can't lose this weight!  Oh the pressure!!

Tomorrow, first thing in the morning, I will be at that gym if it kills me!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Obsessed

I am a very expressive person.  I have learned over the years to channel all of that emotion and excitement into whatever job,task, or goal that I have.  The upside of that is it ensures that I carry out these tasks and goals with lots of passion and (hopefully) joy.

The downside of this way of doing things is that I tend to become a bit obsessive about what I am doing.  I guess that tends to happen when you are solely focused on a single goal or task.

Thus far, this system seems to be having a great deal of success regarding my current focus and passion.  Weight loss and the transformation to a more healthy lifestyle for myself, my family, and those around me that I love.

Why am I discussing this?  Because as hard as I try, I am unable to become obsessive about the one problem area that I really do need to focus on right now.   Exercise!  It is still my one big stumbling block.

I actually do enjoy the time that I spend at the gym.  The problem is that it far to easy to make and excuse and not go.  For instance:  I'm not feeling well, I can not possibly go exercise when I am not feeling my best.  (Enter the Empress of Justification!)

How about this one?  I am so tired and need sleep that I can not possibly get up that early and go to the gym.  (Okay this one is pretty lame, but I have used it!)

My personal favorite lame excuse is this one:  I can't go to the gym because I don't want to burn the extra gas in the car.  (The gym is approximately 2 miles from where I work and I go in the morning before work.  How much extra gas does this really take?  One drop, two?) 

I need to figure out a way to become obsessed about exercising.  There must be a way to do that.  I have to make a commitment to this and stick to it.  Perhaps if I can become more consistent and push myself (lame excuses and all) I can make it become a habit.  Then I will just automatically go to the gym every morning.  Hey, this may work!

So exactly how long does it take to form a new habit?  I looked it up (I LOVE research!).  According to PSYBLOG, it can take awhile:

Although the average was 66 days, there was marked variation in how long habits took to form, anywhere from 18 days up to 254 days in the habits examined in this study. As you'd imagine, drinking a daily glass of water became automatic very quickly but doing 50 sit-ups before breakfast required more dedication (above, dotted lines). The researchers also noted that:
  • Missing a single day did not reduce the chance of forming a habit.
  • A sub-group took much longer than the others to form their habits, perhaps suggesting some people are 'habit-resistant'.
  • Other types of habits may well take much longer.

66 Days!!  That's over 2 months!  Are they nuts!  I don't have that long of an attention span!  How on earth am I going to be able to do this???

Alright, five minute freak-out is done.  Deep breath, hold it, let it out slowly.  Okay, that's better.

Can I really stay focused on one thing for 66 days?  That in itself may be a challenge.  But, if I go to the gym everyday (except Saturdays that I don't work and Sundays), think how awesome I'd look!  I could end up looking like a supermodel!  Okay, Katie, let's not get carried away.

Honestly, I'd be happy if I can make this work and get below my 200 pound mark so that I can go to the climbing wall!

66 days at the gym?  I can do that!
 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Busy Day, Busy Life

Thing are getting complicated.  Since school started we have been on a dead run.  When we started this adventure The Boy wasn't working, Hubby was only working one job and we were not dealing with marching season.

I'm thinking that the tight schedule we are on is part of the reason that I am stuck.  We have a break neck schedule that has not allowed for more planning.

So what is the solution?  I've been thinking a lot about that lately.  I thought about calling a halt and just stopping a few things.  Of course, it will be hard to purchase the proper food with no job; and then there's the house payment and all those other annoying bills.

Maybe I just need to figure out how to plan a little better.

This is going to require more thought . . .

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Love, Laughter, and a Positive Attitude!

Still not feeling well.  Oddly enough I think that the Prevention web site is now reading my mind!  It's sort of eerie, but there you are!

How is the website reading my mind?  As my email was coming in this morning I noticed one from Prevention titled "10 Worst Habits for Your Immune System".  How did they know I was sick?  Yup, it's a mystery to me too!

Some of the things mentioned in the article are pretty interesting and have nothing to do with covering your mouth and washing your hands.
Friendship may be Miracle-Gro for your immune system.
Research shows that the fewer human connections we have at home, at work, and in the community, the likelier we are to get sick, flood our brains with anxiety-causing chemicals, and live shorter lives than our more sociable peers. In one study, researchers who monitored 276 people between the ages of 18 and 55 found that those who had 6 or more connections were 4 times better at fighting off the viruses that cause colds than those with fewer friends.

I like this much better than those boring articles that tell you to avoid contact with people!  If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense.  If you are feeling loved, and connected to people you care about, you are bound to feel better.  I knew love was the cure for everything!
Studies show that glass-half-empty types don't live as long as those who look on the bright side.  When pessimists put a more positive spin on the calamities in their lives, they have less stress and better health. A classic UCLA study found that law students who began their first semester optimistic about the experience had more helper T cells mid semester, which can amplify the immune response, and more powerful natural killer cells, than students who had a more pessimistic perspective. One reason could be that optimists take better care of themselves. It could also be due to less stress-related damage to the immune system, such as killer cells that suddenly become pacifists.
Get out those rose-colored glasses!  I am so loving this article!  Who doesn't like an article that tells you that you are the type of person who will be healthy.  So what has gone wrong this week?
A constructive argument with your spouse can actually increase immunity, say UCLA researchers.  They asked 41 happy couples to discuss a problem in their marriage for 15 minutes. The researchers detected surges in blood pressure, heart rate, and immune-related white blood cells, all of which were similar to the benefits seen with moderate exercise. But you still have to play nice: Couples who frequently use sarcasm, insults, and put-downs have fewer virus-fighting natural killer cells, have higher levels of stress hormones, and take up to 40% longer to recover from injuries than those who manage to stay positive and affectionate during their quarrels.
Okay, this may be a problem.  Anyone that knows us well will tell you that sarcasm runs rampant in this household!  We never put each other down or insult each other; and we all know that the sarcasm in this household is done out of love, so maybe we are okay on this one!
One in four American women doesn't exercise at all—and that's an easy way to set yourself up for sicknessWhen researchers compared inactive people with those who walked briskly almost every day, they found that who didn't walk took twice as many sick days in 4 months as those who strolled regularly.

What to do: Experts say that it takes a 30 minutes of aerobic exercise—a brisk walk counts—to sweep white blood cells back into circulation, making your immune system run more smoothly.

Man!  We just knew that exercise was going to come into this somewhere along the line!  I guess the gym is good for lots of things!
Consider this a doctor's note to troll YouTube on your lunch break... 
Researchers have found that the positive emotions associated with laughter decrease stress hormones and increase certain immune cells while activating others. In a study conducted at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, healthy adults who watched a funny video for an hour had significant increases in immune system activity.  What to do: Um, laugh more. You know how: Watch your favorite comedies, have lunch with a pal known for her funny bone, and read those silly forwards from friends before you auto-click "delete."
  Okay so what do we know now?  Love, laughter and a positive attitude and are the cure for all ills!  I always knew it!
 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sick Cooties!

I have discovered the way to get over the weight loss hump.  Get sick. I thought at first it was the wonderful roast we had on Sunday night.  I have determined that it is not the roast.  Which is a good thing, because I don't want our favorite comfort food meal forever scarred by "sickness cooties".

Yes, sickness cooties exist.  Think about it.  The last time you get ill, it is always blamed on the last meal you ate prior to that.  Have you eaten that meal again since?  No, because that meal is now forever linked to that illness.  Sickness cooties!

I have, however, lost 3 lbs since Sunday.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Whirlwind Day

Yesterday was a very long day, although it seemed to fly by.  We had the Step Out walk in the morning and a big Band Competition in the evening.  We sort of flew from one event to the other, barely having time to take anything in.

In contrast, today was a very quiet family day.  We really did nothing except hang around the house and spend the day together.  Having a little bit of time to reflect on yesterday, I am moved and touched by how amazing the day, and my family are.

The walk was a family affair.  We did the entire walk together, laughing and joking our way down the trail.  About half way thorough, I had the thought that they didn't have to be there.  I was determined to do the walk, but no one was forcing the rest of the family to be there on that incredibly chilly morning.  Yet, there they were, by my side, supporting me.  Exactly where they have been since the beginning.

At the Band Competition, we were all up in the stands, and were even joined by my brother and his family; everyone there to cheer The Boy on!  Exactly where we have been since the beginning.

This morning, when I got on the scale and realized that the scale was, once again, stuck on the same number from the previous week, frustration began to boil in my stomach.  I seem to have hit a plateau and have been unable to move the needle downward.

When I reported that to the boys, they immediately began to help me strategize what needed to be changed and fixed to get over this hump.  

The solution?  We are going to go back to the beginning.  I'm going to do the 2-week fast start part of the Dtour diet over again.  Hopefully, that will help me kick my system back into the weight loss mode, I need it in.

Between that and the gym, I think I can do this.  My goal is to be under 200 pounds by Thanksgiving.  Of course then I have that big meal to get past, so is this really a good plan???

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Step Out!


What an amazing morning!  The walk was so exciting and affirming!  The air was crisp (okay it was freaking cold!), the sky was clear and the sun was shining.

There were about 200 people, all there to support the American Diabetes Association and those individuals who live with Diabetes.


We were a small team, but we had a lot of fun.  The course was beautiful, it was a trail through a local park, so much better than walking down a busy street!


The Boy was in fine form; he was goofing around and high fiving everyone who would put their hand up.  His father was even able to get a photo of him doing a Bay Watch imitation!  The picture is good, but no where near as comical as the real thing!


As you may remember, the first 5K we walked I had a difficult time.  While I finished, it took everything I had to make it to the end of the course.  Today was a far different animal!  I wasn't huffing and puffing my way through the walk.  I was able to laugh and joke around with my companions, and best of all . . .I didn't want to get sick at the end!!


It is wonderful experiences like today that remind me why I am doing this.  It makes all the sacrifices and determination worth it.  I briskly walked 3 miles today and loved every minute of it!!  Attempting to do something like this would never have even crossed my mind a year ago!  Wow!  How many years have I lost out on?


We are on again next year!  I am pumped up and ready to go!!  I am hoping that more people will join us next year and share this amazing experience!  It is a morning you will not soon forget!


Friday, October 15, 2010

Countdown!

Tomorrow is the big day!  The Step Out for Diabetes walk!  I am so stoked and wound up!  I am anxious to get out there and get going and see how I do compared to the first walk.

Not only that, but the cause is so important.  I want to do everything I can to support the effort of the American Diabetes Association.   The work that they are doing is so very important and becoming more critical every day!

If you haven't had a chance to make a donation to Team Freedom, please take a moment of your time and donate now; all you have to do is click on the logo at the bottom of the post.

Thank you all for your support!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Blowing it!

For the last two weeks I have had the strongest cravings for junk food that I have ever had.  I have no idea why all of a sudden I can think of nothing else but cake, ice cream, candy bars, peeps (yes I LOVE peeps), and candy corn (especially those little pumpkin ones)!

Last night, wonderful hubby and I went to the grocery store to get dinner.  We were walking past the bakery section when I spotted them ~ the cupcakes!  Not only that, they were whispering to me.

I got to thinking that the cupcake thing worked last time.  I had only eaten one and that had take the desire for sweets away.  I mentioned this to hubby (who has been having the same cravings) he thought it was a sound plan, so we bought them.  (Remember I am the Empress of Justification!)

You would think that I would know better by now, but as usual I seem to be a slow learner when it comes to this particular lesson!  I did manage to only eat one cupcake . . .before dinner.

I ate three cupcakes last night!  I am horrified (and sick) this morning!  How on earth did I let this happen?  And it's Step Out walk week too!  (Which somehow in my brain makes it worse.)

I went a little crazy last night, but I could not seem to stop myself.  Now, I am left feeling sick to my stomach, head-achy and my blood sugar is WAY too high this morning!

Okay, confession time over.  I am now going to take a very deep breath get ready for work and start all over again.

When will I ever learn??

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Adapting

Fall is my favorite time of year.  The air is cool and crisp, the trees are aflame with color and all the small animals are hurrying about making sure they are set for winter.

With the cool weather comes the desire for warm comfort food.  Mashed potatoes, beef roast, gravy and all those wonderful foods that are full of starch, fat and sugar.  All those wonderful comforting things that I am now supposed to avoid.

Tonight I announced to my boys that Sunday will be the first pot roast of the season.  Both men light up like a Christmas tree!  The moment that I saw that look on their faces my mind started clicking through the ingredients in my 'secret recipe'.

Oh man,  I need to make some major adjustmentsBut if I adjust the recipe will it still be my special roast?

Okay, I know this seems like a silly thing to worry over, but my pot roast recipe is a family favorite and something that we all look forward to.  I don't want to ruin it.

What am I going to do?  Make the adjustments that are necessary and pray that I can find healthier substitutions for the things that need to be taken out of the recipe.

This has become normal for us.  I don't want to have to give up all of my favorite foods, no one does.  The only way to keep our favorite foods in our life is to adapt them to our new lifestyle.

Adapting.  Adapting has become the story of my life.  This is simply one more step on the journey.

Contrary Katie

Yesterday, I went to the college to speak with an Academic Advisor  to figure out what I needed to take.  Wow, what an experience!

First I got turned around and lost on campus (no surprise there).  Luckily some very nice young man helped me figure out where I was going.  Then I step into the Advising office and sitting there waiting are a bunch of kids that I swear were no older than the Boy!

I signed in, sat down and looked at these kids and all I could think was: "Oh, Katie, what have you gotten yourself into now?"  Luckily, I did not have too much time to stew as I was called back shortly after I arrived.

Then it was time to sit down with an Advisor.  Gulp!  First he wanted to know why I wanted to come back to school after 20+ years.  Then he began to fill me in on what had transferred over and what I still needed to take.

When I was in school (before) my two weakest subjects were Algebra and Science.  I was more of an English and Psychology kind of person.  I even failed a logic class, much to the entertainment of my brother who to this day points to that when he decides that I am not logical.  (Truth be told, I use Katie Logic, which is much more friendly than that other sort!)

Now I am sitting down with a gentleman who is explaining what I need to take.  First on the list?  You betcha ~ Algebra!  Second on the list?  Chemistry.  (Last time I was in a Chemistry class I started a fire in a trash can with chemicals that were not supposed to be combustible!)

I am listening to this Advisor as he is explaining just how much Algebra and Chemistry that I need and all I can think is:  "I am in way over my head, and I haven't even taken a class yet!"

Then he said it.  The Advisor looked at me and said:  I'm not sure you can be successful in this program.  You have to take a lot of math and chemistry and obviously they are not your strongest subjects.  Perhaps you might want to consider another major."

I sat there stunned.  I haven't even started yet and this guy has already told me I'm going to be a failure!  How dare he!

One thing you need to know about me is that I can be sort of contrary.  When I was a child this worked to may parents advantage.  If they wanted me to do something, they just told me that I couldn't do it.  Telling me that I can not do something is the surest way of making me do it.  Contrary, that's me!

I looked the advisor right in the eye and told him I would be fine.  It has taken me all this time to figure out what I want to be when I grow up and I am not about to let a few math and science classes stop me now.  I've come too far to stop now!

The man looked at me like I was a crazy person, but began to outline my first couple of terms for me.  All the classes but two are either Algebra or Chemistry.  Gulp again!

You know what?  I'm going to do it!  And when I have completed those classes, I am going back to that Advisor and show him just how wrong he was!

Just call me Contrary Katie!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Deja Vu Day

Sometimes people confuse me.  Not just puzzle me, flat out confuse.

Saturday I was with a friend that I have not seen in awhile.  This friend has a weight issue similar to mine.  They also have the same diagnosis that I do;  Type II Diabetes.  I had a rather eye opening day with this particular person.

As you know, I whined and ignored my Diabetes for about a year before I finally got my act together and started making the necessary changes I needed to make.  Since then, I have been on a roller coaster of a journey that has taken me in so many amazing directions it almost seems unreal.

My friend, however, is still stuck.  Not only eating whatever they want, this person doesn't test or exercise.  

The competition that we were at on Saturday has really high grandstands.  You get really high in the air which makes it perfect for watching marching bands, but can wear you out making the climb to the top.

Last year, it took me quite sometime to summit the bleachers.  I had to stop multiple times to rest and by the time I made it to the top, my face was ruby red and it took me a very long time to catch my breath.

Saturday, I made it to the top in short order without having to stop at all.  The only redness in my face was thanks to the sun, and even though I was a bit winded when we arrived, I recovered quickly.

My friend?  My friend took a long time to reach the top and had to stop often.  I looked down intending to encourage her and I had this weird deja vu feeling.  I felt almost like I was watching my former self climb the bleachers.  Does that make sense?

As my friend sat down, an entire lecture was on the tip of my tongue.  I so wanted to express the change my life has taken and how much better life could be once the decision to take charge of Diabetes was.  A few dietary changes, some exercise and losing some weight can really alter your life.

I sat there quietly instead.  Anything I had to say would have fallen on deaf ears.  I have finally come to realize that you can't change people who are not ready to change.  All I can do, is keep working toward my goal and hope my friends in similar positions, will see how much better I look and feel and want to start making their own changes.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Weigh In?

Today's weigh in was postponed due to the stupidity of the vicious little machine the resides in the bathroom.  I will try it again when the scale is behaving itself!

Confession time.  I was very bad about going to the gym last week.  I was fighting some bug, or flu or something.  
Now, previous to this little adventure of mine, Not going last week would have been an excuse to stop going all together.  I would have used that and the fact that it's hard getting up early and all the extra prep required to stop going.

It would also have been a wonderful reason to beat up on myself and tell myself that I was a failure and was never going to be able to lose the weight or change my habits.  I used to be very good at that sort of thing.

Not anymore.  That Katie is gone forever.  Tomorrow morning, I will get up early, pack my things and head off to the gym.  I messed up, it's not the first time, and it won't be the last.  But I am through beating on myself for such things.  After all this time I have finally realized that berating myself and compounding an already bad situation worse is not the way to get anywhere.

Apparently I am a slow learner; but give me time and I will get there.

Next week is the Step Out walk!  I have a 5K to walk in a week!  I will be at that gym every single morning this week to ensure that Saturday goes well.

Remember, if you want to join us and walk that day, click on the link and join Team Freedom!  If you can't walk, but want to support us, you can click on the link and donate to the cause and the team and be a virtual walker!

One step at a time.  That is how we will cure diabetes and how I will lose this weight!  One step at a time!
 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Bands and Burgers

Went to The Boy's marching competition today.  Weather was beautiful, temperature was balmy, and there was a nice breeze blowing through the stands.

The Boy's band won Grand Champion after an amazing performance.  No one could have asked for a more perfect day.

Then came dinner.  The buses stopped at McDonald's and Burger King (they are next to each other).  I figured that since I've been doing so well, that finding something to eat would not be a problem.

I ordered a Whopper Jr. with no mayo and no cheese, and a side salad.  I thought I did very well.  I didn't order fries or even a chocolate shake! (A feat that shows incredible restraint on my part.)

I knew things had gone awry as we were getting ready to leave the restaurant.  I couldn't have received the message any louder if my stomach was gifted with speech and yelled "Hey dummy!  What do you thing you're doing?!  We don't take that crap down here!"

How is it that a simple little burger can be transformed into solid cement simply by chewing and swallowing?

Note to self:  No more fast food burgers, no matter what the circumstances are!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Choices and Changes

I've been thinking all day about how much my life has changed in the last few months.  I'm down sixty pound, I've been in one 5K and am doing another next weekend.

I've joined a gym and am getting up early in the morning to go exercise.  How weird is that?

Now, I am able to move forward with the plan to go back to school.  A truly terrifying prospect to me.

All this has happened because I made a choice.  One solitary, simple choiceI chose to not let Diabetes control my life, and death.  I made a choice to stop whining and do what had to be done to take care of myself and my family.

It sounds so simple when you say it like that.  It's just a choice.  

It's not simple and it is far from easy.  This is the most difficult thing I have ever done.  But now, each morning, I get up with the knowledge that I am stronger than my sweet tooth.  I can outsmart the ice cream stand, and I can stand up to my cravings for all things bread and starch.

Some days are good days, and some days are not so good.  But I know that I have made it this far, I can go the distance.

I have to wonder though, what will I come up with next?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A New Era!

I am so excited I can hardly stand it!  I heard from the University (finally!) and I was accepted!  I feel like I've been waiting forever!  (I never said I was the most patient person in the world.)

So now I get to go meet with advisers and figure out what transfers and what classes I start with!  Hopefully, they will give me some idea when I can apply to the Dietetics program.

This journey has taken some exciting and unexpected turns; I can hardly believe that I applied to college and now get the chance to pursue my passions in an entirely new environment!  I'll probably be the oldest person in my classes.  That's okay, I'm a perennial 10 year old anyway, so no one will even notice my age!

The opportunity to finish my education and take my life in a new direction is almost unbelievable.  Today my blog, tomorrow the world!

I want to work with other Type II people who are in the same situation that I was in a few months ago.  I especially want to work with kids, that would be awesome!

Today acceptance, next week the Step-Out walk, and in January I start school.

Life has sure taken some interesting turns lately!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Judgements

At work today, a friend and co-worked talked to me about a diet she is starting.  Of course, I was very interested and asked her to explain the program to me.  We talked about weight and weight-loss throughout the day.  (I can't help it, like I said, I'm obsessed!)

As she was getting ready to leave, she mentioned that she was self conscious about here weight and her plan to start this program.  The reason being, that  she now felt uncomfortable around some of our other co-workers because most of them are thin and she is concerned about them judging her.

I knew exactly what she was talking about.  I had felt the same way a few months ago.  When you work amongst people who are thin and svelte, and you are not; it is difficult not to feel judged.

I don't feel that way anymore.  During these past few months, I find that I care less and less what other people think of me.  What is important is what I think and feel about myself.  Obviously I care what my family and close friends think, but I rarely feel judged by them.

I used to be so concerned about what others thought and felt about me.  When did that start to change? 

Probably about the time I made the decision to do this and see it through no matter what.  I am so involved and focused on my plan and the next step, that I don't have time to worry about what other people think anymore.  Which is a huge change for me, as I have always been very concerned about what people thought about me.  What a bunch of wasted time that was!

When someone with a weight issue decides to do something about it and embark on a weight loss journey, the people around them should be supportive, not judgmental.  It takes a supreme amount of effort to stick to a weight loss plan. 

Personally, I think it is harder to lose weight than to quit smoking or drinking.  Think about it, you can simply not buy cigarettes or alcohol, but we all need food on a daily basis to survive.

I wanted to tell my friend this today in the worst way; but I remained silent and just listened to her as she talked.  I think this is one of those 'wonderful' life lessons that you need to figure out for yourself.  It's an important step on the journey.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Superfoods!

I've been noticing lately that the grocery store shelves now seem to be filled with "Superfoods".  Does anyone know what a Superfood is?  Is it simply a new marketing scheme, or is there something to this new buzz word?

I first consulted a website devoted to superfoods.  Here is what  http://naturalsuperfoods10.com had to say about what a superfood is:
Natural superfoods are certain whole fruits, vegetables and plant foods that are now being recognized for their exceptionally high nutritional capacity to nourish, build healthy and balanced bodies at a cellular level, with less fat, more muscle, loads of energy, and consequently a feeling of overall well being.
Okay, that makes sense.  But, what are the superfoods?  Well, apparently there are a lot of them:
Flax Seeds, bee pollen, blue-green algae, cacao, fish, goji berries, green foods, cranberries, rice protein, sea vegetables.apples, avocados, beans, beetroot, blueberries, broccoli, green tea, kiwi, lemon grass, oats, orange, papaya, pumpkin, soy, spinach, tomato, walnut, and yogurt. 
Okay, I can see these.  Any list that calls chocolate a superfood is all good by me!  And goji berries!  I love my goji berries, they are the 'feel good' fruit.

It's sort of funny, in a weird way I believe that we have finally come full circle when it comes to food.

Before the 'industrial' era, all foods were whole foods.  They were fresh, mostly home grown and had no additives in them.  The more 'sophisticated' we became, the less natural our food became.  (Did anyone else notice that this is about the time that men began to grow breasts?  Gotta love those hormones!)

Anyway, now that we have done a very fine job of rendering most of our food totally fake with additives, and chemicals we are to be rescued by what?  Natural foods!  Ironic isn't it?

Monday, October 4, 2010

New Recipe attempt

Last night on D-Life, Chef Michel Nischan made a casserole, Cheesy Beef Casserole.  It sounded really good and just perfect for a chilly fall evening where everyone arrives home at a different time.
I was first home, so I put everything together and popped it in the oven.  It looked good and smelled wonderful.  I was excited to taste it.
I should have thought things through better.  Too many onions (shallots) for me.  Thumbs down.

The Boy got home from work and scooped his portion out.  His rating?  4 out of 10; not the highest ratings ever.
Then it was hubby's turn to try it.  He seemed to like it.  His score:  8.  (But his rating is skewed  because he was really hungry.)

Final rating?  Not a do over.  Which is really a bummer because Chef Nischan is usually right on target.

Being perverse, I got back on the scale this morning.  I don't know why I do these things.  I think I like to torture myself.  Luckily for my sanity, the dumb thing decided to work and I was down 1 lb.
Maybe I won't trash it after all!


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Another Sunday, another weigh in.

Someone broke my scale again!!  It stayed in the same exact spot it was in last week.  Maybe the numbers got stuck and couldn't move downward!  Yeah!  That sounds good, we'll go with that!  Stupid scale!

I have proof that the scale is broken; it stayed in the same exact spot for hubby to!  See, it's not just me!  I don't know about The Boy though, he slept through weigh in this week.

I think if I am killing myself at the gym at a godawful hour of the morning, the stupid scale could at least inch down a little bit!

Okay, enough whining, I'm done now.

I am still on my goal of diversifying my lunches and coming up with some meals that we can all eat, even with our divergent schedules at the moment.  It is a bit of a challenge to plan out a menu when one family member gets home a six, one arrives at 8:15, and the third member finally shows up at 9.  Challenging yes, but not impossible.  That is why slow cookers were invented!

All that remains now is to find the recipe that will make everyone happy.   Yet another challenge!

If anyone knows of a good scale repair person, please let me know.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Homecoming

Tonight was the Homecoming Dance at school.  The Boy had a date!  His first real dress up and take a girl out thing!  I helped tie his tie, sent him out the door with the usual reminders about behavior and started to think.

These are the wonderful moments in life, these are the things that should not be missed.

What a wonderful reminder of why I am on this journey.  I don't want to miss any of these moments.  My little boy is all grown up and taking girls out on  dates.  Where did the time go?

Tonight is so much better than ice cream or cake.  How could any food, any sweet or anything be better than this?

I just hope he remembers his manners. . . .

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Return and Dethroning of the Empress

For those of you that have been following along for awhile, you may remember that in July I dubbed myself The Empress of Justification.  One of my goals has been to dethrone her.  Guess what?  The Empress decided to attempt a coup this week.

Regarding what?  Well, what is my biggest road block in this journey?  No, not cake and ice cream! (Although they run a close second.)  EXERCISE!!!

This morning when hubby woke me up, I told him that I was thinking about skipping the gym today.  When he asked why I said I would have to take 2 changes of clothes with me and I didn't want to do that.  Work clothing and something to change into for the homecoming game tonight.

Even saying it out loud sounded totally stupid.  (It had really sounded better in my head!)  Hubby looked at me and said "Honey, get out of bed and get ready and go.  You are making excuses again and you cannot do that."

I hate it when he is right!  I missed the gym twice this week due to migraines.  Which is a legitimate reason to not go.  It's hard to exercise when every step makes you want to die and every sound is like  a cannon going off in your head.

But not wanting to take clothes along?  Man did that sound lame!  

The Empress of Justification will now be concluding this entry getting in the little yellow bug and heading for the gym!

NICE TRY COUCH POTATO AND MYRON ~  I WIN!!!