Monday, March 26, 2007

The mp3 Debate

I know I workout better with music. Magazine articles are proliferating about the advantages of doing so and how you can increase your time and intensity with the right tunes. So, as I squirm my way back toward the gym, music, I believe, is a necessity. However, that's where I am stumped.

I worked out for 6 months pretty faithfully, 3-5 days a week and used my portable CD player to keep me company. But it was big and clunky and had some rather serious downsides - playing CDs burned up batteries like they were tinder; if I got too intense the CD would skip; you can't use it when weight lifting because it will inevitably fall to the floor. Which as it happened was the fate of the player, it took dozens of bad bounces of the weight machines and treadmill and the CD player died and I can't really blame it.

So I switched to using the radio part, which was o.k., but the gym I go to causes major interference with reception and I was constantly switching channels to try to keep the music tempo up. Then the electric blue trooper finally bit the dust in what was a truly uncoordinated moment, involving me trying to retrieve my towel that had fallen, without stopping the treadmill. Now I am without accompaniment.

Well, that was December, about the same time my will to get off my fat little behind slowly disintegrated. Now, having been to the gym only a hand full of times since and desiring to meet a major goal before August, I have to get moving again. I have convinced myself that an mp3 player is a serious part of the solution. Now which one?

I have been researching for a while. The biggest problem is the financial end of things, I can spend about $100, not a lot. That needs to include an armband to keep the precious little thing in place so that it doesn't meet the same fate as big blue.

I plan to dive in and make a decision this week, as my tax return is due back. Now, what will it be? Apple, Creative, Sony and on and on. A recent search showed over 200 options, so you can see where I am in a quandary. But I will persevere. :)

Speaking of which, I should take a few minutes and do that now. Wow, putting off procrastination? Maybe there is progress happening besides my thighs.

Best always, Ms_H
Weight - 194 (Yes, I lost another pound.)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Naked Truth

I read in some fitness magazine that when going through a weight loss regimen you should periodically look at yourself in the mirror - in your birthday suit. Urgh.

The very thought revolted me. Trying on clothes at a store dressing room was the only time my morbidly obese butt had found its way in front of a mirror in the past 15 years. And of course that was out of necessity. When I would catch sight of myself I was mortified. How could that be me? More than once I found myself flush with anger, silent tears running down my cheeks as my self-loathing increased.

Now, some skinny chick who thinks that being 15 pounds overweight is a test of the soul, wants me to get naked and look directly at my body because it will motivate me? Fat chance - literally.

Until today. My roomie was not home and I had 15 minutes to myself for the first time in recent memory. So, I did it. I stood before my makeshift full-length mirror in the dining room stripped to nothing in front of God and my cats. (Poor cats.) And I was startled. Not in a bad way, but in a surprising way.

My body has changed.

Now I admit I should known this, considering I have lost 65 pounds. But mentally I have been stuck at 260. Seeing the changes in my body, sans clothes, was empowering. I am beginning to see my collar bones, I have a neck again, my shoulders look like they belong to a woman - not a linebacker.

Was it all positive? Uh, no. I got a first hand education in how skin and breasts can sag when you lose a lot of weight. I had to stare at my continued shelf butt and enormous belly. Yes, both are smaller, but damn it anyway, they're still there.

So, I hate to have to type these words but, the skinny sister was right, it helped. I am now clear on what is going on with my body - and what isn't. I am losing weight and things are shifting. But a major area, my middle, is moving as slow as lava after a blast of arctic air.

What effect does this have on my weight loss plan? In the end, I think my disrobing has helped endorse the campaign by my good sense to reinstate a workout regime. Because I don't think the middle ground is going to alter without some aerobic activity. Even my body is playing politics now. Being from Iowa the next thing you know my thighs and calves will get together to caucus on the benefits of weight lifting. But I digress.

And so it comes to pass that I am going to encourage you to get naked too. If you are just starting to lose weight it will help you know the enemy. If you are at your midpoint like me, it will give you a chance to pat yourself on the back. And if you are near the maintenance stage (there really is no end, this is for life remember) then you can see how far you have come.

Best always, Ms_H
Weight - 195

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I am standing at a four way stop. Straight ahead is a possible one pound a week weight loss with no guarantees. Behind me is gaining weight back. To the left is trying some fad to help up my weight loss every week, like a "fat burner" powder. To the right, the road I have stared down since my late teens, it's Exercise Avenue. It's ill lit, bumpy and filled with pit falls.

And it is my only real way home to a new me.

Dorothy, that skinny tart, got a gold brick road and fab shoes. I am contemplating the germy tread mill at the gym and my too well loved running shoes. Why can't I just click my heels and end up back in bed in Iowa (close to Kansas anyway) being told that being fat was "all a dream, just look, you're still a size 10". That's the least of my fantasies about losing weight, but it's a nice one none-the-less.

What all of this is about is I have not been to the gym in a couple of months. I have been sick or lazy and it is coming home to roost. I now only average a pound a week weight loss and I am doing it by being a hard core food policeman with myself. Every inch of me knows that this would be easier and faster if I would go to the gym and yet I am not writing this on a blackberry from the locker room. In fact, said gym sent me a reminder that my membership expires in the middle of next month and now I am contemplating my next move.

It is getting warmer here, so do I shun a gym membership for now and take my walking to the streets? Do I re-up with the same gym, which hasn't seemed as attractive to me? Do I find a new gym, with new people for new motivation? Or do I get a personal trainer to kick me in the butt? The last one I question whether I can afford, but might as well throw it in the pile too.

My plan had been to get off the bulk of my weight, say down to 165-170 and then hit it hard with one of those extreme body shaping classes. But now, well the weight loss is taking longer than I anticipated - of course, duh, not working out will do that. So, I am having to reevaluate what's next and how to move this along.

After having typed all of that, I still have no answer. LOL. Like my fingers flying across the keyboard were supposed to create an epiphany. I will have to think, I hope that burns calories.

Best always, Ms_H
Weight - 195 (Yes, I lost a pound)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Sunday without Fried Chicken

My parents have completely gutted their kitchen for a remodel of epic proportions. This will update their food space from 1970's um... I can't think of a good description of the style... maybe just inconvenient and poorly laid out... to sleek 2000's granite, stainless steel and a layout with a wonderful flow. What this means to my diet is that I am not eating Sunday dinners at my mom's for the next six weeks at least. This is probably a good thing as each Sunday at 12:30, despite my best efforts, I almost always eat too many calories and too much fat.

I have shrunk my portions to about what my three-year-old nephew eats (though FYI, that boy CAN eat) but mom splurges in her cooking on Sundays. Everyone in our family is on some form of diet - my parents for my step-dad's pre-diabetes; my younger brother has breached a number that best not been mentioned here, so he is cutting calories; and my youngest brother and his fiance are both on Weight Watchers. But on Sunday, though she often tries to "health" things up, my mom ends up allowing for and sometimes encouraging indulgence.

She's not trying to sabotage anyone, but food is one of the ways that she shows love; it has been all of my life. Maybe that's why, though I love spending time with my family, sometimes I dread Sunday dinner. I am in a stage in my life where my health and well-being is tantamount to almost anything, except my family. I try to control my food as a way of controlling my life and hopefully my long future (due to being healthier), sometimes obsessively - but that is another post. Going to dinner, where I don't direct the menu is giving up that control and it's very hard to do.

It's especially hard when I have had too many conversations to number with my mom about changes she could make in the menu to meet everyone's dietary needs and she either gets defensive or promises change and then balks when it's time to cook. Now don't get me wrong, I appreciate that it's a free meal and I shouldn't be picky, but when we have fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn and dessert (which I askew) every other week - the other weeks are often a cheesy pasta - I begin to feel helpless.

Lest you think that I have given up on educating my mom on healthful cooking and menu diversity, pish, I will keep up the fight. I have a couple of new weapons coming online in the form of new gourmet and whole food stores opening in the metro in the coming weeks to get her excited about new possibilities. But I just needed to vent a little and of course, that's what this is for I do believe.

Now, if I were serious about catharsis I would probably take a hard look at why my mom shows love through food and why I am showing signs of being my mother. But alas, that's yet another theme for a coming post.

Best always, Kate
Weight - 196

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Day 250

The title of this post surprises me a bit. I didn't set out to start this on day 250, it was an accident, but a happy one I suppose. It seems I have made it through 250 days of dieting and sometimes exercising. Through it I have kept my sanity (most days) and lost 64 pounds.

Now I am halfway. I started at 260, I am now at 196. That puts me about 60 pounds from my goal. After years of faltering and bouncing up and down, I am finally doing it. I am sorry to say that I did it the only way that you can both guarantee you'll lose weight and keep it off - diet and exercise. So, I apologize if you were hoping to find a story of a magic pill here, I have had no such luck. I have just made the proverbial "life style change".

So, at this mid-point I am finding a need to take a new road in my journey. I already flog (food log, just me coining a new term, look out Stephen Colbert) and post in the O! Groups for weight loss at; see the links on the right. I would not be here without both of those tools. But now that this is going to get tougher, by my guesstimation, it's time to step it up, so here I am.

The thing I like about the Oprah boards is the interactive support, so I hope to continue that here. Your comments are always welcome and encouraged. Even if you just want to confess to someone that you have a box of ding-dongs for dinner instead of grilled chicken and asparagus. Or maybe your significant other should be flogged for bringing home pizza for the third time in a a week. I will be here. And unlike my other blog, which I am still debating the fate of, I promise to be here every day or so to keep up.

3, 2, 1... here we go. Wish me luck!

Best always, Kate
Weight - 196