December Non-Scale Victories

  1. Packed a lunch to take to the Santa Market so I wouldn’t be tempted by the food there.
  2. Still able to get into a size 12p jeans. They’re snug, but I can still zip ‘em up, which means not all is lost
  3. Shaking the “gotta run” OCD as I’m having orthopedic issues. May revisit causes after trip to NYC, but I want to have a pain-free week in the Big Apple.
  4. I may not be running, but I kicked up the elliptical workout quite a bit today, voluntarily.
  5. 10,000 shopping steps – gotta love the Christmas season!
  6. Seriously resisted buying some ice cream at Publix today!
  7. Made like Eleanor Roosevelt and did the think I thought I couldn’t do – my last training  before vacation! Slept late, so much to do + dog in bed, but I pushed through.
  8. Unable to overcome craving for chicken fingers, so split them with someone instead.
  9. Resisted stopping for Cookout milkshake.
  10. Saw someone who hadn’t seen me in a while commented on how good I looked. Made me feel better about some of the vacation/holiday weight I’ve gained. Have to remember the positive — I’m still much thinner and healthier than I have been in years, despite a small gain.
  11. Even though splurging in NYC, still trying to drink water instead of sweetened drinks.
  12. Bought some healthy snacks and breakfasts for the room in NYC.
  13. 10,000+ steps
  14. 10,000+ steps
  15. 10,000+ steps
  16. Really enjoyed a room service burger without getting too OCD over it.
  17. Got back to gym after NYC break.
  18. Instead of making food for office party, brought my Keurig and low calorie apple cider kCups.
  19. Seriously resisted Chick-Fil-A.
  20. Seriously resisted Chick-Fil-A again.
  21. 10,000+ shopping steps
  22. Walked to The Oak Table from Soda City instead of driving it.
  23. Threw out some very tempting cookie dough at Mom’s house.
  24. Made a clean Christmas Eve dinner instead of eating out.
  25. Seriously resisted stopping at Walgreen’s for a salty snack on the way home from Christmas dinner with friends.
  26. Stocked up on fruit for the office to resist residual holiday treats
  27. Made it back to the gym after missing a few days
  28. Completed a Lexington Medical Center blog post early – trying to work on reducing stress and being early for a deadline is a serious stress reduction!
  29. Had coffee with a friend – also trying to connect to others more (and in person, not on line)
  30. Started a time management book and doing daily exercises to coordinate time better
  31. Sure enough asserted myself with someone. As hard as it may be at times to speak against the status quo and/or in defense of myself, I’m finding that I do myself no favors by letting something fester.

Bonus Blooms, Morning Metaphor

For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Psalm 30: 5

Regular readers know that I have a thing about morning glories. Some 18 months ago, it was the warm greeting from the back door morning glories that kept me going. I didn’t see them at dark o-thirty when I left for the gym, but when I returned from those excruciating workouts, they were my reward for having survived another workout with the trainer. Many days, those morning glories brought about the morning’s first and only smile.

Last year, I was 60 lbs. lighter, but still working out early. I planted morning glories again, this time to remind me of those days and how far I’d come. When I returned from the gym and saw those prolific flowers, I smiled to think of the progress I made and was still making. When the last of the flowers bloomed, I let them go to seed and harvested them for this year’s planting, which I haven’t yet done.

Today, I received a surprise greeting from two absolutely perfect purple morning glories. Apparently, when I was harvesting the seeds last fall, a few made their way to the ground and quietly took root. After I ooohed and ahhhed over them – and took a couple of pictures with my iPhone – I realized that those morning glories were the perfect metaphor for where I am right now. Today, I am 93 lbs. lighter, healthier and more physically fit. I’m working on those last eight lbs., but those behaviors I was cultivating over the last 18 months have become part of my lifestyle. Like the morning glory seeds that took root on their own and produced the blooms that greeted me today, those behaviors that I worked so hard to adapt are now yielding some beautiful results.

I’m planning to plant those second-generation morning glory seeds this weekend, and I will look forward to those knock out back door blooms. But for now, I’m thankful for this morning’s bonus blooms and the unfolding life changes they represent.

Week One: A Few Missteps!

My goals and progress on the past week’s goals:

  • Try a new vegetable (I chose celery, which I will try via “ants on a log.” Traci said that I could be generous with both the ants and peanut butter at first!) Did it, but only because Traci made me do it at today’s meeting. Not a bad taste, just not digging the crunch!
  • Do two elliptical days at levels two, three and four for 30 minutes above 130 spm. Did it twice, but did it two 15-minutes at a time.
  • Eat one cup of leafy greens four days this week. Didn’t quite hit the mark on this one!
  • Increase bean consumption outside of taco soup. That one either.
  • Exercise six days How about seven?! Ah, the power of a pedometer!
  • Help someone at the City who is just getting started on the program by making an extra portion of something I cook and sharing it with them. MEANT to do this…

I’m not making excuses, but it was a crazy week. Duchess, my cat, was diagnosed with cancer. I increased my gym time by another 30 minutes to get those steps up. I have a huge project at work and have been working a little later. Just not a great week for planning…

Goals for This Week

  • Do two elliptical days at levels two and three  above 130 spm for 30 minutes straight.
  • Eat one cup of leafy greens four days this week
  • Make two different dishes, including quinoa.
  • Help someone at the City who is just getting started on the program by making an extra portion of something I cook and sharing it with them


“A Year from Now You May Wish You Had Started Today”

I saw this quote posted on Twitter this morning and couldn’t believe how appropriate it was! You see, a year ago today, I started what was to become a life-changing wellness program at Doctor’s Wellness Center.

I remember the day well. I weighed in at 228.8 lbs. and while I was worried about what I would be able to eat, I was ready to make a change. Here’s what I said on the blog:

“For me, this is more than a chance to lose weight. It’s a turning point. An opportunity for me to dedicate some time and attention to myself, to make some lifestyle changes and get a fresh new start. Yes, I could stand to lose weight. Fifty lbs. would likely put me back in a 14 petite, and that would thrill me. But it is more about my health and my future.”

As positive as I was, I was full of doubt, too, but didn’t express that.  As someone who’d been overweight for some time, I’d tried it all: South Beach Diet, Weight Watchers, Tangerine and Hamburger Diet. counting fat grams, counting calories, you name it. And while I met with occasional success, it was never a long term change, and as soon as I stopped, I’d gain the weight back.

Imagine how great I feel today. I’ve gone from 228.8 lbs. to my recent low of 150.2: that’s 78.6, well over that already ambitious pseudo-goal of  50 lbs. I’ve long passed size 14s and am now even getting into tens, even eights. I generally work out six days a week, and I haven’t had a soft drink in over a year.

If anyone reading this is in the same place I was a year ago, know that it’s never too late.  I wholeheartedly recommend Doctors Wellness Center, but find whatever works for you and get started. A year from today, you’ll be glad you did.

Joy Cometh in the Morning, 2011

In May, I planted morning glories around the bottle tree at the back door and blogged about how much the morning glories meant to me when I first started working out.

Today, I saw the first bottle tree morning glory of the season, and it made me smile!

Unfortunately,it hasn’t rained in a while and the morning glory plants are parched; I have to be sure to water them this evening!

Just a reminder of how things slowly progress over time, this is what the morning glories looked like in May! Now the vines are almost totally covering the bottle tree.

Twelve Week Assessment Highlights

Today I had my 12-week assessment and received some pretty amazing results. I will post the particulars later, but these are the highlights:

  • I lost nine lbs. in the past twelve weeks. Not as much as in other 12 weeks, but Ive got much less to lose these days.
  • My body fat percentage was dow n to 24%, which took me from the  ACSM  Body Composition fitness level of “Well Below Average” fitness level and the 10th percentile in my age range to the “Above Average” fitness level and 70th percentile.
  • My BMI, which is a less accurate measure, was down to the lowest percentage designated “Overweight” from “Obese Class Three.” I’m only one percentage point away from “Healthy.”


My Salad Days

One of my goals for this week is to have 1/2 cup of leafy greens per day. And pureed in a green drink doesn’t count.

I’ve tried this before, you know. When I was 29 years old, I had a goal to learn to eat salad by the time I was 30. At the time, I was attending a Wednesday evening church service, and there was a dinner beforehand. Two children from the church were making me a salad each Wednesday, and then I’d doctor it up with “good stuff” like bacon, croutons, boiled eggs, meats and plenty of honey mustard dressing. Each Wednesday, I’d eat one more bite that the previous week. I made it to three or four bites, and then I turned thirty, when I proclaimed,”Wait, I’m 30 now. I don’t HAVE to eat salad if I don’t want to!”

The difference in then and now is remarkable. Then, I took a bunch of stuff that I didn’t like and smothered it with tastier but far less healthier toppings. Now, some 15 years later, I’m trying new things and incorporating what I like into the salad. And yes, the salads are small, but I’m learning to like what I’m eating and hope to add to it, both new ingredients and the amount of what I am eating.

It’s a work-in-progress, for sure. The first day or so, I topped lettuce with my quinoa pilaf and heated it a little to soften the crisp. When I mastered that, the next couple of days I got a grilled chicken salad at Chick-Fil-A. The first day, I just wrapped lettuce around the chicken and ate it, but then moved to eating it with a fork like a normal person. Last night, I actually made a little salad consisting of romaine, cherry tomatoes, mandarin oranges, pomegranate arils and grilled shrimp. Following is what I made on Saturday, as well as proof that I ate it all.


Right now, I like a mix of fruit and vegetables, as well as the addition of a lean meat. As well as raspberry balsamic vinaigrette, on the side, of course. I also like the dark green romaine leaves, in little bited-sized pieces, not the crispy lighter leaves. This week, I hope to try to replace the lean meat with one of my red quinoa burgers or perhaps even some seasoned tofu; tomorrow, though, I’m going to a lunch meeting at Longhorn, and I’m actually excited about trying their Grilled Chicken and Strawberry Salad.

BTW, nutritionist Traci has been saying all along that she wasn’t going to release me until she and I ate a salad together. I suppose we’re getting a little closer to that day, but until this week, I told her that she’d be stuck with me for life.

In closing, I looked back at the early entries on this blog, and I think this quote froma post titled “What Will I Eat?” sums up the changes I have made in just 10 months, “…And I need to learn to eat some vegetables, which scares me. I generally only like the high-carb veggies, which I suspect will be limited. I know I can make this work, though.”

Non-Scale Victories/May

  • Replaced XL Adidas workout pants with L; wore them for the first time today. They weren’t tight or anything. (5/2)
  • Wearing a new (and size smaller) ring today! (5/3)
  • Eating mixed vegetables ala MP today: corn, carrots, asparagus, green peas, sweet potatoes. (5/5)
  • Wearing PL shirt and regular size 14 pants today! (5/6)
  • It wasn’t a fluke! Fit into Sister’s size 12 skirt this evening! (5/6)
  • Bought fresh asparagus on my own – Traci didn’t even have to dare me! (5/7)
  • Worked all day gardening (5/8) and not even sore this morning. (5/9)
  • All of the size 16 P pants that Sister gave me are now too big! (5/9)
  • Halfway to the street to take the trash, I realized that I was pulling it with just one arm. Getting stronger! (5/10)
  • Roasted and enjoyed asparagus. (5/10)
  • Did a “plank on ball from bench” this a.m. Big progress! (5/10)
  • Bought a pair of size 12 pants today. They are slightly snug in spots, but fit, and in a couple of weeks, will fit well. (5/14)
  • Size 16 shorts I bought in early April are now too loose to wear. (5/14)
  • Gone from 44D to 38C. I think that is a success. (5/14)
  • In to another of sister’s size 12 skirts. (5/15)
  • A man I don’t know at the gym told me that he’d been watching my progress since I started coming to DWC and that I looked great. (5/18)
  • I ordered a new slip (size L), and when it came, it looked really small, too small for me to wear. But when I tried it on, it fit! (5/19)
  • Got into a 10p pair of pants. Precious pink capris with embroidered roosters. They are snug, but I had them zipped and buttoned, and they passed the sit test. I bought them and can’t wait to wear them! (5/21)
  • Bought a fab pair of size 12 pants that fit perfectly, maybe even a little toward the loose side. (5/21)
  • My “one size fits all” stretch ring is too loose! (5/23)
  • Noticed some great new calf definition today! (5/24)
  • One of the cutest boys at work told me that I looked “awesome.” (5/26)
  • My VO2 went from “very poor” in September 2010 to “above average” in this morning’s assessment test! (5/26)
  • Bought another size 12! I guess it should be old hat by now, but it still shocks me! (5/26)
  • Now that I’m out of the plus sizes, I can buy clothes at some hipper and/or less expensive shops that don’t carry plus sizes. Like today, I bought a really nice size 12 black skirt for less than $20. (5/26)
  • Made and ate kale salad! (5/30)
  • When I put on my pedometer today – which I haven’t used in quite some time – I noticed that the “weight” was set to 213 lbs, that’s 50 lbs. ago! (5/31)
  • My size 12 black and white floral pants are actually getting a little loose! (5/31)

VO2 Test

This is an amended version of my earlier post. I didn’t do the VO2 max test, but VO2 sub max test. You can learn more about these tests – probably more than you want to learn – here.

This is one assessment result that I was most surprised to see, and I’m so psyched by it!

This morning, we completed yesterday’s assessment with the VO2 sub max test. VO2 is one factor that can determine an athlete’s capacity to perform sustained exercise and is linked to aerobic endurance.

Today’s VO2 was 38.6. This isn’t something I paid a lot of attention to in the last 36 weeks. I didn’t even remember what my starting VO2 was, so when Danny said that 38.6 was exceptional, I figured he was just being supportive and encouraging.

When I got home, I looked at my starting VO2 and saw that it was 15.5, but I still didn’t have a frame of reference.  Then I talked to Traci, who said that essentially I’ve gone from very poor to above average?! What?! All of those early, early mornings are certainly paying off!

Last Week + Assessment Results

Today marked the end of my third twelve weeks. It’s a different day than my usual nutrition meetings. We don’t go over my food log or set new goals; we just do weight, measurement and some tests. Before I reveal my assessment results, here’s an update on last week’s goals:

  1. Add beans to my fave quinoa pilaf. Done, and it’s quite a yummy dish. By adding the beans, I think I can use this as a meatless meal instead of just a side dish.
  2. At least twice, do the elliptical for five minutes at level 4, >120 spm. Done. Didn’t seem to have any hip or heel issues.
  3. Make pizzas and get them in the freezer. Done. Made three small pizzas – two with a veggie sauce (pureed carrots and spinach + tomato sauce) and roasted asparagus, one margherita. Made into six two-slice servings and popped in the freezer.
  4. Make a new veggie medley. Done. Green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes and red pepper.

Assessment Results

My third 12 weeks is in the books and following is a snapshot of my results:

Lbs. Lost
This 12 Weeks: 20
36 Week Total: 66

Inches Lost, Waist
This 12 Weeks: 2
36 Week Total: 7

Inches Lost, Hips
This 12 Weeks: 3.5
24 Week Total: 8

% Body Fat
Today: 37.5
September 2010: 47.9

Body Mass Index
Today: 28.9
September 2010: 40.6

What’s Next?

I’m going to start a fourth and final twelve weeks next week.  It’s technically a free week – next week, we won’t go over a food log – but I will keep one anyway.