This picture makes me cry!

This picture makes me cry!
Thought it was time to change my picture

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Photoshop is a beautiful thing....

I have to admit that I've seen and read the articles on photo retouching but I thought this link and it's total exposure was a great read and made me feel much better about how lumpy, bumpy and frumpy I can look.......check this out - photo retouch

Happy photoshopping!

I'll update on the scale and house later.........gotta get back to work {{{HUGS}}}

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Weigh In Postponed....

I was due to weigh in this evening but I think that I'm going to move my date with the scale to Thursday mornings.......not that this will postpone any monumental events or unveilings but by the time I get home it will be after eating and after the gym - both of these can cause my weight to fluctuate by a few pounds. I've been really struggling this week already so I don't want a false reading to discourage me.

On the no artificial sweetener front.......I've been doing good. I should say that I do still have the occassional diet soda and sugar free candy but on a whole I have decreased my intake by probably 85%. I can really tell a difference in how I feel and LOOK.......I hate feeling bad but I really HATE looking bad/bloated. So as of today, the fat/skin rolls on my back seem to be diminishing! I must admit that my eating has been a little out of control the last couple of days......nothing really bad but I've just been starving for the most part ALL THE FREAKING TIME!! So a bite here and there may come back to bite me in the butt but I am holding out hope!

On a brighter note - we had an offer on our house today - it's been on the market for a few months. The offer was low low low but we have countered and are keeping our fingers crossed. The problem with this whole scenario is that I am super paranoid about changes........really, I'm the wierdo who would just assume live in an apartment, drive the same car, work at the same job and eat the same foods every day. I like order and structure and currently - there is NONE of that in my life - just say a prayer for my sanity and our house situation........if you can??

Guess I should get back to work - I'm slowly trying to catch up with everyone but that is easier said than done. Please know that even if I haven't commented on your blog that I haven't forgotten you!


Gonna try this and cross my fingers....

Does this link work??? Becky's Blog

My Word Cloud & How Do I Give Props??

Interesting.....thanks Becky

HELP ME - this is such a cool thing but I can't give Becky the proper do I attach a link to her blog in mine?? Geez, I really am technically challenged!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Wow - read this comment that I got!

So it seems that everyone has an opinion on artificial sweetner and I am loving the comments that I'm getting. Actually they are helping me to feel a little less like a loon and more normal in my thoughts about sweeteners. So read this - I swear that some of my symptons were exactly the same and everytime that I have limited/cut out sweeteners I have experienced the almost instantaneous positive results:

Pooks said...
I follow enjoy your blog, but have never commented. But, I knew I had to post a response to this post. I lost around 50lbs 4 years ago and used artificial sweeteners a lot (diet soft drinks, yogurt, equal in coffee, etc).
Over the past couple of years, I became increasingly bloated to the point that my pants would not button by the end of the day. I also became severely constipated. I went for weeks without 'going'. The docs ran every test possible to figure out what was going on, but my organs/digestive system are perfect. Docs were perplexed. I eliminated dairy and gluten in hopes of figuring out the issue. I shed so many tears over how bad my bloated body looked and felt. I did't know what to do. As a last ditch effort, I decided to give up all articial sweeteners...something I never dreamed I was capable of. FINALLY, MY BLOAT IS GONE and I am once again 'regular'. I feel 100x better w/out the artificial sweeteners. I just wanted to pass this along in hopes of saving someone else the tears, pain, and $ for doctors, that I've experienced.

Again, I'm not telling anyone to do something that doesn't work for them. If you have no problems with sweetener and you use it in moderation I say GO AHEAD WITH IT! If you are having intense cravings for sweets/carbs, bloating, stomach upset, bowel issues or weight loss plateaus then maybe you should evaluate how much sweetener you use?? I know for me - the more I have the more I want......somehow I didn't get blessed with the "moderation button".

Keep the comments coming - I'm loving them!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

My study on artificial sweetner....

Okay - please don't send me hate mail because of this post. This was and is purely for my own knowledge and you can take what you want out of fact, some of this stuff I already knew from previous experiences but it seems that I slip back in to old habits way to easy and at times need a reality check. So goes my experiment....

First let me say that when I was losing weight I did so by using diet drinks and things made with equal, splenda, etc. After losing 100 pounds my weight loss had stalled and I was utterly that point I read a study about artificial sweetners and their evils.....I didn't freak out and start picketing the splenda factory but I did cut out diet sodas and anything with sweetner in it.....I replaced sodas with water and basically that was all I drank. I cut out flavored yogurts and sugar free candy - basically everything but my SF that month I lost almost 40 pounds. Now call it whatever you want - my restriction, my extra water, my extra exercise but I know in my heart it had A LOT to do with me cutting out diet soda - I was drinking a six pack a day easy!

Okay fast forward to a couple of years ago - I got hooked on SF hot chocolate that was sweetened with Splenda. I talking....I was OD'ing on the a 5 pound bag a week. I wouldn't eat but rather just myself going by drinking hot chocolate and coffee with splenda. I stayed bloated and tired and feeling really bad. Then I started reading (AGAIN) about the effects of I cut myself off and literally went through the detox phase....I was really having some major withdraws from the stuff. Almost immediately I lost 10 pounds, the bloat was gone, I felt great, was sleeping better......again, this may be just me and how my body responds but I was amazed at how much better I felt.

So again fast forward. This time my addiction wasn't as severe but I had noticed that I was relying more on Equal, diet sodas, sugar free candy and hot chocolate (GOD help me!). Again, I was staying bloated, feeling bad, craving sweets like crazy and feeling like I had to have something sweet ALL the time. Once again, I jumped on the no sweetener band wagon and once again I feel 100X better.......maybe it's conincidence, maybe it is just the way my body processes the chemicals, heck maybe it's all in my head???? I don't know but I can tell you that since I cut out the majority of my diet drinks, candy, cocoa, etc. I have lost 8 pounds in 3 weeks and my pants fit again.........I do still have the occassional diet soda but I'm really trying to wean myself off and get back to water. I'm also trying to stick to natural sugars if I want something sweet.

I'm not suggesting that anyone ban diet coke from your house or start a petition to end the Splenda campaign. In fact, I think for people starting out - the splenda sweeteners of the world are a GOD-SEND.......I just don't think my body likes them much. Just something to ponder......I'll let you know how the journey plays out!

HUGS to you all!

OH soooooo much to update on!

Geez, I've been MIA for another week......where does the time go?? So I have a zillion and one things to update on and I've been trying earnestly to read up and post on everyone's blog - if I somehow missed you I am soooooo wasn't intentional. So first let me post the good news - TOM came......all on her own!!! WOOHOO - I've never been so happy to see Aunt Flo in all of my life. With that comes the knowledge that I'm not pregnant which is a little disappointing but it also brings the knowledge that my body CAN work like it is made to some of the time. Now the TOM brings about another "something" that happened over the is pretty horrific so if you want to stop reading now I understand!

Saturday I went to my cycle class, came home and did some housework, made chocolate chip cookies for my aunt and then got ready to head out to deliver the cookies (my aunt was having surgery). I was getting ready and grumbling (as usual) about my ever expanding butt and how I didn't have anything to wear and I felt like a cow and blah, blah, blah. My poor hubby has learned to keep his mouth shut when I get in one of these as I tearing through the house, alternating between crying and ranting I put on my fat jeans - these are jeans that used to be a bit big last year and recently have come to fit me rather nicely. So I put on my jeans and sat down in the floor to put on my shoes.....when what do I, rip, rip.........NO - it wasn't me making the rip sound but rather the pocket of my "once too big" jeans!!! Oh my gosh......immediately I was hysterical and nothing that the husband could say was going to make it better.....I was screaming that I had lost 4 pounds, I was busting my ass at the gym and what the hell was wrong with me??? It wasn't a pretty sight and I ended up pulling on my comfy yoga pants and a sweatshirt so that I could get out the about feeling like a total slob! That was the low point of the weekend - Sunday I felt like poo and stayed in bed most of the day - kind of feeling sorry for myself.......then Monday TOM showed up. Is it fair to say that I wanted to fall to my knees in praise to the fertility gods for allowing me to have a period??!! Not only did that help absolve my insane guilt over ripping my pants but it also confirmed that my body is not totally hopeless.

So fast forward to Tuesday......I'm a bit concerned about weighing in on Wednesday because of TOM but like I said, I'm pretty much elated over the fact that she is here unassisted so I don't care all that much. Well Tuesday I get hit with a stomach flu......let me just say that I thought I was dying. Fever, chills, aches, stomach upset - you get my drift. Things weren't pretty but I'm feeling more like myself today.....still not 100% sure about eating real food but I figure I can survive on broth and jello for another couple of days if I need to??!! I did end up weighing in on Wednesday and I'm down another 4 pounds!! Some of that could be due to the stomach flu and my lack of real food but I'm thinking that TOM gain may make up for that?? So I'm really hoping that the 4 pounds is real and that I can stay where I am in saying that I've lost a total of 8 pounds! On a bright note, my pants feel much less snug!

Even if I can maintain the 8 pounds - I have another 8 to go but I am really feeling better and more focused - nothing like a stomach flu to help you regain your mojo!

I have a little experiment that I tried this week too and it involves artificial sweetner....I'll fill you in on my next post.

HUGS to you all!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My loss.....

So I stepped up to the plate last night......I broke out Mr. Scale and decided to have a looksie - to say I was nervous would be an understatement. It resembled a first date - picture me with sweaty palms and fluttering heart!! Unfortunately, I was not feeling the "head over heels" in love feeling - well, until I made the leap I didn't feel that. So after 2 weeks, one of which was a week of vacation - I am happy to report that I'm down 4 pounds - WOOHOO!! 13 more to go........I can do this - I will do this!!! I'm feeling more in control everyday - with every step or pedal stroke and every positive affirmation I am know that I am regaining my mojo!! So here is to 4 pounds gone!!

As for V day.....the hubby and I agreed to do nothing more than exchange cards. Candy, flowers, dinner, balloons are soooooo overpriced at this time of year that I feel a bit "ripped off" when I shop for them. Not to mention - I don't really do candy (that isn't WW friendly) and dinner out isn't my idea of fun.....sooooo, I'll be sharing my love with GYM tonight and the hubby will get the sloppy seconds - LOL - okay, just kidding......I am going to hit the gym though and hubby is fine with it!

In the absence of my real life Valentine gifts, I'm sending you all a Puppy Bouquet~ ENJOY your day and HUGS to you all!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I would like to thank the Academy and all my loyal fans......

So Tina from Battle of the Bulges gave me the "E" award AND she taught me how to post it!! So suddenly I feel like super high tech Barbie - I know, this is not a hard thing to do but for takes a lot to get me blog savvy!! HUGS to you Tina & to Polly too....cause she's sooooo cute!

Perception is reality....

So I'm sure that some of you have been pondering if i was ever coming back from my recent hiatus.......of course I'm coming back but I must admit I'm not the same Barbie that left! After a much needed vacation that included NOTHING I have discovered that there is more to life than trying to be a cookie cutter person. It's funny that at times it takes the most ignorant of things to help remind us how good we have it. Okay.....I'm sure this is all very confusing but it is also something that I really feel is important so let me start at the beginning.

After my last post about the body image issues, I did get up the next day and go to my spin class - I felt good after class and had a great weekend. I was gearing up for vacation so it was busy but good. The hubby and I actually left on Wednesday to go stay at a condo on the lake - the drive was about 3 hours from our house and the town that we went to was beautiful - tall pine trees, nothing around, quiet, quaint and very relaxing. We got the car unpacked and got settled in.....we basically stayed there for 5 days. The only exceptions were the daily trip to the ONE grocery store in town - this trip was to buy the hubby donuts or pizza and get my spaghetti squash......I know, I know - I rarely deviate from my usual food routine even on vacation! I did log on a few times and try to keep up with all the blogs, posted a few comments and was a total lurker!! We got home on Sunday and hung out......of course Monday was back to the daily grind but over our vacation I realized that life is too short to stay so stressed out about every little thing.......about every single pound.........every single workout. At some point, you have to live your life and enjoy this journey. Please don't mistake my rambling for the universal "it's okay to slowly kill yourself with fast food".........I absolutely, whole heartedly believe in being healthy but you know what....???? Part of being healthy is being okay emotionally........something that I realized AGAIN over the last week is that - Food controlled me when I was overweight........I got up and the first thing I thought about was what I was going to have for lunch!! So I changed my habits.........I lost weight.........I look and feel great.........I improved my health a 100x's over but guess what.........I never took control of my life back!! I still let food/weight control me........I didn't wake up and think about pizza for lunch anymore but I woke up and stressed about calories/fat/fiber/points/carbs/protein/calories in vs. calories out - you get my point........I obsessed over my body, every flaw, every ounce of flesh represented some sort of failure in my eyes - this is what I one else saw that. Everyone else applauded me as a hero of health and diet - I was raised on the shoulders of dieters while the crowd cheered yet all I ever heard was my own voice telling me of my short comings.......I lost beautiful moments of victory and replaced them with my own shouts of self loathing.....NO MORE. I drew the line in the sand over my vacation! So much so that I decided last night that I wasn't going to the gym - want to know why??? My body was tired, I don't absolutely LOVE the Tuesday class, I wanted to relax at home with my family and most importantly, I'm tired of feeling obligated to do things that don't fulfill something in me........please don't take that to mean that I no longer love cycling....nothing is further from the truth but you know what???? Last night I LOVED being with my family and relaxing - last night, I loved the give and take of being "balanced" in my life! So long story short........nothing has changed on the diet/exercise front. I will continue to plod along but rather than viewing the failures I am going to celebrate my success! I'm going to love me!

Okay - on to EGG news! According to the doc and blood tests from last week - I OVULATED! I can't even tell you how ecstatic the hub and I are at the prospect of actually being pregnant already! Yep, the doc said i could actually be pregnant......we should know for sure in a few days so I'll announce the news when i get it!!

One final note - "Perception is Reality" - it really is true. The way that you think of yourself is YOUR reality. Think of yourself as a winner, a success, a beautiful, motivational woman because that IS what we all are!

HUGS to you all - I promise to work earnestly at trying to catch up on all the blogs oh and Tina gave me an award but I have no idea how to post it.......I know, I may be beautiful, motivating and a winner but I'm also a bit tech challenged!! Soooo.....can one of my buddies offer instructions?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I LOVE eggs!

Hi all......I am super busy after getting back from vacation but I wanted to post that I am alive and doing FAB!!!! I've got lots of stuff to update on and lots of catching up to do so hang in there with me and know that I miss you all terribly! Even with the busy work that I have - vacation was soooooo worth it!!!

HUGS to you all and P.S. The doc confirmed that the fertility drugs worked - I finallly ovulated!!! YEAH for EGGS!! I promise to come back and update more later!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Struggling with body image issues....

Hmmm, not much to say today but I was hoping that putting this down would serve as a way for me to release some of my frustration/aggrevation/sadness. Last night was a good night for the most part - I didn't eat on time but I did eat on target - my calories were pretty much in line at 1500 with my points hovering around 24. I had a spin class last night and I worked really hard so I was pretty hungry at dinner. I don't feel bad about that - in fact I feel like I'm getting back in the groove, slowly but surely.

The problem is more with the way I look. Most days I laugh it off or don't say anything about the shape that my body has taken since I've lost weight. I have to say that no matter what...I know that I am healthier than ever - I know that and that's great but.....yeah, there is always a but there - but I hate the way I look. I literally had a melt down this morning with the hubby. I, for some dumbass reason, didn't dress before blowdrying my hair so I was standing in the bathroom naked - now this isn't something that I typically do......I'm the girl who would shower in her clothes on most days but today I was in a rush and didn't want to start layering on clothes for the day. Well at this moment hubby proceeds to walk in the bathroom without knocking, seeing me in all my glory. I know that sounds like a ridiculous freak out moment to most but for me it is devestating - this man has never seen me totally naked, standing up. Can I just say that gravity has not been kind to me. At that moment I felt completely exposed and vulnerable......really, I can't even explain how I felt. I was horrified, crushed and absolutely devestated. I think the hubby was a bit freaked too as he just stood there with a dumbass smile on his face......immediately I was screaming close the door, don't you ever knock, blah blah blah. He felt bad, I felt bad - I sank to the floor and cried. I then put my pj's back on and ran to my room for clothes.....feeling the insane need to "cover up". The conversation after that wasn't pleasant......I was basically a maniac but I needed him to understand that at that moment I felt like a freak of a kid being pointed at and heckled. Unfortunately, I'm not very articulate in moments like that so between my reckless sobbing and shrieking, he probably barely had an idea of what my problem was! The whole scene was ugly and I feel terrible about it - it ended with hubby trying to reassure me that he loved me and that it didn't matter but I know it is disgusting and I know that.......I'm not so naive to think that he could be attracted to that - I know that he loves me regardless but I also know that I'm not even close to being "normal" looking. Like I said, he thinks I'm delusional and don't see the "real" me - I think he is blinded by love cause trust me - I see the "real" me in all it's glory every damn day - in fact I tuck extra bits of the real me into my pantyhose everyday - so I freaking know all about the "real" me.

In all honestly, I feel guilty for even putting this down. Mostly because I try to maintain that "it's a journey" mentality, the "appreciate your body" speech and every other motivational saying out there - I know all of that - I've heard, said it and for the most part make the decision to believe it but today.......I hurt, I ache, I can't explain it. It may never make sense to some but for some reason I feel like you girls will understand. I would never discourage someone from losing weight because you can survive with lose skin - I can walk around and look like a Gumby doll that stood too close to the furnace - that isn't going to physically kill me but what it does to me mentally is pretty nasty. Please don't pelt me with hate emails about how it could be so much worse or shower me with pity. I'm not asking for any of those things....tomorrow I'll be okay but for today I feel like I'm sifting through broken bits of my life - I don't feel whole - I don't feel like the old, happy, overweight Steph and I sure the hell don't feel like a thin, thriving Steph.......more like a heap of body parts that don't match who I am yet they ALL belong to me......just for today I need to feel like I can really feel this hurt....just for today I need to not have to shrug it off like it isn't a big deal. Then after my "today" will come tomorrow and I will pick my butt up off the floor, dust myself off and head to spin class - but that is after my "today".

Hugs to you all - have a great weekend!