Thursday, December 27, 2012


I don't like to make New Year's resolutions because I feel they kind of set you up for failure. But I love a new year. I don't love how it means I'm getting older or that my kids will soon be grown and leaving me, but I love the feeling of starting over. In my last long post about my weight I'm sure my frustration showed. After that post I sort of went all to hell and began eating everything around me. Fat lot of good that did (pun intended). I've gained weight, feel awful physically and emotionally, and overall just feel like I suck.

Christmas day I felt an overwhelming desire to buy the new book by Weight Watchers CEO David Kirchoff, called Weight Loss Boss. So much so, that I finally caved and spent ten bucks on the Kindle version which I never do. Yes, it is heavy on the WW lingo, but I think it truly is a book everyone on a weight loss journey could get something out of. I'm not finished with it yet, but so far the biggest thing I have gained from it is remembering how I felt when I started. Something about his writing style just makes it all so obvious again. The fact that he admits that it took him nine years to reach goal and even though he has maintained that for three years, he knows he can't ever quit being aware.

So between that and a video he posted on his blog Man Meets Scale my motivation is renewed. It isn't a resolution, but 2012 will be the last year where I feel this bad about myself.

Weight Loss Boss: How to Finally Win at Losing--and Take Charge in an Out-of-Control Food World

Monday, December 17, 2012


I'm always looking for motivation for my weight loss journey. My friend Regina recently reached her weight loss goal, and he did it in pretty much the healthiest way that you can. Read about her success and check out the rest of her blog while you are there!

Friday, December 14, 2012

No Words

The events of today have got to be one of the most horrible things I could imagine happening in our country. I thought 9/11 was it, but to walk into a building and mow down kindergarten children whose little faces you are looking right at takes it to a level I can't even comprehend.

So I won't try. I am going to do everything I can to not read about it, watch it, or think about it. Not because I don't want to honor those poor lives lost, but because I can't even begin to know why or to process it. I'm afraid of even trying.

I don't mean to step on any religious toes, but this is my blog and that's why I'm posting it here and not somewhere else. If I had any shred of belief in the traditional Christian god left I don't anymore. I know horrible things happen to children every day, but this even just brought it to the front of my mind. Any "all powerful" being is useless if they do not intervene in cases like this. If you have the power to do anything at all...freaking do it! I hear people say that they believe they were led away from danger by a random series of events like oversleeping or missing a cab, and they claim it was a higher power protecting them. Well if a higher power could do that, then he sure as hell could have put an obstacle in the way of this supreme coward. Everything happens for a reason and is part of God's plan my ass. There's no reason for this, nothing to learn, just unbearable sorrow. I'm sorry if this offends my Christian friends, but it is just how I feel. There may be a god out there, but I can't believe in one that is all powerful and yet doesn't stop shit like this...even with free will taken into consideration. Any god that exists must have more limited power.

Mere moments after learning of this tragedy my local news reported that my oldest sons school was evacuated with no details as to why. I'm 20 minutes away from his school at my office and almost had a meltdown thinking the worst. It turned out to be a bomb threat written on the wall of the bathroom, but it put even more horrible thoughts into my head. But it also reminded me why I need to continue to focus on a minimal lifestyle. I would bet anything that every one of the loved ones of the people involved today would say that all they want is one more minute.

I'm sure that there are ways that I could work more jobs, make more money, buy more things. But the fact is, my job pays my bills, and my bosses allow me time to spend with my kids. I'd rather have that than a brand new car, a fancy house, or mounds of toys under the tree at Christmas. I won't trade the moments for the stuff and some day my kids will get that too...if they don't already.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Considering Something Drastic

I read an article the other day in one of my many fitness/health related magazines that said that a large portion (cannot remember the figure) of women who had been vegetarian at some point in their life later developed an eating disorder. It went on to say that if you were considering vegetarianism for weight loss purposes then you might want to speak to a doctor about it. I wanted to write a strongly worded letter to the editor of the magazine pointing out that you could just want to be a vegetarian because it is good for you and the planet and that weight loss benefits don't necessarily mean that you've had or will have an eating disorder. Weight loss was not one of my goals when I went veg, and since you can very easily be an unhealthy vegetarian I have a little trouble believing that statistic anyway. But I just left it alone. Maybe its true on some level.

But while I didn't go vegetarian because I wanted to lose weight, weight loss stays on my mind pretty much constantly. I agonize over every bite of food I take and beat myself up at every failed moment of willpower. I'm fair at encouraging others and telling them the right things to do, but fail miserably at doing it for myself most of the time. I'm not bulimic or anorexic, but I have a problem with food. When my newest book about nutrition came in the mail today I knew that something has to change.

I'm back on Weight Watchers again and still maintain that it is hands down the best weight loss program out there. That hasn't changed and I'm still going to follow that. But I'm currently reading Master Your Metabolism by Jillian Michaels and finding that I have a lot in common with a woman whose body I would die to have. In it she talks about how the moment that she knew she was cheating herself out of the life she deserved, and why she became as tough as she is. The fact is, weight loss is still one of those areas where we tiptoe around people's feelings. I think that's because we know that most people don't gain weight just because they're lazy. For most people there is emotion tied into food. Those could be good emotions, or bad ones, but they are there and discussing weight is almost like discussing feelings. You don't want to hurt anyone. But at one point in her life someone looked at her and said "You're wasting my time" and it forced her to step up and take control, and now she doesn't that for others every day.

My weight issues are long and complicated. My thyroid condition plays an important role, but it isn't the reason I got as large as I once was, and it isn't the reason I'm not doing what I need to do now. Yeah, I have tons of stress on me right now (as do so many of us) and I just want to sit down with a box of cookies every night. But I know that's only going to make the problem worse. Then I'll feel guilty, and start the cycle all over. I'm wasting my own time. I'm letting myself down. I'm cheating myself out of the body that I want, the feelings I want to have, the respect I deserve out of myself and the health that not only I deserve but that my kids deserve from me as well.

"They" say shaming people doesn't help, and I agree. If you beat someone up over their weight, you only make the problem worse. If you beat yourself up, you only make the problem worse. But, I think that I need to do a little "shaming" of myself to get where I need to be. When I watch The Biggest Loser and Jillian tearing those people apart I know why she's doing it. She's trying to make them angry enough to confront their demons. I always wonder how they can go on TV, even with a cash prize at stake, and stand there for all to see. But I'm starting to understand that sometimes you have to drop to the bottom to get to the top.

Several people recently have told me that I look great. I smile and say thank you, but I wonder who they are looking at. From where I was a few years ago, yeah, I look good I guess. But, compared to what I could be and what my body deserves...I don't. So, I took some very raw before pictures. Right now, they're sitting in the camera waiting on me to decide what to do. But, I'm thinking about sharing them a la Biggest Loser. Just putting it out there for all to see and judge. Then maybe I'll stop wasting my own time.

Stay tuned to see if I'm brave enough.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Some Thoughts

I see a lot of Facebook updates about gun control (or rather the preference toward a lack of) today. I presume this comes from the recent murder suicide by a professional athlete. I see the typical things that come up during tragic events. Groups calling for tighter gun laws, and others suggesting you'll pry their guns from their cold dead hands. Being as liberal as I am, I'm generally on the side of gun control, but so many people just don't seem to get what that means. Now, I don't speak for all liberals, but here's the way I look at it.

For starters, I don't want your guns. It's called gun control, not gun take away. I have no desire for the government to go to your house and demand all of your guns and forgive me if I'm wrong, but I don't think anyone is trying to do that. My children hunt and have been taught proper gun handling by their father and a hunter safety course. Do I like it? Not so much. But I live with it because they like to hunt and they are responsible. I think it is perfectly fine to own hunting rifles or hand guns that could be used in self defense as long as they are legally registered. Just because I have no desire to do so, doesn't mean I care if you do. I do expect that if my child enters your home, those guns are locked away and if I owned guns, I would do the same. I also see no good argument against waiting periods and background checks. If you don't plan to do anything but hunt or protect your family, you should be able to plan ahead and wouldn't need the thing immediately.

As for the argument...if you're going to kill someone you will use whatever you have. This is true. If that man really wanted to kill his girlfriend, he could have beat her, stabbed her, poisoned her, whatever. If you are going to kill one or two people, yes, you don't need much to do so. However, if you are going to kill the number of people killed at VA Tech or in the recent movie theater shooting, a baseball bat isn't going to cut it, and neither is a hunting rifle. You have to have the kind of gun that no common citizen should own. And guess what, in both of those cases, the guns were bought legally. Why do you need a gun that can spray bullets? Only the military should own guns like that, and I have no issue with saying that we should remove those from the hands of average citizens. While we are at it, why should the cashier at Wal-Mart be alerted when I've bought two packages of cold medicine, but not when I buy enough ammunition to supply a small army? Because that's what happened at Columbine. Those boys stole weapons out of unlocked gun cabinets, and then walked right into Wal-Mart and bought them out of ammunition over the course of a few days and no one batted an eyelash.

The real issue in most of the cases we see in the news is not gun control, it is mental illness. You don't walk into a packed movie theater and start killing people because you are right in the head. The mother of that shooter knew her son was capable of something like that, had tried to help him, and failed. The shooter at VA Tech had a history of mental illness, and yet still owned a weapon. We still cannot accept that metal illness is a very real thing. I have personally dealt with someone whom I felt capable of some of these acts, and hit a total dead end when it came to being able to get that person the kind of help they needed. We need to accept the fact that for some reason we have a lot of people who are slipping through the cracks and who need help before they do things like this.

And lastly, as for prying it out of your cold dead hands. Well, chances are that's what will happen. Or someone will pick it up near your cold dead body. Because you're more likely to be shot by your own gun, or to shoot someone you love, than for someone to break into your house and shoot you.

So honestly, keep your guns, I truly do not care. The government still affords you the right to bear arms, but I'm pretty sure our forefathers were not counting on the types of weaponry we have available to the average person. But like in so many other situation, the real issue is being ignored. We have to start educating people on mental illness and teaching them how to get help. We also have to find a way to let loved ones help without infringing on rights. We have to teach our children that the answer to an argument it talking, not shooting. I was raised with a healthy respect for guns and their power. My father (who should not legally own guns now in my opinion, but that goes back to the mental illness discussion) never waved them around talking about his rights and prying it from his cold dead hands. He told me where it was, what it was used for, and the ramifications of using it. That's what all children should be taught.