Friday, December 21, 2007

Just when I got going...

Just when I thought I was getting somewhere, my period strikes. That darn menstral cycle!! I was 162 this morning, but I know that it just "puff" bloat, etc.. It will be gone soon.

This is also first time... I think ever... where I didn't binge on chocolate because I am still in "no sweets mode." I am kinda excited about that, because once all this is over, I'll for suresies be under 160!

I am not worried about Christmas. Aaron is a Chocolate Eating Machine and he'll take care of any "temptations" along the way. ;)

Wishing you the best!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Jess

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Those New Glasses

Here is a picture of me in the new glasses that no one noticed. ;)



I was 161.00 pounds this AM! That's 5 pounds lost since my knee surgery!

It feel SO GOOD getting my body back in shape! I plan to be in the 150's again by New Year's! That's just 2 pounds. I think I will reach that goal!

Have a Great Day!

Jess

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Moving Again!

Last night I was able to do 2.06 miles in 27:00 minutes on the Precor! (218.4 calories, 3440 strides)

I put in our copy of DDR Extreme 2 and put it in weight loss mode!



DDR is so much fun and it is a great way to trick yourself into being active. Like I said, they even have a weight loss mode that allows you to miss like every step, and the game doesn’t end! Instead of racking up a score, it shows the calories you’re burning with each step! So I cued up “Endless mode” and got on the elliptical trainer. I got a great workout as the beats per minute changed between the songs. Some songs were quite a sprint and others were more of a brisk walk. I liked the Variety!

I LOVED playing straight DDR, but with my (formerly) crappy knees I could never do more than a “Light Mode” because of the “jumps” when you have to press two arrows at once - It was too much stress on my knees. I am also so competitive so I would play until my legs were too wobbly to stand, trying to break the high scores! There are lots of weight loss stories of people who lost like 80 pounds just by playing DDR! It’s a good game and a good workout. It’s worth “borrowing” your kids (or significant other’s) PS2 to play! Heck, they might have a Xbox 360, or PS3 now, so just take the old PS2 for yourself! ;)


Random Tangent…

So I got a brand new pair of glasses on Tuesday, and no one has noticed. :-(
It’s not like the pairs were alike either.

My old glasses were half frames.



My new ones are big round and "gunmetal."


How can people be oblivious to a 300% increase of metal in front of my face?

Maybe they don't like them, and are just being nice by not saying anything at all...

Aaron however loves them! He says I look like a Meganekko.

Meganekko is Japanese slang for “Glasses Girl.” The "Cute Girl with Glasses" is a staple of Anime and there are many fan-site devoted to these Myopic Misses.


Thursday, December 6, 2007

But I Already Do That!

"If you stop drinking regular soda you’ll save 200 calories a day (each)! This will help you lose 20 lbs. in a year!”

*Sigh* I am so tired of articles that lure me in with a promise of weight loss, but just turns out to be something like this. I want inspiration but just get frustration because all of their “tips” are things I already know or do!

With a heavy heart I asked “I am already doing all that stuff! How can I lose weight?!” That is when I found an article titled “Weight Loss for Healthy Eaters - The subtle diet tweaks that'll deliver real results” (And The Angels Sang! ) Finally what I’ve been looking for!

Here is the article in its entirety:


Weight Loss for Healthy Eaters
The subtle diet tweaks that'll deliver real results.
By Teresa Dumain, Prevention

You snack on fruit, check calorie counts, and start most days with a walk or swim. So when you step on that scale and the needle stays put, you wonder what the heck you're doing wrong. Even with such healthy habits, sometimes a seemingly inconsequential snack choice or a larger (but common) food myth can keep pounds in place. Take heart: A simple, slight adjustment in how you eat and think can help you reach your weight loss goal.

Healthy Habit: You Count Calories
The key to weight loss: Take in fewer calories than your body needs to maintain your current weight and you will drop pounds. But only 11% of Americans correctly estimate their ideal daily calorie requirements, according to a recent survey. The rest of us tend to overestimate, says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, and that's what keeps you from losing weight. Let's say you assume that a target of 2,000 calories per day will allow you to get to your weight goal, but it really takes 1,800: Those extra 200 are enough to keep an additional 20 pounds on your frame.


Do It Better
Determine the right number of calories you need each day — and stick to it. Get your max intake. (Follow the link to Prevention.com’s calorie calculator.) Plug in the weight you want to be (as well as your height, age, and activity level) to get your daily calorie allowance.

Divvy it up
Set limits on your meals and snacks. If 1,800 calories is your max, split it into three 500-calorie meals and one 300-calorie snack.

Create a custom meal
If your favorite frozen entre has 500 calories, that's all you get. Find one for 300, however, and you can have some fresh fruit and a small salad with it.

Healthy Habit: You're Consistently Active
Spend a few hours running errands and it feels like you've worked off some serious weight. But even between the aisle laps at the mall, hauling around shopping bags, and loading and unloading the car, you burned only about 400 calories — that's about a 10th of a pound.

Do It Better
Rev your routine: Short bursts of intense activity burn more calories — and up to 36% more fat, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. Strolling around the mall or the park for an hour works off about 150 calories; pick up the pace 1 minute out of every 5 to burn over one-third more calories (try a similar method if you bike). Swimmers can switch from freestyle or breaststroke to a more challenging crawl every few laps, or just go a little faster.

Even small steps make a difference: Skip the elevator and carry your groceries up the stairs to burn 128 more calories, or instead of hitting an automatic car wash, do it yourself and zap 204 calories.

Healthy Habit: You Choose Nutritious Foods
What you put on your plate is important, but healthy eating is also about being mindful of how much you consume. For example, your husband has pancakes with butter and syrup for breakfast, your son grabs a doughnut, and you opt for a cup of oatmeal with a handful of walnuts, a sliced banana, and a large glass of organic blueberry juice. You may win on nutrients, but when it comes to calories you're dead last: That healthy-sounding meal adds up to almost 700, more than a third of your allotment for the day.

Do It Better
Keep portions of even healthy foods in check. The best way to know if you're eating too much is to write it down. "Even if you note it on a napkin and then throw it away, that's okay. Just the act of writing makes you more aware," says Taub-Dix. Portion control cues help, too: a baseball-size serving for chopped veggies and fruits; a golf ball for nuts and shredded cheese; a fist for rice and pasta; and a deck of cards for lean meats. Also, swap higher-calorie healthy foods for high-fiber, lower-cal varieties like these:

Fruit
A 1/2-cup serving of strawberries has 23 calories, while a medium banana has more than 100. An orange has almost half the calories of a glass of orange juice. More low-cal picks include melon and blueberries.

Vegetables
Per 1 cup, raw spinach has 7calories and boiled eggplant contains 35 calories; mashed sweet potato,however, has 249.

Whole Grains
Two full cups of air-popped popcorn (a whole grain) has about the same number of calories as three little whole wheat crackers.

Healthy Habit: You Order The Healthiest Sounding Item On The Menu
Choose the turkey sandwich over pizza and you think you're being good, but again, looks can be deceiving. A turkey sandwich at Panera Bread comes on focaccia with cheese and mayo and delivers 960 calories. Two slices of pepperoni pan pizza from Pizza Hut total 560 calories. Put your sandwich in a spinach wrap instead of regular bread? It's the same difference, says Tara Gidus, RD, a spokesperson for the ADA. "My clients think they get more nutrients and save on calories with 'healthy bread,' but often that's not the case."

Do It Better
Look up fast-food nutrition facts in advance. (Jess Interjection: My favorite site for this is HungryGirl .com! This site tells you the best thing to eat while out at dozens of restaurants!) Many restaurants offer nutrition information, from Taco Bell to Subway. See if your favorite eatery has nutrition facts online or in the store — you may be surprised at what you see. We were when we checked out Baskin Robbins: A medium strawberry-banana smoothie has 80 more calories than a strawberry milk shake!

At the Restaurant: 5 "Healthy" Foods to Avoid

  1. Wheat pancakes - Ounce for ounce, pancakes made with buckwheat and whole-wheat flour have the same number of calories as the plain old buttermilk type. Save calories by skipping the butter and syrup.
  2. Taco salad - Eat the edible shell and you'll consume nearly twice as many calories than if you eat the salad alone. Reduce temptation — order yours on a regular plate.
  3. Soup in a bread bowl - The same theory applies to soup: The edible bowl adds more than 550 calories to your total count. Opting for oyster crackers is a little better, but 1/2 cup is still 96 additional calories.
  4. Vegetable quesadilla - It has about the same number of calories as the chicken version; the reason is often the cheese, so ask the server to hold half.
  5. Fish sandwich - Even without the tartar sauce, a breaded fish patty at a fast-food restaurant has more calories than a bacon cheeseburger. Go for whatever is grilled.

Healthy Habit: You Satisfy Cravings with "Diet" Treats
When you want something sweet, all those fat-free, sugar-free options seem like a smart idea. But researchers at Cornell University found that overweight people who choose low-fat versions of snack foods rather than the regular kinds consume on average twice as many calories. "The terms fat-free or sugar-free can create a green light effect, triggering people to eat more" says Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, Prevention's nutrition director. But many fat-free foods have about the same number of calories (or more) as their full-fat counterparts. Case in point: One variety of oatmeal-raisin cookie has 107 calories and 9 g of sugar, and the fat-free version of the same brand has 106 calories plus 14 g of sugar.

Do It Better
Go for reasonable amounts of the real thing. (Jess Interjection: I already knew this one!) If you adore ice cream, have a small scoop of premium. "You won't stick to a diet that doesn't include your favorites," says David Grotto, RD, a spokesperson for the ADA. Bottom line: Life's too short for forbidden foods.

--End


I hope that these little tweaks will help me get moving again quickly!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

-1.25 Down in November!

Even with surgery laying me up, I lost 1.25 pounds in November! I am working hard to make sure December will be just as successful! :)

I can only do what my knee can handle... and that is not much, but I am in good spirits. I am using my journal again, and really feel back on track!

This is the hardest time of year for weight loss, but I've been successful before, I am sure I can do it again!! :)

Jess

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Two Weeks Without Sweets

I've gone two weeks without sugar, sweets, etc..

It's been pretty easy. I really wanted chocolate one day, and co-workers constantly tempt me with peanut butter bars, chocolates, and brownies... But I made it!

In honor of my success Aaron suggested a reward - New Sexy Underthings! ( I guess they are also a reward for him! ) ;) So now I don't eat sweets, but I sure look sweet! ;)

I am about 15 pounds over the weight I was last year at this time. It's a bummer, put I plan to get back to where I was by the end of January. It's kind of ambitious, but I think I can do it. :)

I work to the level my knee allows, and give it rest between workouts.

Today I made it up and down all three flights of stairs here at work, TWICE! Now my knee is like... you are done for today. ;)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My Knee... Works!

Holy Cow!!! I can go up stairs and it doesn't hurt!!!

Not only is there no post-operative pain - I no longer have the original pain of my crappy knee!!! It doesn't hurt anymore. It also no longer sound like twisting bubble wrap. (Pop-pa-pop-pop-pa-pop-pop-pop)

I'm thrilled by how well my knee is doing and how quickly I'm getting better!!!! I was able to do 2 miles on my elliptical trainer the other day on the lowest resistance and incline. I went slow, and it took me about 35 minutes. I might do it again on Thursday or Friday. I don't want to do too much. :)

The success I've had with this surgery makes me look forward to getting the left knee done too... Although I might wait until after winter... Crutches + Ice & Snow.... Um, no thanks. ;) Plus, I don't have anymore time to take off work this year! ;)

SUGAR UPDATE

Oh, and speaking of work, someone brought in chocolate cake today... Evil. I am avoiding that whole side of the building today. Out of sight, out of mouth. ;) My sugar recovery is going well, but I don't want to be tempted.

For breakfast, I've been eating plain oatmeal with chopped nuts. Snacks are low-fat plain yogurt and grape-nuts, or a banana. Lunch is a south beach diet/living meal, and dinner is something healthy I cook up. :) I am reading labels like crazy to make sure I'm not getting hidden sugars. Fruits are the only sweets I have. I always ate whole grains, so I don't have any "white bread" or potatoes to avoid.

However, I plan to go out every couple of weeks to get a high quality dessert. This will keep me from feeling deprived, and more likely to stick with it! Going out also keeps the "danger foods" out of our place. I can't binge eat a whole pint of ice cream if there isn't any in our freezer.

Cheers,

Jess

Friday, November 23, 2007

You're Gonna have to Face it... You're Addicted to Sugar

Here are 10 simple questions to see if you are addicted to sugar:
      1. If you don’t get your regular dose of sugar, are you irritable and cranky?
          WHY ARE TO TALKING ABOUT SUGAR!!!
          I AM TRYING TO KICK THE HABIT!!!
          HAVE YOU NO SHAME!?!?!?
          (Yes, I get cranky without my “fix.”)

      2. Have you ever tried to limit yourself saying that you would only eat one a day, or one per meal, but that one always turns into two, three, four…?
          Yeah. I ate so much leftover Halloween candy... Seeing the pile of wrappers afterwards made me feel so much shame.

      3. Are you using more sweet foods than ever before?
          When you “NEED” something sweet with every meal, even breakfast, there is something wrong. I was eating sweets like a junkie, even “free-basing” straight sugar.

      4. Have you ever lied about how much sweet food you eat?
          The way I “lie” about sweets is I stop using my food journal. I figure I blew it, so I don’t record my mistakes, but this just makes me less accountable! I have started keeping my food journal again.

      5. Have you ever eaten sweets in secret, or hidden the evidence?
          I felt so much shame when a co-worker “caught” me eating the powder out of a hot chocolate packet (basically sugar, powdered milk, & cocoa powder) last Friday. It sucked. That was really a wake-up call for me. That is when the “I really have a problem” warning bells
          went off.

      6. Have you ever gone out of your way to get something sweet?
          Even on crutches, I still made it to the sweets.

      7. Have you ever gotten upset when someone ate your special food?
          I wasn't angry, but I was really depressed when I realized my husband had eaten the rest of ice cream.

      8. Have you ever felt that you had a sugar hangover?
          I’ve "crashed" after eating LOTS of sugar then just start jonesing for more sugar!

      9. Have you ever binged on sweet or white flour foods?
          This is a “no duh” question at this point, of course I have.

      10. Is it impossible to “just say no” to sweet foods?
          I. Just. Can’t. Say. NO!!!! I can resist for a while, but eventually I crumble like a cookie… Mmm cookies!

If you said yes to any of these questions, you might have a sugar addiction. If you answered yes to all of them, you have a sugar addiction.

So now I start down the road to recovery.

Last Friday I told Aaron how sweets were controlling me, and about the hot chocolate powder thing. We did some research and found sugar to be more damaging than and just as addictive as drugs! Sadly, sugar is in nearly everything we modern folk eat!!! It is so unfair!

Aaron (the Angel) was so concerned about my health that he had a nightmare that night! He dreamt I got diabetes because he failed to see the warning signs. He didn’t realize I had such a problem with sweets.

I have always had problems with sweets but things really started to get bad when I quit eating the cancer causing artificial sweeteners. After that I started eating more and more real sugar. Then I started NEEDING sugar. So now I am trying to kick the whole “sweets” habit altogether.

It's been said sugar addiction is hard to break than cigarettes or even heroine. I believe it. Sugar is much more pervasive and harder to avoid. This will take lots of vigilance, but I'll be alright. I have a very clear plan and I am doing fine.


Knee Update!!!

I am walking unsupported! (No crutches or a cane!!) My post operation appointment went well. I can start being mildly active again but I need to be very limited. He said I should only do about 20 minutes, twice a week because of my knees. He also told me a analogy of my knee is like a cake. (Mmmm Cake...)

The cake is the bone, and the frosting is cartilege. Well my cake was brought to the potluck by someone who did not put toothpicks in the cake, and the plastic wrap got stuck to the frosting so when it moves, the frosting peels away from the cake. Each step I take is like someone thinking, "Ooo I want some of that cake!" So she lifts up the plastic, only to see the frosting lift up too, exposing the cake, then willpower kicks in, and she decides not to have the cake, and sets the plastic & frosting back down. Step after step, that's what it was like.

So Dr. Docter basically removed all the loose frosting from my knee. ;)
Stairs are still a bit tricky but I am doing fine otherwise.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Getting better each day!

I spent the first few days after my surgery in bed. I had my leg up on pillows with an ice pack balanced over the knee. I took the medication as directed every four hours. I was never in a lot of pain, but I figured it was taking the medicine as directed was helping with that! ;)

Today I am feeling good. I'm up and about on crutches. I've stopped taking the prescription stuff, and now only use Advil as needed for pain.

I was really sick at first, because the stuff they used to knock me out always makes me puke. At least this time I was puking after knee surgery, and not gallbladder surgery...
(Vomiting + Fresh Abdominal Surgery? ...Shudder... Not. Fun.)

Anyway... if you haven't been totally grossed out yet, here's an actual picture of my knee getting "resurfaced!!"

You don't need to be a Orthopedic Doctor to see that my cartilage was "tad rough." ;)



The actual inside my formerly bad right knee.

-- UPDATE --
This image is actually the back on my knee cap, and it is all BONE. There wasn't cartilage left!!!
So much "The body has an amazing ability to naturally heal on it's own" crowd.
Waiting for nature to take it's course only made my knee worse.
The tears and fissures just continued to break and splinter until all my cartilage wore off and soon the bone too.
My knee was totally destroyed, and once I am rehabed I want to kick some All Natural Homeopathic Ass! GRRR!
-- End Update--


My post operative appointment is the 19th. Then I start any rehab/physical therapy. I am so excited to get healthy again! YEA!!! :-D I Love Dr. Docter!!!

Cheers,

Jess

Friday, November 2, 2007

A Week Until Surgery

Today was my pre-operation physical. There is nothing like the scale at the Doctor’s…

I was 66 inches tall, and my weight (fully dressed in sneakers, jeans, a long sleeve t-shirt, and a hoodie + underthings) was 166.6 lbs. The nurse joked that 6 must be my lucky number, but I was thinking more of the apocalypse.

166.6?!? Not Cool. Argh. Using that height and weight puts my BMI in the overweight category again…. :(

Later during the exam, my Doctor removed “obesity” from my problem’s list, but inside I was thinking “I still have a problem with obesity.”

This knee cannot be fixed fast enough! I am desperate to get back to my old routine, and get healthy again. My body still LOOKS healthy, but this slow weight gain needs to stop!

Having a healthy knee is part of being healthy over-all, but boy is the "downtime" brutal.

Blogging the Good and the Bad,

Jess

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Making Local News!

Saturday night was "Freakfest" here in Madison. They blocked of State St. and prepared for a huge crowd. In the past there were as many as 100,000+ people that would flood the street and it would end in a riot, property damage, and ultimately tear gas and lots of arrests.

This year they charged a fee to get on State Street. $5 for advanced tickets, and $7 at the gates. But if you were smart like us, you get there before 7 PM and get on State Street for FREE before the barrels were up! ;) HAHAH! They estimated there was only about 34,000 people at Freakfest this year. A dramatic drop in attendance, but also a dramatic drop in disorderly conduct arrests. :-D

Many local news organization covered the event, doing live blogging.

I was mentioned in the blogs, and there was even a picture of me singing "Me and my Bobby McGee"!!! Here are the snips, and links to the full stories:
    8:43 p.m.:
    The State Street entrance to Peace Park is blocked off by fences, notes Rachel Tatge, so the only way to access this stage at Freakfest is via Gilman Street. Gomeroke is currently underway there, with the group bringing singers on stage for "I Want You To Want Me" by Cheap Trick, as well as a song by Black Sabbath and a couple other tunes.

    Source: http://www.isthmus.com/daily/article.php?article=12231

(I was the one singing the Cheap Trick!)

    8:50 p.m. Isthmus Stage
    I see a woman dressed like Cheetara from "The Thundercats" quietly take the stage with the Gomers and tentatively launch into Janis Joplin's version of "Me & Bobby McGee." As the song picks up steam, Cheetara's confidence grows and she begins to belt it out with bluesy fervor.


    The photographer on the ground, and me up on stage does nothing for my hips! ;)

More pictures from this Halloween are on http://dressjess.blogspot.com/ . Once I get ambitious, I'll tweak and make that page look decent. It is really rough right now...

This new site is more a collection of pictures of me in costume. I made it more for people interested in my costumes than my weight loss. ;)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Moving Across the Yard & FREAKFEST!!!

Aaron and I were contacted by out landlord if we’d be interested in a larger apartment for + $30 rent.

A dollar more a day and we basically get another room and double the closet space!?!?!?! ? Sweet! Hook us up!!

We signed the new lease and got the keys on Monday. We’ve done a few trips, but Aaron is doing most of the work because of my knee. He is so perfect.

We’ve got until Nov. 1st to get moved. It is nice. :) We’ll have a bit more help this weekend, and I need to call the people we bought the Precor from to help move it across the yard. (I doubt we’ll be able to move it ourselves…)

We are not really “packing” more just filling up laundry baskets, and taking them to the new place, emptying it, then back to the old place - repeat. I've also thrown out so much stuff!! It feels GREAT!!! I also have a huge bag of stuff for good-will. Nothing cleans a place like a move! :-D Once we are out, and the place is cleaned, we’ll turn in our old keys.

We took our gray cat, Sabina, over to see her new digs. She was like. “All of this is MINE!” She was not happy when she had to leave her new “Kingdom,” and return to our smaller place. We’ll be all moved soon, and Sabina will return to her Throne. She is such a spoiled sweetheart!

This weekend is going to be WILD!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so excited for FreakFest! (The 100,000+ people party on State Street in Madison.) I have my weekend itinerary planed: Cosutme contests, karaoke and people watching! :-)

We're going to karaoke tonight. I plan to try some songs as practice for when I do it LIVE ON STAGE at Gomeroke™ tomorrow night!!!!

Gomeroke™ is when you do “karaoke” but with the Live Band, The Gomers, playing the songs!

They know over 2000 songs. But I’ve narrowed my song list to down to these "classics":
  • Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Queen

  • Creep - Radiohead

  • Dream On - Aerosmith

  • D'yer Maker - Led Zeppelin

  • I Touch Myself - The Divinyls

  • I Want You To Want Me - Cheap Trick

  • Me And Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin

  • Rock And Roll - Led Zeppelin

  • Surrender - Cheap Trick

  • Sweet Jane - Velvet Underground

  • Sweet Transvestite - Rocky Horror Picture Show

  • Under Pressure - Queen/Bowie

  • What's Up - 4 Non Blondes

  • You Sexy Thing - Hot Chocolate

  • You're My Best Friend - Queen


  • Please let me know what song you think would rock the crowd the best! (Hurry time is limited! ;)

    Have a Fun and Safe Weekend!!!

    Jess

    Wednesday, October 17, 2007

    “But… My Knee!”

    After 19 days of basically sitting on my growing butt, finally did something “active” last night.

    About 3 weeks ago I stopped working out because it triggered so much pain in my knee. But last night I did a mile on the elliptical trainer on lowest resistance. It took me about 15 minutes to do that mile at a comfortable pace. In doing so, I realized that I was just making excuses to avoid exercise these past few weeks. It is so obvious now!

    While it’s true, I can no longer workout like I did - I can still be active! Walking is very healthy, and walking on an elliptical trainer helped reduce the strain on my bad knees.

    “But… My Knee!” is no longer a valid excuse. I can go a mile on that knee! :-D Sure it takes time, and is not as effective as my previous high-cardio workouts… but I can’t just sit on my butt waiting for surgery! ;)

    Cheers!

    Jess

    Monday, October 15, 2007

    Preview - Halloween 2007

    I love Halloween! :-D This year I am going to be Cheetara from the Thundercats!





    It is going to be AWESOME! :-D




    Tuesday, October 9, 2007

    Knee Update

    Yesterday was my knee appointment with Dr. Timothy J. Docter, MD. (Yes. My Doctor is Dr. Docter. Try not to sing the song...)

    I had to arrive early so they could take some x-rays. They took SOOooo many x-rays. (7!)

    Then Dr. Docter came in to examine me.

    “Can you straighten your leg for me.”

    (crack-snap-crunch-slurp-pop!)

    “Alright, let’s schedule your surgery!”

    Seriously, it was that fast!

    My right knee will have arthroscopic surgery on Nov. 8th. There is an 80% chance of improvement, and I’ll take those odds!!! If all goes well, I will get my left knee done once my right is recovered.

    Last night I biked for a bit. I can’t do resistance higher than 3 without my knee acting up, and also my pace can't exceed 12 mph without pain. :-(

    It will be tough the next few months. I am worried about my limited activity and the Holidays... but in the long run, I know that I will be healthier! Soon as my knees are better I'll be able to be fully active again! :-D

    Cheers!

    Jess

    Monday, October 1, 2007

    Being positive through Injuries and Setbacks

    I had all of my wisdom teeth extracted last Friday. Ow. I've been in a medicated haze since then. I have not been working out, and my "diet" has mainly been chocolate ice cream. I also have an appointment to see an orthopedic doctor next Monday about my bad knees. Surgery is likely for my torn cartilage (meniscus).

    It is so hard to get healthy and stay healthy when your body is falling apart!!

    Over the years, I’ve had lots of injuries and setbacks that hampered my weight loss goals. Eventually I recover, but it takes a long time, and it can be so frustrating!! Now is one of those “down” times, and I am trying not to get depressed. Sometimes, I feel like a failure even though I know I shouldn’t. It is easier for me to beat myself up for gaining 5 pounds than to feel proud of the other 130+ I’ve kept off!! I keep trying to cheer myself up with “The People Magazine Thing”, but that is not “confirmed.” And each pound gained makes me more paranoid of appearing in a National Magazine as a weight loss example! Things will be okay, and I will turn things around once I am healed.

    Another thing that should make me happy: I am going to be in the 2008 Honors Edition of Cambridge’s “Who’s Who of Professional and Executive Women”!!!! Actually, I am really excited about that. It will look great on my résumé! I am not looking for a new job though. I really love my job! (I just got a raise!) But in my “dream world” – I’d work as a motivational speaker, touring all around the world! Funny how I just blogged about how I feel like a “failure,” yet I want to be a motivational speaker! Oh, how I love the irony!

    But honestly, wouldn’t that be more motivating? Knowing that a *real* person, like you, was able to do it? It would be great to get motivating talk from someone who doesn’t have that “fake-smile, hyper-perky” B.S. personality most “guest lecturers” have! ;) I could really see myself as that person but I guess in a way, I’m already *that person* with this site, and that makes me happy!!! :-D

    Sunday, September 16, 2007

    People Magazine - Half Their Size Issue Update!

    Good News! I have been contacted by People Magazine again and this time I PROMISE to *NOT* shave my head. ;)

    As you long time readers may recall, last October I was contacted by People Magazine as a candidate for their "Half Their Size" issue. I was selected, and I was going to have a photoshoot and everything... but then I kinda went and shaved my head. ;)


    I was asked for recent pictures. So Aaron took some new ones today.
    I thought I would update my current pictures and blog this good news.

    Yea!!!

    Jess

    Jess - Sept 2007Jess - Sept 2007Jess - Sept 2007

    P.S.
    I also update my Frequently Asked Questions page with the question: "How did you get started?".

    Thursday, September 6, 2007

    When it rains it pours....

    I have been stress eating so much recently! This morning my weight was back up to 155.50. This takes me back to the weight I was around the start of July again! I've been "stuck" between 157 and 152 since April. I just keep zigzagging up and down between these 5 pounds. Just when I think I'm *finally* getting back under 150, SOMETHING always happens that scuttles my progress.

    Dr. Jeffrey Friedman, an obesity researcher at Rockefeller University, would contend that our bodies have a "set range" of weight it wants to be, spanning about a 30 pound range. The body's determination to maintain its composition is why a person can skip a meal, or even fast for short periods, without losing weight. It's also why he says that burning an extra 100 calories a day will not alter the verdict on the bathroom scales. Struggling against the brain's innate calorie counters, even strong-willed dieters make up for calories lost on one day with a few extra bites on the next. And they never realize it. "The system operates with 99.6 percent precision," Dr. Friedman said.

    I say, BAH!! Even at 155.5, that is STILL over 130 pounds lost - and I've that I have kept it off for over 2 years!!! I doubt I am in the "0.4" percentile of "strong willed dieters."

    Besides, you mean to tell me that suddenly our generation has 66% of us with a "set-point" in the overweight /obese range? Whatever! No generation before ours has had weight troubles like this! And I refuse to believe that ALL of our brains ALL decided we should ALL be fat at the same time!!!

    I also read another article about how nearly 100% of Americans will be overweight or obese in our lifetime. Obesity truly is an epidemic, and our toxic culture just makes it worse.

    Advertizing bombards us constantly - Telling us to consume more. Restaurants serve us calories dense dishes in enormous portions for cheap prices 24 hours a day. Yet we are shown dangerously thin movie stars and models as the "ideal" body!!!!! (I am talking to you Angelina!) GAH!

    It really is no surprise to me that the September issue of Fortune Magazine will announce that NutriSystem is the fastest growing company of 2007. (http://money.cnn.com)


      "NEW YORK -- FORTUNE announced today its 17th annual list of America's Fastest-Growing Companies. Topping the ranking is NutriSystem of Horsham, Pa., an online diet company that saw profits soar at a rate of 433% annually over the past three years, while its stock returned a total of 244%. Americans' bulging waistlines have helped push this 35-year-old diet company to the top of the list this year."

    Of course... I've never used any weight loss program, just eating right and exercise for me!

    Anyway, I am going to get back under 150... It is just SO HARD to get healthy when everywhere you look is an opportunity to "fall off the wagon" again!! Oh! And speaking of that, I am going to be in San Antonio from the 7th - 16th on a business trip! Ahhh!

    When it rains it pours. ;)

    Thursday, August 23, 2007

    August so far...

    My weight was 153.25 this morning. Last week I was on vacation AND got my period. (Not a good combo!) My calories got a bit out of control, but I stuck with my exercise and made it through!

    My “period puff” and vacation indulgences are burning off, and it looks like I will have another good month! YEA!

    Here is my weight loss graph for August so far:



    I started August 1st at 153.00, and I think I can be that weight or less by the end of the month!
    I remember when it was easy to lose a pound or two a week... Now I am lucky if I get that much busting my butt for a whole month!
    Still doing my best, ;)
    Jess

    Sunday, August 12, 2007

    Don't let "Fat Genes" keep you in your Fat Jeans!

    At times I thought it was pointless for me to try and lose weight because I had convinced myself "Nature had made me fat." I was fat, and that was that! "You can't fight genetics!" And I had lots of overweight family members to back-up that belief. We are just plump people. That is how God made us, and we are stuck with our lot. Case Closed.

    While it is true that you can not change the base body type you are born with, you can still make the best out of what you got!!! You can work with your body to gain muscle, increase your metabolism and change your body fat percentage. Don't use your genes as an excuse to stay unhealthy.

    Chances are your body is good at storing fat. Back in "the caveman days" your ancestors were the ones able to live the longest during periods of food scarcity because they could live off the fat stores they easily created. (WOO! Rock on Great - great - great - great - great - great - great - great - great - great - great - great - great - great - great - great - great - great - great - great - great - great - great - great - great - great - Grandma!! Survival of the fittest, or in this case, the fattest.)

    The ability to easily store fat was an AWESOME survival mechanism - 5,000 years ago - but food is no longer in short supply. We live in a Calorie-dense world where food is abundant, served 24-7, deep fried with a side of ice cream!

    But even with all that, you don't HAVE to be fat!!! Fat isn't who you are, it is just what your body is prone to storing. You can work hard and be healthy!!! It takes dedication but you can make your body the best it can be!

    I have worked so hard these past 5 years to get to where I am today. :) I know that if you really commit yourself to getting healthy, you will be healthy too!

    Cheers!

    Jess

    Thursday, August 2, 2007

    July was really good!

    I lost 3.75 pounds in July!

    July 2007 was one of the best months I've had in a long time. :-D

    I'm a bit worried about the next few months... I have a week long vacation coming up soon... and I hope I can keep it together. I will also be going to San Antonio for work the 2nd week in September... AGH!

    I. Must. Chill. Out.

    I really need this vacation! ;)


    TODAY'S STATS:
    ===============================
    AM WEIGHT: 152.75
    ===============================

    140..........Oatmeal
    160..........Huge Banana
    250...........Clif Bar
    330...........Chicken and Veggie Pizza
    90.............Skim Milk
    160...........Another Banana, they are getting ripe.
    400...........Cheese Pizza
    210...........48 Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chips

    TOTAL CALORIES: 1740

    ===============================
    WORKOUT SUMMARY
    ===============================
    40 minutes on the Precor Elliptical Trainer
    3.48 Miles
    400.9 Calories
    5332 Strides
    ===============================

    Wednesday, July 25, 2007

    This is a treat, not a treatment!

    I’ve lost 3.5 pounds so far this July. ( I weighed 153.25 this morning. ) This month has been my BEST for weight loss in a long time! :)

    I still have a lot of ground to make up though...

    I have 7 more pounds to lose to get back to the weight I was on 1/1/07. After that, I’ll need to lose another 7 to get back to my lowest weight. I am determined to get back there!

    Injury and complacency over the past year allowed my weight to slowly creep up. Luckily, my pants still fit and I am turning things around! :)

    I’ve been making huge strides on the mental front!

    Since childhood we are all programmed to think of food as Love or a Reward. Most happy events involve food, (Birthday cake, Christmas Cookies, Wedding Cake…) and if you were naughty - you didn’t get dessert! Food becomes the focal point, and we associate positive emotions with the food.

    When sad, depressed or stressed we can get a quick emotional boost from food. Food was my answer to life’s problems. “Work’s driving me crazy!!! Time to eat chocolate.” “I’m lonely... Ice cream is my friend!” “I am depressed about my weight... Pizza is the perfect pick-me up.”

    I used Food to self-medicate myself. My binges would lead to an increase in my weight. That would just get me more depressed, and loathe myself more... which lead to me turning to food again!!! What a horrific cycle....

    Seriously I am like a recovering alcoholic... but FOOD was my addiction. But unlike alcohol - you can't quit food cold turkey. You have to eat to be healthy... and that is SO HARD to do!

    Inside a Dove Promise™ chocolate, I read the message: "Chocolate always loves you back." But it should really read: "Chocolate always loves to add to the size of your backside." I love chocolate, but I had to learn to enjoy it as a treat, and not as a treatment for my stress and worries!!!

    So I created a "happy list” of things I like - that do not involve eating. I have over 100 things on my happy list now!

    You need to experiment with stress reducing alternatives and find one that works best for you.

    Examples:

    · Instead of getting a Snickers™ out of the vending machine when work makes you CRAZY - try brewing a cup of low cal cocoa, or even No Calorie tea.
    · Take a quick walk around the block
    · Call a friend, or go chat with a co-worker
    · Escape into Fantasy, by playing a game, watching a movie or read a book.
    · Watch the sunset
    · Start writing an e-mail to someone about what is bothering you. (You don't need to send it - this just gets the frustrations out)
    · Take deep breaths and try to see if you are really physically hungry, or if it is just the stress monster talking.
    · Take up knitting! The repetitive motion and feeling of accomplishing something helps... also with all that yarn and needles in your hands, you can't get food into your mouth with your hands so occupied. ;)

    Try making your own "happy list!” You know what makes you smile!! Even just READING the list helps you feel better without turning to food. :)

    I hope something in my rambling helps you! :-D

    Take Care!

    Jess

    Monday, July 16, 2007

    Deep Fried Marshmallows

    Deep Fried Marshmallows?!?!?! Yes. Thursday night / Friday morning I dreamt I was deep-frying marshmallows. I then used magic to levitate them out of the oil and float them around the kitchen, and out the window to children outside.

    It was such a bizarre dream, I could not help but remember it. When I told my husband about it, he is like… we should try making them!

    So this weekend we deep-fried some marshmallows. I tried about 5 recipes and the winner was:
      Jessica’s Deep Fried Marshmallows

      Ingredients
      ---------------------------------------------
      3 egg whites
      1 cup graham cracker crumbs
      A good pinch of ground ginger
      1 cup shredded coconut
      12 large Marshmallows
      Oil for frying

      Directions
      ---------------------------------------------
      Mix egg whites in a small bowl.
      Mix together graham crackers and ginger in another bowl.
      Dip marshmallow in egg, then roll in seasoned crumbs.
      Dip back in egg, and add second coat of crumbs.
      Dip in egg a 3rd time and then roll in the shredded coconut.
      Pat coconut into breading.
      Place on a tray lined with foil and freeze for about an hour.
      Heat oil to about 350. Fry marshmallows one at a time.
      NOTE: Spin Marshmallows with your spoon so all sides brown evenly.
      Fry until coconut is golden brown, or Marshmallow starts to leak! (About 30 seconds)
      Remove from oil and place on paper towel to drain and cool.

      They are cool enough to eat in about 2 minutes.


    Today when I was telling a co-worker about them he teased, “I lost over 100 pounds eating Deep Fried Marshmallows!!!”

    I laughed because it’s true, but very misleading. It’s like the magazines covers you read at the checkout:

    “Drop 20 pounds by Labor Day!” right next to a big picture of pie…
    Or
    “Walk yourself slimmer” right next to a chocolate layer cake!!!

    That is one of my biggest pet-peeves. Huge weight loss claims, next to pictures of seasonal desserts!

    I also look at the women on the cover and think, “I’ve lost more than her!!” Someday I hope I will get to be the woman smiling on the cover… Sadly, the person from “People” magazine never got back to me... *SIGH*

    Maybe Someday...

    Anyway… I hope you keep healthy, and don’t eat these marshmallows unless you are willing to spend a week “recovering” from the experience - like I chose to do! ;)
    Cheers!
    Jess

    Thursday, July 5, 2007

    Balancing Your Energy

    Think of your body as a car that operates 24 hours a day. You would never expect your car to get you from one place to the next without refueling.

    You also know there's no point in putting more gas in the tank than it's designed to hold. Yet that's how many of us operate our bodies! We try to run on empty for hours, then dump in more "fuel" than we can handle.

    Running on Empty: (muscle loss)

    Working out on an empty stomach actually breaks down your muscles.

    When starved for blood sugar, your body breaks down your muscles for fuel. It is stupid and starts cannibalizing the good stuff instead of burning off the fat you want it too!! This is very counterproductive! :(

    Over-fueling: (fat gain)

    Going without food for long period times then, when you're ravenously hungry, you eat everything in sight. This causes a large surge of insulin, which means you will easily store the extra calories as fat.



    So here is how to balance things out:

    1. Eat as soon as you wake up in the morning.

    2. Make sure you eat something before you exercise, no matter what time of day it is. Food prevents your muscle tissue from becoming cardio chow.

    3. Eat soon after exercising, when your body has depleted its energy stores. Act fast, or you'll start burning muscle for energy.

    4. Eat 5 - 6 mini meals/snacks. Have some protein at every time you eat and some calcium-rich dairy at least twice a day.


    My Typical Daily Menu
    ========================
    130..........Milk
    130..........Carnation Instant Breakfast
    100..........Oatmeal
    150..........Extra Large Banana
    300..........Frozen Meal (Lunch)
    110..........Yogurt
    80..........1/2 cup All-Bran
    140..........Snack Bar
    500..........Dinner
    200..........Dessert
    =============================
    1840 Total Calories

    Friday, June 29, 2007

    Nearly Recovered!

    2.25 pounds of trip weight and period puff are gone!

    I've been eating between 1800 - 2000 calories a day and working out.

    6/26/07 Elliptical - 33:41 min, 2.72 mi, 300.0 cal, 4088 strides
    6/28/07 Elliptical - 48:00 min, 4.03 mi, 462.0 cal, 6208 strides

    I was 154.25 this morning, the same weight I was June first! Looks Like
    I will break even this month. Hopefully things will continue turn
    around, and I will get back under 150 by the end of July. :)


    -= Mental Health =-

    An article recently featured on WebMD talked about how being "good" can be bad for your weight loss.

    Food should not be an ethical dilemma. Eating a piece of cake won't land you in dieter's prison, but dwelling in the good/bad mentality will make it harder for you to lose weight.

    No carbs. No desserts. No food after 6 PM... people often set "rules" like these when trying to lose weight. But ironically, they're the very things that hinder success!

    Setting diet rules creates an all-or-nothing mentality: You can't have or do something, and if you do, you've failed. Seeing yourself as a failure makes it easy to just give up entirely!

    Dieters tend polarize foods as 'good or bad,' and then pass judgment on themselves based on what they eat. When you eat a 'bad' food, you're bad. Those negative emotions then spur you to eat more!

    Rather than beating yourself up remind yourself that sometimes it's okay to splurge. As long as your next choice is a healthy one, you are back on track. :)

    I have a sweet tooth. Cutting out sweets would make me feel deprived.
    So allow yourself your favorite treat, in small amounts.

    Chocolate
    • Adora calcium disks
    • Bite size or fun sized candy bars
    • Dove Promises
    • Hershey's Kisses
    Ice Cream
    • Skinny Cow Ice Cream sandwich
    • 60 calories each Dove miniatures
    Weight Watchers snack cakes....

    You get the idea! ;)

    Giving yourself permission to indulge will help evaporate guilt and quell the desire to overdo it.

    When stress cravings strike, the first thing you should do is think or say out loud, 'Am I actually hungry, or would doing something relaxing like calling a friend or listening to music
    make me feel better?' If you are honest with yourself, odds are food won't be the answer. Work to develop healthier coping strategies. And to prepare for future stress. Try making a list of your favorite food-free ways to unwind. I honestly have a text file called "Happy List.txt" at work, and when I feel stressed, I open it and read all the things that I am thankful for, and it makes me feel better. :)

    But let's say your happy list is not around, and you start eating ice cream with a spoon driectly out of the containter... well here is a way to stop mid-binge.

    Once you realize you are over-eating try popping a piece of gum. You could also try brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash. It sounds simple, but it provides an opportunity to think about whether you really want to continue eating.

    I find that once I am "minty fresh," I don't want to dirty up my mouth again. Crazy but it works for me. :)

    Sunday, June 24, 2007

    Period + Trip = Not Good :(

    Last Sunday I was in a car at this time riding down to Urban, IL for work.

    I worked there Monday and Tuesday from 5 AM to 6 PM in the Hospital supporting the nursing staff.

    Wednesday was another travel day, driving the 4 hours back to Wisconsin, then flying out to
    Philadelphia! Thursday and Friday I worked at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Then yesterday, I finally got to fly home!!

    It's been a busy week. I did not take time to really "exercise" because I was running around hospitals and through airports, etc... The majority of my meals this week were in hospital cafeterias. It was so hard to eat healthy. On top of all that - my period started at 12:45 AM (EDT) Friday Morning. AGH!

    I hope this doesn't sound too whiny or that I am making excuses... but I just feel so over whelmed by it all.

    I was 156.50 this morning... Last time I posted my weight here it was 153.50. That's three pounds this trip and my period added to me. Which isn't really that bad. Nearly typical for this time of the month.

    I'll get to work on burning it off again, but it feels like I never get anywhere. There is always something that comes along and throws a wrench in my works.

    I will be able to eat healthy this week and get back into my usual routine!

    I just need to remind myself that even though I gained three pounds since the 15th, I still have over 130+ pounds that I have kept off for good. It's just these last 10 keep finding a way to come back! ;)

    Cheers,

    Jess

    Friday, June 15, 2007

    Tough Times Ahead

    I was sick on Monday and Tuesday with that same recurring throat aliment. I feel a painful tightness or a “catch” when I swallow, speak, yawn, or even turn my head the wrong way. Last month it was diagnosed as GERD, but after a month of a restricted diet, and taking medication… It’s still there!! So my doctor sent me to a specialist.

    The specialist x-rayed me eating barium-laced pudding and cookies. (Fun, fun...) But they still don’t know what’s wrong! Argh! On the plus side though, they did conclude that what is wrong with me is not GERD! Yeah! Spicy food here I come!! Oh! And I CAN EAT CHOCOLATE AGAIN!!!! Hallelujah!

    Even with the “Welcome back chocolate” celebration I had, I am down another quarter pound. I was 153.50 pounds this morning! That’s 3/4 pounds gone in June so far! :-D But now things are going to get tough!

    This Saturday is a big Family Reunion POTLUCK. You know, Grandma’s extra special homemade baked beans, potato salad, “Death by Chocolate”… Too much food that tastes way too good. It is going to be hard!

    After the Potluck, Aaron and I are going on a “dinner-and-a-movie” date because I’m going on another week long business trip starting Sunday.

    Next week I will be eating every meal at a restaurant. (Plus, the stress of traveling, and working 13+ hours in a healthcare setting...)

    Last business trip I was able to come back the same weight as I left! Hopefully I will be just as successful this trip. I will be vigilant with my meals, and make time to do something healthy no matter how “tired” I am.


    AM Weight 153.50

    Elliptical
    ==================================
    47:39 min, 4.05 mi, 470.1 cal, 6436 strides

    Wednesday, June 6, 2007

    My New "Toy"

    As you may remember, I was in Physical Therapy for my tailbone a few months ago. I had been using a stationary bike for the majority of my exercise… but with my broken bootie, I couldn’t use it!

    My therapist recommended I try swimming, or an elliptical trainer for aerobic exercise because of my bad tailbone, and “crunchy knees.”

    I have very sensitive skin, so spending hours each week in a pool was not a viable option… and I did not want to join a gym, just to stand in line waiting for the ONE piece of equipment I can comfortably use… So we decided to save up to buy a really good elliptical trainer for our home.

    While we researched machines and saved up, I gained about 7 pounds with my restricted exercise regimen. I did a lot of weight training, but no cardio. I gained about 1 ½ pounds each month. I’m pretty sure most of it was muscle, and tried not to get alarmed as my weight climbed.

    Memorial Day Weekend we drove down to Loves Park, IL to shop for an elliptical trainer! I fell in love with the Precor EFX 5.21i. Precor invented the elliptical trainer, and had over 250 patients on their machine, and wow, could I feel a difference!





    It was delivered and assembled on 5/31/07, and I’ve used it nearly every day since then! :)

    I’ve dropped half a pound, and WOW, does that feels so good! ;-)


    TODAY'S STATS
    =====================================

    AM Weight - 153.75

    Exercise - Elliptical Trainer, Heart Rate Program
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    48:00 min, 447.7 cal, 5638 Strides, 3.93mi


    Breakfast
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    110 Fat Free Yogurt
    55 ¼ c. All-Bran Buds

    AM Snack
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    180 Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars

    Lunch
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    240 2 slices 12 Grain - Whole Grain Bread
    80 4 slices Natural Turkey Lunchmeat
    35 1 wedge Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss Cheese
    10 Lettuce

    PM Snack
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    140 Banana


    700 total calories so far today.


    I haven’t heard anything back from People yet.

    Cheers!

    Jess

    Thursday, May 24, 2007

    Might be in People Magazine?

    I was contacted by People Magazine about my weight loss!!!!

    It is so exciting! One of the first things they asked me though was if I was willing to pose in a bathing suit!

    I said "Sure, why not?" I mean, I already have 'bathing suit like" pictures on my blog!

    Wonder Woman - Halloween 2006



    "My Virtual Model" - March 2007


    I hope they pick me! Nothing is confirmed, but I thought I would share!!!

    YEA!

    Jess

    Wednesday, May 23, 2007

    More GERD Information

    Last week I decided it was time to contact the doctor about my symptoms (Acid reflux, nausea, throat restriction... basically, heartburn in my throat and upper chest.) after a rough couple of days.

    Everything I ate that can trigger GERD is in bold below.

    It started with a date to a Laotian Restaurant, Vientiane. (Vientiane is the capital city of Laos.) Aaron and I love hot food, and they let us order our appetizer of Laap ******* (7 stars) HOT!

    Laap is the unofficial national dish of Laos. It is most often made with chicken, but can also be made with duck, turkey or fish. (We had chicken.) The meat is minced and mixed with chili, mint, lime, and optionally, assorted vegetables. Roughly ground toasted rice is also a very important component of the dish.

    It was fantastic! It was so nice to have a restaurant that will serve us food that is super hot!! At home we normally eat foods that are crazy hot. When we have guests over I try to "tone it down," but I am still accused of "trying to kill them" with the hot spices.

    For our man dishes we both has a deep fried shrimp dish. (Shrimp in a General Tso’s chicken batter.) Then we went home to have some chocolate ice cream to cool things off.

    The next a night we went out to sing Karaoke at a smoky “townie bar.” I drank a Sugar-Free Red Bull with Blue UV, a shot of Captain Morgan, and then a Moose Drool Beer. I got hungry, so we ordered a Cajun Chicken Pizza with sour cream!

    So yeah… after that. I was like, "I need to see a doctor." I’ve had these symptoms for years but never saw a doctor until after that.

    Now I am on acid reducers and a restrictive diet to help my esophagus heal the next few months, but now I feel like I have nothing left to eat. :-(

    Restricted foods:

    Fried foods, such as burgers, fried chicken and fried fish
    Foods prepared in butter or oil
    High-fat desserts, sauces, salad dressings, gravies, mayo, etc…
    Creamy soups
    Chili
    Citrus fruit, sauces and juices
    Peppers
    Garlic
    Onions
    Foods with a lot of extra cheese
    Tomato-based foods, including ketchup
    Caffeinated beverages
    Alcoholic beverages
    Chocolate

    Okay, I don’t eat greasy fired foods frequently, but NO CHOCOLATE?! NO TEA!? No awesome ethnic foods!? Basically all the food we have in our house, I can't eat. *SIGH* I’ll have to figure out something I CAN eat that doesn’t bore my socks off...

    Friday, May 18, 2007

    G.E.R.D. & Identity Fraud

    Some evil punter somehow got my PayPal information and ordered stuff using my account information!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Luckily, PayPal stopped the purchase and limited my account for protection. I am working with them to restore my account's security, but I am really upset about the felony offense committed against me.

    Then I get an angry e-mail from site the Felon got stuff from saying "You didn't pay us for the stuff you downloaded!" I wrote them back and said that fraud had been committed. I am working with PayPal to resolve this, and that I am the victim of ID theft. :(

    The thing that upsets me the most about all of this is that I have been the victim of Identity fraud before!!! I have taken measures to protect myself, and that is why I feel extra violated. :(

    I am so stressed out and it just gets worse.

    I was recently diagnosed with G.E.R.D too, so I have to cut out lot of the food I used to enjoy... Mint, Chocolate, Citrus and Tomatoes.

    I now take acid reducers daily and OTC products for heart burn / acid reflux relif.

    I will do my best to live healthy with my delicate tummy. Thank god it is the weekend. I need to relax!

    :-)

    Tuesday, May 15, 2007

    Everything is bigger in Texas…

    I was worried about gaining weight while on my recent business trip to Plano, Texas. In the past I gained between 5 - 10 pounds per trip due to eating in restaurants for every meal, and not finding time to workout.

    This time I was very careful with what I ate. I did my best to eat as “normal” as possible. I didn’t order rich meals or stuff myself silly. I just tried to make the best choices I could, and stopped eating when I felt full. I also made it to the workout room at the hotel one night and did 40 minutes on the elliptical trainer and some free weights to work my arms!

    When I got on the scale after getting home I cheered!

    For the first time EVER I came back from a business trip the same weight I as when I left!!! I am so happy!! :-) Once I get my reimbursement check for my travel expenses… I will pick up a reward for this awesome accomplishment! :) I think I might get Popotan, or Hare and Goo! Or I might get a box set of the New Doctor Who! Maybe even IMAX tickets to the midnight showing opening night of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix… Ooo!!! Now that has merit! I’ll ruin it by Aaron and see what he thinks!

    Cheers!

    Jess

    Wednesday, May 9, 2007

    Flying out of Dallas Tomorrow

    We'll see how I did in Texas soon! I think I did okay, but I am so SORE and TIRED from working such crazy hours in the Hospital, and getting barely any sleep. It sucks. I know that sleep is important to good health too, and I am suffering. I will try out the Hotel's Workout facillities tonight! Should be FUN! :) I hope it stops raining so I can swim! :) (The pool is outside. :)

    I think I might have the hang of this "Staying fit while on Business travel" thing... maybe.
    All I know is my "skinny jeans" still zip up on day 5... and that RULES! :-D

    Saturday, April 28, 2007

    New Reward is on the way!

    Last night we ordered my latest reward from Amazon.com!





    AI YORI AOSHI!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Complete Box Set!)

    I think I have GUSHED about how much I love this Anime before! It is a super cute lovely tale of a guy and a girl that are perfectly in love each other but have to keep it a secret. (Shhh! ;)

    As Children Kaoru and Aoi were engaged and the plan was for Kaoru to take over the Family Businesses. However... after years of abuse from his grandfather, Kaoru leaves and breaks all ties to his family. This leaves Aoi without a finance! (The marriage was more like a business deal to join the companies.) But Aoi can love no other! She has spent her whole life wanting to be his wife, and is willing to leave her powerful family to be with him. Aw! :)

    Then things get complicated when they try to live together under the guise of a Landlady, and tenant... and lots of cute girls keep moving in that all have crushes on Kaoru! So they have to hide their affection for each other, PLUS Kaoru has to fight off the advances of at least 4 other women! Too Cute!

    I got this reward for making a psychological goal.
    "Learn to Recognize Real Hunger VS. Cravings."

    I've been so good about realizing that I don't "NEED" chocolate, ice cream, or whatever my mind is screaming "GIMME GIMME GIMME!!!" Like a toddler being dragged from the toy aisle.

    When I think of my cravings like that... it's been easier to stop them. I got my reward for being a "good girl" and not whining for treats.

    Now I don't have guilt when I have sweets because I know "The Adults" are in charge. ;)

    Cheers!

    Jess

    Saturday, April 21, 2007

    Texas Bound and....

    I will be heading to Texas for work May 4th - 10th.

    Business travel means eating out every meal... and that is never easy on the waistline. :) But I think that I will do all right! I am pretty much in "maintenance mode" now. I'm excited about it! My first "Go-Live" in a Hospital!

    OH! Cool stuff!

    I helped make a movie this weekend for a 48 hour Film Project! It was so much fun!! The movie should be up on youtube later this week and I will post a link.

    How 48 hour Film Project Works:
    7 PM on Friday night - We are given our movies criteria.
    1.) Our Movie had to be a "Road Trip."
    2.) Our Movie had to have the prop "Christmas Lights"
    3.) Our Movie had to have the character "Ray Roberts - A Handy Man"
    4.) Our Movie had to contain the line, "That was smooth as butter."

    We instantly started brainstorming and kept coming up with cool ideas until about 10.
    At 10 PM the script writers broke to take the ideas and make them into a movie! They labored through the night. I think they finished the script at around 3:30 AM...

    9 AM on Saturday we all got back together to film it! It was lots of fun! We did most of the filming by London / Kroghville! My character had no lines but did one of the most dangerous "stunts" in the film! ;) I don't want to spoil it for you, in case you want to see it. :)

    This is the second movie that I've been in. I should look or the file off the other one, maybe stick that on the youtube ;)

    Well the cat is now sitting on the keyboard, so I have obviously spent enough time on the computer! ;)

    Take Care!

    Jess

    Thursday, April 12, 2007

    Getting smart about it! :)

    I haven’t got on the scale the last few day. I got my period on Easter, and thought it would be better to wait until it was over. I know my weight spikes around this time of the month. Then you add in Easter Candy + PMS, and that can’t be a good result!

    I get so tired and worn-out and sore and crampy and down right horrible to be around this time of the month. Aaron is truly an Angel who deserves a reward for his comforting and supportive nature!

    In my last post I said how my mom said that I don’t have to worry about food anymore now that I’m “thin.”

    That is SO untrue, and an article from the BBC News confirmed that. The article was called "Many dieters 'finish up heavier."

    To sum it up - most “diets” are not as successful as they claim because there isn’t a follow up to the weight loss study to see how they are doing afterwards.

    Lead researcher Traci Mann said: "We found that the majority of people regained all the weight, plus more. In one study, 50% of dieters weighed more than 11 pounds (4.99kg) over their starting weight five years after the diet.

    "Diets do not lead to sustained weight loss or health benefits for the majority of people. We concluded most of them would have been better off not going on the diet at all. Their weight would have been pretty much the same, and their bodies would not suffer the wear and tear of losing weight and gaining it all back."

    Professor Mann said in her opinion eating in moderation was a good idea for everybody as was regular exercise. (This is what I did, and I am still doing. It’s a lifestyle change, not a “diet.”)

    Dr Ian Campbell, medical director of Weight Concern, said too many people approached dieting as a short-term measure. (Like I need to lose 25 pounds by June.)

    "Keeping weight off is a life-long challenge. It is just like heart disease or mental health problems, if you stop taking your medicine you can get worse. People who are overweight often don't have a balanced lifestyle and after losing weight too many stop keeping active or eating healthily."

    It *really* is about being healthy and sticking with it. Living on lettuce for a few weeks, then switching back to McDonald's, then back again isn't balanced. You gotta find a middle ground you can stick with for life that is healthy as can be! :)

    Saturday, April 7, 2007

    Sometimes I feel like she is out to get me...

    Thursday night Aaron and I went over to my Mom's place to dye eggs with my little sister, Sammy. Becky and Lydel were there too! It was a "family thing."

    Some of you may remember me blogging about Sam in the past. She is only 8 years old yet she weighs nearly the same weight as me!


    Me, Becky, and Sammy - Jan 14, 2006

    While "the kids" dyed the eggs, Mom left to get a Papa Murphy's take & bake pizza. (She was also secretly picking up Sammy's Easter Bunny Swag!) Before she left I mentioned how much I liked getting malted milk balls in my basket as a kid.

    Mom then returned with a big bag of Hershey's Whoppers Robin Eggs, opened up the bag and set them next to me! Sometimes I feel like she is out to get me. *sigh*

    "You're thin enough! You shouldn't have to worry about food anymore! You can relax for just one day! Enjoy! I got them for you!"

    AHHHHH!!!!!!! Calling Easter Candy "food" is a stretch in my mind. It's just a lot of sugar with no redeeming nutritional value. But Mom did not rest until we had eaten all the candy. I must have had a dozen of them.

    On the plus side though, Mom got Sammy toys and games to help fill up her Easter Basket instead of just candy. :)

    I hope you have a Happy and Safe Easter!

    Jess

    Thursday, March 29, 2007

    Updated My Virtual Model Picture & Belly Shot.

    The picture of me in the pose of a "My Virtual Model" was taken over a year ago. (March 24th, 2006 to be exact.)

    Time for an update!

    I also said that I wanted to add a more current picture of what my belly looks like, so I killed two birds with one stone! Tah-dah!

    March 2006 Jess - Click to enlarge. March 2007 Jess - Click to enlarge.

    You can really see the difference in my thighs! :-D
    Note the lack of "loose skin," and what's that below my boobs? Is that the start of some KILLER ABS? Woo hoo!

    The funny thing is that even though I am more slim and trim in the new picture, I weigh about 7 pounds more now than I did in the old picture!

    Wild! Looks like I gained lots of nice and lean muscles in 2006!

    I'm going to go bike now. I gotta keep working to keep this body looking like the picture I just posted, or better!! ;)

    Cheers!

    Jess

    Wednesday, March 28, 2007

    "I Wish Someone Would Do Something About How Fat I Am"

    The title of this post is from a t-shirt I saw in “The Onion.”

    This shirt pokes fun at the idea that people don’t take responsibility for their own health.

    Even though it is supposed to be "funny," it really hit home with me. For so many years I just WISHED I weighed less, but I never did anything more than that.

    “God! I wish I was thinner! SIGH! (Mope, mope, eat more junk food…)”

    I even hoped I’d be in a horrible accident, and get sent into a coma, so I could just “wake up thin” months later. But for all my wishes… I just stayed fat, waiting for a miracle to happen -
    while feeling sorry for myself and eating Little Debbie Snack Cakes™. :-6

    Ultimately, you are the only one who can do something about how fat you are. Suing the food industry or banning “Trans Fats” in restaurants will not automatically make you become healthier. You still need to LIVE a healthy life.

    Accepting that responsibility and taking care of your body is really hard work! It takes time and practice to "rewire your brain" to live a healthy life, but it is so worth it.

    I give lots of advice on how to "trick" yourself into being healthier. ;) I hope it helps!

    In a previous post, I said I was working on the mental aspect of weight loss. Locating my "triggers." Boy! Did I find a doozy!

    Dessert. In my mind I still had the childhood link that "Dessert is a reward." You know, like "Eat all your vegetables and you'll get a COOKIE!"

    "YEA! COOKIE!!"


    But I also link eating dessert to the "Desserts make you fat!"


    Why did I eat those COOKIES?!?! :-(


    Lots of people have this. Eating sweets gives you that instantly gratifying rush of sugar! Then you crash and hate yourself for "blowing your diet." Next thing you know you're heading back to the comforting arms of chocolate- again. ARGH!!!

    When you try limiting your sweets - then feels like a "punishment" because you still have that "Good Girl gets COOKIE!" mentality!!! It's like you can't WIN!

    So I have been working very hard the last month or so to break the "Sweets are a Reward" link. New mantra: Food is just the fuel my body needs to run. It does not make me good or bad.

    I think it is starting to sink in! ;-)

    Take Care!

    Jess

    Friday, March 23, 2007

    Greif and Stress

    ACK! It’s been a while since I had a new entry here. Things have been so sad and stressful recently.

    On March 12th my cousin’s wife gave birth to a son who only lived for 90 minutes. The Funeral was last Friday. It was so touching and heartbreaking.

    My work has also been really stressful the last few weeks. I don’t seem to have any free time! (This is apparent by the lack of updates.) ;)

    Keeping healthy these past few weeks has been difficult.
    I’m back to 150.50 since I am a “stress eater.”

    But things are going to get better soon! I always try to keep positive, even when things really suck. I’m not going to get stuck in a depressed rut! I can get past this, and back on track. :)

    I think I can. I think I can. I think I can!!!

    Cheers!

    Jess

    Tuesday, March 6, 2007

    My Bootie is Better!

    My tailbone has been given a clean bill of health! It will always be twisted to the right, but it no longer hurts. :-) I have a follow-up appointment on March 26th, but if I am still doing well by then, I can cancel it. :-) Woo!

    The weight I gained in February is being really stubborn! I was 149.25 this morning. It has taken me 12 days to lose a pound. If I keep at this rate it will take about 4 months to get back to 140. 140 by the 4th of July? Sounds like a fun goal to work towards!

    I hope to go a bit faster, but I know this is not a RACE. I’m just trying to be a healthy as I can be! :-)

    I should update my FAQ with a new picture of my belly. The “Rib-Roll” image is from the 14th of September 2006. I weighed about 145 when it was taken. It is strange to weight 4 pounds more now, but be more toned and slender. Must be all those sexy muscles I’ve been building! :-D

    Thursday, February 22, 2007

    My "Skinny Jeans" are now my "Fat Pants"

    The tight sexy jeans I used to squeeze myself into for a hot night out on the town are now the pants I wear when my period puff strikes. It is exciting! I am trying to focus on HOW COOL it is that the jeans I nearly had to lay down to zip up are now my "fat pants..." But it is so hard to do when my weight has spiked up so high...

    With my busted bootie, I have not been working out as much this month, and with Valentine's Day, my birthday and my period all in a row... My weight was up to 150.25 this morning!!!

    Aaron was such and angel when he reminded me that it is nothing to freak out over. It is just temporary from the recent restaurant trips, my monthly period puff, and lots of chocolate. ;) Soon I will be back into the mid to lower 140's again.

    Since most of my workouts are on hold until my butt is better, I have been working on the mental aspects of my weight loss. Lately I have been trying to find my "triggers."

    Triggers are something that makes you start doing bad things. A great example of this is smoking.

    When a person quits smoking, she'll do fine or a week or so, then she goes out to a bar. At the bar it seems to be EVERYONE is smoking, and it doesn't "feel right" to drink without a cigarette. Next thing you know she's bumming a cigarette from the guy next to her... then buying her own pack...

    So I am looking for what triggers me to eat poorly. Unlike smoking, you can't quit EATING cold turkey. (Mmm Turkey) Right now I am teaching myself to eat at a table with a plate and utensils. This sounds silly, but all too often I eat while checking my e-mail, playing online, or watching TV. I know that these are distractions and effect my ability to detect when I am full or not, but I still do it! So I am retraining myself to take time to nourish myself in a quite proper setting. :)

    In fact, I think I am going to have supper now! :-D

    Cheers!

    Jess

    Thursday, February 15, 2007

    Happy Birthday to ME! :-D

    Today is my 29th Birthday! :-D

    People keep asking me if this is my "Last Birthday." God I hope not!

    I am not going to do any "29 and holding stuff."

    I'm looking forward to what I can accomplish before I reach 30. :)

    We'll just have to wait and see what this year brings. :-)

    Cheers,

    Jess

    Sunday, February 11, 2007

    I can't sit on that, I'll break it!!

    It is so hard to get my head wrapped around the idea that I am a healthy size now.

    The other day a co-worker offered me a folding chair to sit on. It was one of those tiny ones that in the past would have flattened if I had tried to sit on it.

    I thought, "Oh GOD! I can’t sit on that, I’ll break it!!!"



    And I said just that. "I'm sorry, I think I'll break it."

    Then he gave me this look like… what they heck have you been smoking?! I then had to explain my bizarre mental situation. He congratulated me on getting healthy… but I am not all the way healthy yet. I still have all this MENTAL baggage to work through.

    I think my physical weight loss is pretty much done. Now it is time to get my mind healthy too!

    Cheers!

    Jess

    Sunday, February 4, 2007

    FAQ ASAP!

    I finished the FAQ! You can navigate to it via the "Jess Link!" on the
    left, or by clicking here!

    Sunday, January 28, 2007

    More Before Pictures!

    I added a few more pictures to my Before Pictures Section!

    I also plan to make a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page soon to answer things like:
    "Do you have loose skin?"
    "How old are you?"
    "How tall are you?"
    etc...

    I am going to enjoy my last few hours of weekend-ness!

    Cheers!
    Jess!

    Monday, January 22, 2007

    You Need Physical Therapy Because You Are Thin...

    Last Monday I went to the Physical Therapist for the first time for my bad butt. She assessed my body and made me bend in all sorts of ways in the "comfort" of a hospital gown and my underwear.

    Her conclusion: My body does not know how to be thin!!!

    She said that my abs are good, which is something she always checks if there are lower back / butt troubles. It's just my butt and lower back are all tight and crabby from years of having to hold up a big belly!! They do not know how to carry a healthy sized person!

    So now I've got a set of yoga poses to do daily to help the back. Once that is better, she'll start work on the coccyx (tail bone) which is the really painful spot. She said that it is a really delicate area to work on, and will most likely hurt A LOT before it gets better. Great....

    She also said she has never seen a coccyx as protruded as mine. Fabulous! My ass sticks out further than any she's ever seen! ;) ( Although my butt has been getting rave reviews in my new skirt! ) ;)

    I am still biking with the hemorrhoid ring to protect my tail bone, but my therapist said I should switch to an elliptical trainer for my cardio, so I will be off that tail bone!

    Aaron and I plan to pick up a really nice one in a few months, maybe after we get our tax refund! :-D

    Hope you are all doing well!

    Jess

    Saturday, January 13, 2007

    This is the Plateau that Never Ends...

    It just goes on and on my friends...

    My weight has been "145-ish" for over a year now. The first time I was under 145 was October 27, 2005. Since then I've had spikes as high as 152 (post Maui) and dips as low as 139.50 (then I stopped eating artificial sweeteners...). But over all in 2006 my weight was basically 145-ish.

    Click to enlarge.As you can see in my weight loss chart - I lost nearly 50 pounds in 2004, about 25 in 2005, and 2006... I broke even. Even though I didn't lose any weight in 2006, I know I got healthier! :)

    I never realized how stubborn those "last stubborn pounds" are!!! Luckily, as if they knew my dilemma, MSN's Diet and fitness section had an article titled "Fat Chances."

    The article said that the closer you are to a normal body weight, the more your body will resist losing weight. Then it gave advice on how to get those last few pounds to finally budge!!

    "...you’ll need to increase your level of exertion and endurance. Make sure you’re eating enough to sustain your workouts. If you reduce calories, don’t drop them too drastically. If you’ve greatly increased the number of calories you’re burning while dramatically reducing calories that you eat, you could have triggered your body to be extra-resistant to weight loss."

    Fat is your body's "emergency energy stores" and it does NOT want to give up that safety net! In order to lose those last few pounds you need to increase your fat-burning arobic activity. You also need to increase your calories so your body doesn't feel like it is being "death-marched." You still need to have a slight calorie deficit to keep losing weight.

    So I have switched to doing intense 30-minute programs on the stationary bike, 2 days on, one day off, and my calories are now about 2000 calories a day. This gives me close to a 250 calorie deficit daily, or about half a pound a week loss - In therory. I really hope is works in practice!

    I was 144.25 this morning. At half a pound a week, I could be under 140 in about 8 weeks!!

    I gotta head out now. I have to go to a Birthday party, and a Chili cook off. I am entering my award winning chili!

    Thursday, January 11, 2007

    My New "Carrot"

    As you may know... the real key to my weight loss success has been self-bribery. Human beings are "hard-wired" to avoid pain and seek pleasure, so I've tapped into these 'primal instincts' to help achieve my fitness goals! :)

    Exercise is often perceived as "pain." It's this horrible, sweaty, laborious chore that you have to, but really just want to avoid! So I dangle a "carrot" in front of myself to get me going. I give myself big rewards for reaching my big goals. ( My next "big carrot" is the DVD Ai Yori Aoshi Enishi, vol. 1!!! ) And as I work towards my big reward, I push myself along with small daily rewards, like :

    "I will not allow myself to turn on the computer until I ride the bike!"

    You can modify this statement into something that really motivates you!

    "I will not allow myself to make phone calls..."
    "I will not allow myself to watch T.V..."
    "I will not allow myself to knit... "

    You got the idea! ;) It's amazing how well this works when you push your buttons right!

    But even with all these "carrots," I don't think I could have done this alone.

    Aaron has been so wonderful through all of this, so I make sure to he gets rewards too! For helping me stay healthy, Aaron will soon be picking up the complete 1943 movie serial collection of Batman on DVD. It truly is where "Batman Begins" on the Silver Screen!

    Well, I better wind it down for the night, and spend sometime with Mr. Perfect himself. :9

    Cheers!

    Jess