I need some ideas on how to exercise the upper part of my body, including my arms, while I have a sprained wrist.  I obviously won't be lifting any weights for awhile.
Thank you so much to everyone who has gone out of their way to encourage me.  I have gotten tons of messages from people through my email or this blog, encouraging me to keep up the good work.  It really has helped me already.  It makes it easier to stick to my diet, knowing that I have made myself accountable to so many people.  Several people have also told me that I have encouraged them to keep at their goals of losing weight and becoming healthy.  Those are the people who especially help keep me going.  I feel like if I keep going, and keep those people informed of my progress, then I maybe it will be an encouragement them.  I like the idea of helping other people stick to their goals.  I have felt so much better since I started losing weight and exercising, and I want other people to feel that same sense of well being.

I gained weight at Christmas time, and then I lost most of it.  Now I've gained back what I lost from Christmas.  I'm at 52 lbs lost from when I first started the diet, whereas I was at 60 lbs lost.  My problems is that I am having a hard time saying no when someone offers me food.  At meetings I will eat 2 cookies.  I have eaten ice cream more times than I should.  I'm not eating super large portions of those things like I once did, but I'm eating more than I should if I want to continue losing weight. 

I've also been working out less.  I'm having a hard time finding time and energy to work out.  I've been stressed out a lot lately, and I feel like that stress is draining me of energy.  If I work out after I get off work, I don't make it home until 7 pm.  Then it's 7:45 or 8:00 pm before I get dinner cooked.  That is really late for eating dinner.  If I eat dinner then work out, I feel like I'm going to hurl.  I like to work out on Sundays, but I often feel too exhausted by the time I do all the grocery shopping, cutting food for the week, and doing a bunch of other errands all weekend.  I also need to buy a really good pair of shoes to work out in.  My feet are always hurting from working out, but I don't have money for expensive shoes right now.

I've read many times that getting enough sleep is vital to weight loss, but I can't.  On weekdays I get 4 to 5 hours of sleep, weekends 6 to 7.  This last week I've been falling asleep early enough to get 6 hours during the week, but I keep having a really restless night of sleep, and I wake up several times during the night.  How do you get your body to sleep more?  I drink almost no caffeine anymore, unless I am eating out.  What else can I do? 

I'm not sure that doing a low carb diet is the best thing for me anymore.  I've been thinking about doing weight watchers or a low calorie diet, but those seem like a lot of work, and I am not sure which is best for me.  I would love to know what you think.  One of the things I am having the hardest time with is cravings for sweets.  Sometimes I feel like I am going out of my mind from cravings. 

Things will probably start looking up since I just let out my problems and frustrations here.  I would love some encouragement from you, my friends. 

Before I mention what my new goals for this year are, I want to say how awesome this last year was.  I have learned so much about myself this last year…the most important being that I can take my health into my own hands and heal myself.  There are no doctors or pills that will save me from the destruction my diet and lack of exercise were reeking on my body.  Only I can fix those things.  I have all the power. 

Last New Year’s Day I made a goal of losing weight.  I wanted to lose a total of 149 lbs.  I did not set a time limit on this goal, because I felt that would add unnecessary pressure on an already difficult task.  So in the last year I lost 60 lbs.  I managed to gain back 8 of that over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.  Although I am disappointed that I gained some weight back, I do not feel bad about it.  I knew the holidays were going to make it difficult to stay on task so I started them resigned to the fact that I was probably going to gain 10 lbs. So I did better than I thought I would.  There has been something good that came out of the gain.  It was a learning experience.  It reminded me how much every little pound I lose effects my body.  Adding just 8 more pounds on my body has reminded me how sick I really felt before I lost those 60 lbs.  It reminded me of why I started on this journey to lose weight.  Yes, I wanted to get skinny, but mostly I wanted to feel better.  And with each pound I lose I feel a little better than I did before.  Can you imagine how good I’ll feel when I’ve reached my goal? 

This year I am going to set an actual weight loss goal for the year.  Since I lost 60 pounds last year, I am going to set a goal of losing 60 more this year, and the 8 I gained back.  This will be harder than the first 60 pounds.  The first 20 pounds practically fell away.  It actually gets harder after that.  I have noticed that sticking to my diet is easier when my friends and family encourage me to keep going.  So thank you to everyone who has taken a few moments out of their time to encourage me.  You have no idea how much you have helped me. 

I’d like to share some of the other things I have accomplished in the last year.  I took an online course through Iversity, called The Future of Storytelling.  The homework was optional, but I did it all.  I really learned a lot, and I enjoyed the class.  I spent more time cooking, and less time eating out.  I spent more time out and about than laying around.  I always accomplish a lot at work. I created a budget, and improved my spending habits this year.  I’ve eaten more whole foods and less boxed foods.  I have been happier this last year.

My number one goal for 2014 will be to lose 68 lbs.  Some of my other goals are to spend more time researching how to be healthier, create an exercise routine and stick to it (adjusting it as needed), to spend more quality time with my husband and kids, to spend more time outdoors, and to encourage others to work at improving their health.

I hope to 2014 is everything your are hoping it will be.  I hope that everyone reading this will achieve their goals this year. Happy New Year!




There are so many bumps on the road to weight loss. Hitting a plateau is probably the biggest bump, or just slowing down a lot.  I've lost 59 lbs. so far, but I'm losing at a turtle's pace.  Then there are those areas that seem to be resistant to weight loss, for instance my arms and upper torso.  Injury or overextending yourself lead to lots of little bumps.  I've probably pulled muscles in every part of my body at  least once since I started working out.  That will happen if you've been sedentary for years.  Now I'm starting to have some planter fasciitis symptoms in my left foot.  I am well acquainted with planter fasciitis pain.  I had surgery for it in my right foot many years ago.  I'm being careful to do the required stretching of my foot to help relieve the symptoms.  Cravings equal more bumps. 

Weight loss isn't easy, but it is worth it.  The rewards out weigh the hardship.  I can breath easier.  I can stand up and walk easier.  I'm walking without a cane again.  I sat on my husband's lap for the first time in years.  I play pool with my son.  A year ago if you had told me that I would be able to stand up and lean over a pool table, and play 4 games in a row, I would have laughed at you.  I feel like I am digging my way out of prison, and I can finally see the light.  Freedom seems like an obtainable goal.  My body has been my prison for so long. 

Someone said something to me recently that I found to be very profound.  She said, "Just remember, nothing tastes as good as skinny feels."  That is so true. 

I'll leave you with my current theme song...Katy Perry, Roar.
So here is my progress to date.  I've lost 54 lbs.  Today I did 60 minutes of cardio, and 45 minutes of machines.  I can stand about 40 times longer than I could back in January.  I can walk around the grocery store without using their scooter carts.  I have a lot less stomach problems.  I eat a lot less fast food.  I am much more flexible that I was a few months ago (I can thank yoga for that).  I have an easier time cooking because I can stand longer.  I enjoy going out and doing things more, because I'm not in constant pain and constantly tired.  That's not to say I'm completely without pain.  I still need to lose 95 more pounds.  I'm getting there.  I'll never give up, never surrender! 

If you haven't already done it, check out me link page.  There are links to several inspirational videos.  You'll love them.  And the next time you are just making excuses not to work out, watch the video of Barbie Thomas, the armless bodybuilder.
I seriously need to get back in the game.  The last couple of weeks my eating habits haven't been that great.  I've had too many cheat days.  I keep going up and down from having lost 50 to 54 pounds.  I need to get back on track and stay there.  My exercise habits have still been pretty good.  I work out 3 to 5 days a week.  I'm working my way through the 12 yoga videos I have.  I did one yesterday that I haven't done before.  My stomach is sore today.  At least I know I really worked my abs. 

I'm determined to get down to 60 lbs. lost by Halloween.  I'll let you know how it goes.  For now I will leave you with this picture showing the space between my stomach and my steering wheel.  In January  my stomach was pressing on my steering wheel as I drove.
This weight loss journey has not gone nearly as fast as I would have liked.  I started 8 months ago, and I've lost 48 lbs.  My weight will actually go up and down by 2 to 3 pounds in any given week.  I can see a big difference in my face, belly, and legs, but not so much in my chest and arms.  Sometimes I feel like giving up, but I won't.  This means too much to me. 

Below I will show you some before pictures, and pictures of my progress so far.  This is really hard for me to do.  I don't really want people I knew in my teen years to see how fat I got, and how fat I still am, but I am using this as motivation to keep going.  I want to show those same people a much skinner me in another 6 months. 
These are pictures of me not long before I started my diet.  I weighed 289 pounds.

 These are recent pictures of me.  My face looks funny in the standing pictures because I'm laughing my but off.  My son, Ryan, came up behind me and pulled my shirt tight.  You can't even see him in the big picture, but you can see his leg in the small picture on the bottom right side.  I thing that the pictures show less of a difference than there really is.  When I sit in my car there is a one and a half inch space between my stomach and the steering wheel.  Before my weight loss journey my stomach was pressing into my steering wheel when I drive. 

I'm almost a third of the way to my weight loss goal.  I need your encouragement to help me keep going.  Thank you to all my friends who have been encouraging me so far.  I'm stealing my new motto from the movie, Galaxy Quest.  Never give up! Never surrender!
There is no doubt that exercise is very beneficial. Since I started working out at Planet Fitness my endurance has increased drastically. I can breathe easier than I ever have before, and my back and legs have
strengthened a lot.

Sadly, the longer you remain sedentary the more difficult it is to exercise and the higher risk you have for injury. All those muscles and tendons strongly protest the work you are now making them do, and it's easy to overdo it. That is what happened to me.

I pulled something in my neck and shoulder. I was in so much pain and I could barely move my head or reach across my body. I tried putting ice/heat on it and avoiding exercises that focused on that area.  Nothing helped. I was afraid I was going to have to spend money I don't have and go to the doctor or chiropractor.

Then I decided to try something new. For the last 5 days I have been doing yoga videos my husband Rick has. He has 5 or 6 DVDs, each with 2 workouts on it. Each workout targets a certain area. I've been alternating between the lower back and upper back/shoulder workouts. Boy do they help. My shoulder isn't back to normal yet, but I have a lot less pain and full range of motion again.  All this in 5 days.  Not bad.

Soon I will go back to Planet Fitness. I'll alternate doing yoga and working out at Planet Fitness. If you have aches and pains I recommend that you try doing some yoga. You don't have to do elaborate poses. Find DVD for beginners that targets the areas you really need to work on, and don't be afraid to modify any
poses that you can't do. Most importantly, don't give up. See my links page for links to videos of other people who didn't give up.

I've lost 43 - 45 lbs.  I sort of go up and down by two pounds on any given day, or any given time of day.  I weigh less in the morning than I do in the evening.  I seem to be losing really slowly now.  I'm going to try doing a detox one day juice diet once a week.  I found it at http://www.detoxdrinks.info/.  I also found this website that has juice recipes http://juicerdetoxrecipes.com/.  Now I'm just waiting for the juicer my unc