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.
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.
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.
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 always heard the saying, no pain no gain.  One of my sisters said that I shouldn't feel pain when I workout, but I disagree.  When you have spent day after day, year after year, not moving, not getting any exercise, everything hurts when you finally start moving.  There is no way to avoid pain in that circumstance. That being said, there is some pain that you shouldn't feel. Sharp, acute pain is an indicator that you need to lay off of what you are doing.  You could be doing it wrong, or sometimes that area just needs to rest for a few days or more and you need to focus on other areas for awhile.  There are some areas of my body that hurt a lot when I first started working out, but now they rarely hurt, but there are some areas that still hurt. 

There is another type of pain that is part of the challenge of losing weight...emotional pain.  When you start to lose weight is when you really realize what you have done to yourself.  There is a lot of guilt associated with that.  I look back and think, I could have done this 20 years ago, and spent the last 20 years being able to do more with my kids. 

Developing the will power to stick with your plan to change also causes a lot of emotional pain.  Sometimes giving up just seems so much easier.  And it's hard when you look in the mirror and think, It's not happening fast enough. You want to lose everything now.  You want to wake up, look in the mirror, and see that person you are working so hard to be. 

I really appreciate everyone who has taken the time to encourage me, and to just say good job.  I've lost 43 three pounds.  Sometimes that seems like a lot, and sometimes it seems like a little.  When I had lost about 25 lbs I didn't feel like that was very much until my son put a 25 lb weight in my hands and said, "I doesn't feel like  a little bit of weight any more, does it?"  Sometimes you just need help from other people to put things into perspective.
When I think about why I finally decided to change my health and my weight, I realize that my mirror had a lot to do with it. I can actually get ready in the mornings without looking at any part of me, other than my hair, but when I sit on the toilet in my half bathroom downstairs, I have nothing better to do than to look at my face in the mirror in front of me. For some time I had been looking in that mirror and thinking, "Who are you? I don't know you." 

Have you ever watched one of those horror movies where a real person gets stuck in a mirror, while their reflection is let loose in the real world? The person in the mirror can see everything their reflection does, and they start screaming, "That's not me! Don't listen to her, she's not me!" That's how I felt every time I looked in the mirror. I'm looking at my reflection and inside I'm screaming, "That's not me. I don't know who she is, but that's not me!" That person has 2 chins, she's too fat to have dimples, her cheek bones are
non-existent. That person doesn't even smile.

Now, as I look in the mirror, I am starting to see the real me there. When you lose weight your face is one of the first places you can see a difference. I've lost 32 lbs. and the real me is starting to take over that false reflection. I'm beginning to see cheekbones and dimples again. My chin is starting to work against gravity,
instead of with it. Smiling has become a little easier. I refuse to ever lose myself that way again. No evil reflection is going to take over my life. I'm coming back, and I'm staying!

I bit the bullet and I went to Planet Fitness today, and I signed up for a membership.  I will meet with one of their trainers this week to design an exercise plan that is individualized for me.  I'm a little afraid.  For one, I'm afraid of causing myself more pain.  My back and knees are so bad already, I hope I don't make them worst.  Wish me luck or pray for me, whatever you believe in doing. 

Weight update: I've now lost 23 lbs.  126 lbs to go!  Yay!!! Thanks to everyone who
So I've been trying to take baby steps in my weight loss journey.  I started with my diet, and mild stretching exercises.  I'm thinking that it might be time to add more exercise to my journey.  I'm just trying to decide how much and what kind.  I'm not big on exercise videos.  I'm thinking of joining Planet Fitness.  I really want to use their recumbent bikes, and some machine for my arms and waist.  I doubt I'll be able to do more than 15 minutes of exercise a day for a while.  Planet fitness also has massage chairs.  I could exercise and then get a massage.  My sister Jenni swears the chairs are awesome.

Progress report:  I've lost 18 lbs.