Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Odyssey Continues - Another Shopping Trip

Hello Everyone!

On Nov. 1 I talked about buying size 22 and 20 jeans (my largest "fat jeans" were 26).  Today, I bought size 18 !!  My favorite 20s were getting a little loosey-goosey - I could actually pull hand-fulls of material out on the sides of my legs.  Some of the 18s I bought today fit now, and some are a little snug, so they will probably be ok in a month or two.

I have actually seen glimpses of -35 on the scale in January so that is the number I'm advertising, altho today is really -32.  My "official" number from the last WW meeting was -31.  My goal for January was 4 pounds.  I was at -27 on Jan 1.  If I can maintain an average of 1 pound a week, I can meet my first big goal of -60 by the time school starts again in August.  That would be AMAZING!

My newest big accomplishment (besides the size 18 pants) is that I can now cross my legs again for the first time in ......  I'm not sure how long....... at least since my knees started going bad in 2004, but probably before that.  So this accomplishment is a combo of the new knee and thinner thighs.

That's it for now.  Thanks for your continued support!  Come back again soon!


P.S.  As of Sunday, Jan 31, I have lost 7 pounds for the month.  I was at -27 on Jan 1 and I am at -34 today!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Sharing Over-the-top Cuteness!

If you have not seen her yet, here she is - the newest polar bear at The Columbus Zoo.  
AND you have the chance to help name her if you vote before Feb. 3!  

Check this out - Name The Cub

Monday, January 18, 2016

A Mini Odyssey Update

Just a quick post-script to my last entry.  As of yesterday and today, I'm now weighing in at -33# !!!  Last week I ate all my daily points and ALL my weekly points!  Go figure - eat more - lose weight!
Just had to share!!!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Odyssey Continues - Updates and Progress

Hello Hello Hello!

At Wednesday's WW meeting, I was able to log -30# and get my 6th 5# sticker for my little book.  WHEEE!!! I was positively giddy, and when I got to brag to the group, I got all emotional and started crying - Whew!  I told them this fun update story:  Last weekend I did something I've NEVER done in my life - I bought smaller underwear!  Everyone cheered for me!!!  :)

Last Sunday, I saw my first glimpse of -32# during my naked morning weigh-in.  I saw the same number again on Monday, so I was really psyched!  The rest of the week has settled in at -31, but I'm ok with that for now.

I also WOWed my GYN doc this week.  He walked in the exam room, and the first words out of his mouth were, "You've lost 30 pounds!" We got to have a nice chat about that, and he was proud of me instead of telling me yet again that I needed to lose weight!

On Thursday afternoon at the English Dept meeting, one of my colleagues told me that I'm looking "positively svelt".  Wow!  I have never heard that word connected to me in the same sentence EVER!
Today, I got my hair cut.  My stylist has a full-length mirror standing on the floor in front of the chair, so I usually have to sit there getting all depressed and disgusted as I look at my fat-self in that mirror for an hour - which usually leads me to just close my eyes.  Today, when I looked in that mirror, I was pleasantly surprised by how much thinner my face and neck looked.  I could actually TELL a difference!  I was sooooo excited and I told her! "Hey look! My neck is thinner!"  She agreed!

I have gotten several compliments from other colleagues since going back from break.  I am making a conscious effort to wear clothes that are slenderizing rather than bulky clothes that hide me.

All of this positive feedback is SOOOO motivational!  I also realized something yesterday.  For most of my life, I've had a very negative self-image about my body, and that has hung over my head.  I've always felt bad about my body and the fact that I just kept getting bigger and bigger and was seldom successful at any weight-loss attempts.  Regardless of accomplishments in other areas of my life, this body thing made me feel like a failure, and I felt people looked at me as someone with no will-power or self-control.  Now that has totally changed.  I feel successful and proud of my accomplishments.  This has improved my mood, and now I feel like I'm carrying myself differently - with self-confidence, and with a smile on my face.  I can remember that for years my kids would write negative comments on my year-end evaluation forms - they would tell me I was always grumpy, never smiled, etc...  I think they were right, and I think that has changed in the last 4 months!  Now I look at each new day as another chance to continue my successful odyssey.  I also think I was often grumpy because I was usually in pain and was tired because I didn't sleep well.  My bad knees affected my life for 9 years.

I have been reading a lot of "stuff" lately about weight-loss strategies, and I keep seeing a repeated theme - that weight loss is mostly about eating right and much less about exercising.  This is a concept that I've believed about myself intuitively, but it is nice to see it in print from "experts".  I'm not saying that healthful movement isn't necessary, because it is, but that's not what drives weight-loss.

One of my new focuses is avoiding C.R.A.P.   Chemicals - Refined flour and sugar - Artificial stuff - Preservatives.  I'm also going to make an effort to reduce gluten (grains like wheat - flour).  So, that's pasta, bread, etc...  which obviously is also highly processed.  I am now into reading labels more than ever before and also shopping the perimeter of the store.  (With the exception of Progresso Light soups which are worth it.)

Ok, that's it for today's update.  Thanks for visiting and reading, and come back again soon!


Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Odyssey Continues - It's a New Year!

Hello!  Time for a quickie weight-loss update!  Yesterday was the first WW meeting in 2 weeks, and I was pleased to be able to log a new low for my little book - 26#, but the more exciting news was what I logged for myself here this morning.  I had my first glimpse of -30#  !!!!  I can't even express how excited I was to see that number for the first time!  I saw -28# 3 times over break, but to suddenly jump to -30# was AMAZING!  Realistically, I know I might not see that number again for awhile, but to see it at all was a huge motivator!

When I think about carrying something that weighs 30#.... like 6 bags of sugar..... there is no way I could carry that much in from the car in a grocery bag - I'd do 2 or 3 trips for that much!  One "real" thing I have noticed is that I am walking better.  My hips don't hurt any more when Hubs and I take walks to the park, and even in my normal daily routine, I feel like I am walking more "normal".  Over the weekend, I saw a former neighbor that I hadn't seen since August, and she commented that she thought I was walking better too (and she said that even before she knew about my weight loss).

With the new year we have started a Biggest Loser competition at school.  I signed up and did my weigh-in yesterday.  My official weigh-in for that was -25#.  Ha!  I've SOOOO got this!!!  :)  Each contestant has to pay $10.  Last year there were 30 people in my building who participated, so the top 3 winners got quite a nice amount - that's good to put towards some new clothes!

Ok - that's all for now.  I just wanted to share!  Thanks for hanging in here with me!


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Let's Journey Across the Pond, Shall We?

Hello and Happy New Year - again!

Have you ever been to London?  I've been there once - for about 24 hours - on the way to Paris (for which we went through the Chunnel).

Hubs has been exploring London online.  He was reading a bio of Michael Palin (of Monty Python fame), in which much of London was mentioned, so Hubs would read a part about a certain location and then look it up on Google Maps.  While there, he would wander - virtually - around the streets and check out the various area.  He seemed quite interested in what he was seeing, and with that in mind, I suggested to Santa that Hubs might enjoy a 4D London Puzzle for Xmas.

We had done the 4D New York City puzzle last year, and that was fun, so I thought we would enjoy London.  We did enjoy working on it, but I have to warn you, this one is HARD and a lot more time-consuming than NYC.  There are actually 2 puzzles:

We did them in backwards order.  You are supposed to do the brown/beige puzzle first (lower one shown above).  It is a traditional thin jigsaw, and there is a picture to follow.  This is a map of what London looked like in 1666 just before The Great Fire.  The writing at the right is fairly easy to piece together, and the river isn't too hard, but O M G, the brown buildings and road and wall lines.....  took us FOREVER!  I finally lost patience with it, and gave up for awhile.  Hubs percevered!  

Then you are supposed to do the upper puzzle and lay it on top of the lower one.  The upper puzzle has puffy, 3D pieces and the river is open, so when you lay it on top of the beige one, the river shows through. 

 Next, you add buildings on the puffy, top puzzle so it ends up looking like this:  

So here is the city from left to right or west to east:

The buildings are supposed to be added in the order they were built, and you are given a timeline to follow for that stage.  

It was interesting to note the lack of building between the mid '30s and the early '60s.  It was also interesting to note the huge boom in building in the last 15-20 years.  The London Eye (Ferris Wheel) was built in 1999, so you can see from the timeline how many buildings have gone up since then.  

One thing we did (thanks to SmartPhone technology) was look up some of the buildings to see what they look like in real life as we were getting to them on the chart.  I would now like to entertain you with some of the fantastic architecture of modern London:  

First, we have a building we refer to as The Thumb, but it is London's City Hall - opened in July 2002:

Next, we have a building nicknamed The Gherkin.  This is a commerial skyscraper at 30 S. Mary Axe in the Financial District - opened in April 2004. 

Towering above The Thumb is The Shard at 95 stories - opened in 2013 (They tried to call it London Bridge Tower, but "The Shard" stuck.  This is a mixed use commercial building with an observation deck:

At 20 Fenchurch St - opened in 2014 is The Walkie Talkie - a 34 story commercial office building with a 3 story garden at the top:

Also opened in 2014 is the Leadenhall Building - lovingly refered to as The Cheese Grater:  

At 22 Bishopsgate is another commercial skyscraper called The Pinnacle - I found mixed stories about whether it is actually completed yet or not, but it does appear in the skyline:

Speaking of the skyline, there are many great images on Google of the London Skyline, but here are some of my favorites:

All of the buildings I've shown here are in Central London - the oldest area of town.  There is also a huge section of relatively new large buildings in what is called the Canary Wharf area of town which is east of the old city.  (On my puzzle map, it is the section at the far right.) Researching that area is a whole different project! Here is what that skyline looks like:

Not everyone is happy about all the new skyscrapers in London (and there are many more that I haven't mentioned here), and critics sometimes joke about them.  There is even a design out there for something called Endless City in the future which  might look something like this:

I have been fascinated by exploring - virtually - these unique structures, and I find myself being a little disappointed that structures like this don't seem to be going up in the U.S.  Without the 4D London Puzzle to put together, I am not sure I would have become aware of all these cool marvels of architecture.  That factor alone makes this puzzle worth the time it took to complete!  

The same company makes similar puzzles for many cities around the world.  Check one out and let me know what you think of it!

Thanks for joining me on this architectural journey today!  


The Odyssey Continues - S...L...O...W... Progress..... is better than NO progress!

Hello Everyone and Happy New Year!

I'm thrilled to be able to report that I've survived the fear-inducing Holiday BingeAndGain scenario without gaining!  Yay Me!  In fact, there were 3 days (non-consecutive, mind you) when I saw my first glimpses of -28#  For the most part, I am still hanging out in the -25 to -27 range, where I have been since mid-Nov.

I tried the Calorie Cycling thing - where you eat a lot for 2-3 days, and then cut back again.  The idea is that eating a lot tricks the metabolism.  I thought that was going to work for me because I saw my first dip to -28 just after I did that, but alas, I just leveled out again.

The WW website has a section on Plateaus.  The 2 main suggestions are to make sure that you are really eating carefully just like when you started and were successful (some people start taking things for granted and aren't as careful), and then to ramp up the activity.  So.... I'm going to work on those two things and see if they help!  I think just going back to school will help because when I am busy and working where there is no snack cabinet or refrigerator, I do better.

The Odyssey continues!  I'll keep you posted.  Thanks for hanging in here with me!

:) Amy