Type 2 Diabetes

Weight Loss Advice: From a Fat Girl

Weight Loss Advice: From a Fat Girl

Before I get into this post, let me be clear on a few things. I’m still fat and yes, I’m fat. Fat isn’t a dirty word. It’s a fact. We all have fat; some more than others. Don’t go getting all offended because I’m talking about myself. I’m not a personal trainer, nutritionist, or anything else. What I am is a real woman, a wife, mother, who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes back in July. I’m a real person, a fat person, who’s busting her ass to lose weight the natural way. What does that mean? It means I’m not taking any pills (other than my prescribed medication), using any special food, drinking shakes, or doing wraps. I’m eating right and getting off my ass more. Now that that’s done, here’s my weight loss advice.

Don’t Wait Until You’re Sick

This is what I did. I tried losing weight about a million and one times before my diagnosis but it never stuck. This time, I don’t have a choice. That’s kind of a good thing for me because when my back’s against the wall I come out fighting. But, I shouldn’t have let it get this far. There are days when I feel like I’m fighting an uphill battle and that no matter how hard I try, nothing works. You’re going to have those days no matter what, but if you wait until you’re sick, you’re faced with the fact that you don’t have a choice anymore.

Be Brutally Honest with Yourself

This is so freakin’ hard but oh so necessary. I took a long, hard look at myself in the days after I was diagnosed and I didn’t like what I saw. I saw that I was lazy when it came to taking care of myself, but what was worse was that I realized I didn’t love myself. I have so much love for everyone in my life but I didn’t have that same love for myself. It’s time to face facts and get honest.

I started this blog for that reason and to hold myself accountable. I put it all out there on social media, everywhere. I’m a fairly open person anyway, about most things, but it was really hard for me to put my weight out there for the world to see. But, as hard as it was to do that, the compliments mean so much more! People are more accepting than we give them credit for and most of them want to see you succeed.

Don’t be Easily Discouraged

I don’t care what anyone tells you, there is no quick fix for weight loss! Got it? There’s no pill, shake, or wrap that’s going to make you lose weight without you putting in some elbow grease of your own. So, forget about all that crap right now. With that said, you’re going to feel discouraged from time to time; that’s to be expected. You’re going to have days where your food is on point and your workout was amazing and the scale either doesn’t move or goes up. After losing more than 30 pounds, I still have days like this.

Don’t let days like that get to you. The more you move, the more muscle you’re using and building. Even if the scale stays the same or goes up, listen to your clothes. They’re going to tell you how you’re doing overall. The scale doesn’t know the difference between fat and muscle and your weight doesn’t define the effort you’ve put into getting healthy.

Me in 2011
Me in 2011 – in Deep Creek Lake, MD

Don’t Use Fad Diets or Gimmicks

You already know these things don’t work so don’t waste your hard-earned money on them. Weight loss is a $20+ billion industry and it shouldn’t be. The only way you’re going to lose weight and get healthy is by eating better and exercising. Who says Cize is better than running around your neighborhood? No one! In fact, getting outside is more beneficial than staying inside anyway. Fresh air and sunshine do a world of good for your mood and your body. The only time I exercise inside is when it’s raining. Of course, this will probably change once winter sets in and it’s -20 degrees outside.

Me in 2013
Me in 2013 – Celebrating my oldest son’s birthday

Work Hard!

Hard work is the key to success – no matter what you do in life. Weight loss isn’t any different. In fact, you just might have to work harder to lose weight than anything else. Check this out – as we get older, our bodies start to turn against us especially if we’re not healthy. It gets harder to lose weight, concentrate, see, hear, you name it. Don’t let that discourage you though! If you bust your ass to get healthy now, that’s one less thing you have to do later in life.

Me in 2014
Me in 2014 – Clowning around with my mom at South of the Border

Keep a Blog or Journal

You need a place to get your thoughts out, which is what this blog is for me. It’s my online journal that allows me to speak my mind about my weight loss journey, what’s working, what isn’t, what I’ve learned, etc. I’ve learned patterns from keeping this blog and it’s helped me hold myself accountable and learn so much more about myself. You need something like this during your journey, too. It’s therapeutic to get your thoughts out of your brain and you’ll sleep a lot better. If you’re not ready to put it all out there for the world, keep a paper journal instead. You need that outlet.

July 2015 - Before my diagnosis
July 2015 – Before my diagnosis. Where the hell is my neck?!

Have Support

It’s so much easier to lose weight when you have the support of your friends and family. I received a ton of support from my Facebook friends when I put it all out there. I was blown away! My husband is my biggest supporter, my kids are second, and then it’s my mom and my friends. I couldn’t do this if I didn’t have their support. You need people in your life who want to see you succeed and who are willing to help you get there. My husband has heard me bitch, moan, groan, and complain about everything that bothers me, weight loss related or not. I also started a Facebook page where I share motivational and inspirational photos so be sure to head over and give it a like.

Log Everything You Eat

If you eat something, write it down! I use Lose It! to log all of my food and exercise. I love this app for a ton of reasons. It has a barcode scanner so you can just scan in the foods you eat. It also has the ability to use your location to pull up restaurants near you if you’re eating out. The app is free but I have a premium subscription because I use the other features as well. I log my blood sugar and track my carbs, which are premium features.

There are a bunch of weight loss apps out there, and I’ve tried a few of them, but I always end up using Lose It!. Do you have that one app you’re drawn to? Yeah, that’s how it is for me with Lose It!. I love everything about that app!

Make Small Changes

I’m here to tell you right now that if you go all gung-ho on this crap you’re going to fail. I’ve done this a million and one times, remember? So, I know. This time, I took the entire month of August to work on my food. I changed my breads and pastas to whole grain, I cut sugar out of my coffee, and I started eating Fiber One bars for my snack. I worked on portion control. August was the month of food for me – there wasn’t any exercise. I’ve never done that before but it seems to have worked this time.

I’m really comfortable with food now and eating anywhere other than home doesn’t scare me like it used to. I know what’s good for me and what isn’t. I also didn’t give up everything. I still get my iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts and that won’t change. Yes, they’re not good for me but I don’t want to deny myself of everything I enjoy; I just get one instead of 2 or 3.

The beginning of September, I started adding exercise. My FitBit Charge HR helps keep me on track with my movement, calories burned, and miles walked. It’s great motivation for me and I participate in challenges to increase my motivation.

Me - October 2015
Me in October 2015 – in Deep Creek Lake, MD 30+ pounds lighter!

NEVER, EVER GIVE UP!

No matter how you feel or what the scales says, never, ever give up! Now is the time for you to take care of and love yourself. If you don’t support you how can you expect anyone else to support you? Think of yourself as your best friend. Would you give up on them? Would you talk negatively to them? No you wouldn’t. You would love, support, and encourage them to always do their best. That’s where you need to be with yourself!

I’m sure you’re sitting there saying it’s hard to do that, and I know it is, but it’s essential. You have to love yourself if you’re ever going to take care of yourself the right way. Stop making excuses for this, that, and the other. Do what needs to be done and you’ll thank yourself for it later. Now is the time! Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed so don’t put it off.

Shew – so, that’s my weight loss advice. This fat girl won’t be fat for too much longer and I won’t ever be fat again. It took type 2 diabetes for me to finally get here but don’t let that happen to you. All of this is real advice from a real woman who’s doing it this way. But, if you don’t want to listen, that’s up to you. I’ll still be here, losing weight, my way. I’ve lost more than 30 pounds since August 1 so I must be doing something right!

Good luck on your journey and I’m always here if you need support, encouragement, or a shoulder! We’re in this together – don’t forget that.

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September Results + October Changes

September Results October Changes

We’re now into October and the weather has finally started to cool off here. This weekend marks our annual Fall Festival, which means a parade, a lot of walking, and unhealthy food for days. I won’t be eating anything at the Fall Festival for obvious reasons but I will be enjoying the weather and exercise.

Anyway, my results for September weren’t everything I’d hoped they’d be but it’s nothing to sneeze at either. I wasn’t expecting to lose as much weight as I did in August but I was hoping for more than I lost. But, I have no one to blame but myself. I didn’t exercise nowhere near as much as I should have or needed to. I’ve really got to get off my ass and move more.

My weight fluctuated a lot last month and I spent a few days being really discouraged. I didn’t quit, which is a huge sign of growth for me (pun not intended). I’m growing as a person because, any other time, that would have been the end of my journey….again.

September Results

Okay, on to the results for September. Drum roll please……

On September 1, I weighed 260.8 pounds and by mid-September I was 253.2 pounds. By the end of the month, I weighed in at 251.6 pounds, for a total loss of 9.2 pounds.

October Changes

October will be a month of more exercise and less coffee. Yes, I said it, less coffee. I’m working my way down from a large iced caramel mocha to a medium and, eventually a small. I can’t believe I’m actually willingly downsizing my coffee but it’s just way too many calories. There are 350 calories in a large. Do you know how much food that is? It’s a lot and the food sticks with me longer than the coffee.

I also need to re-evaluate my food choices because I don’t feel as though I’m eating as healthy as I was before. I’ve been eating a lot of the sandwich thins (whole grain, of course) instead of actual whole grain bread. I’ve noticed that I’m still a little hungry after my lunch and I wasn’t when I was eating the whole grain bread. I’m going to give it a shot and see if it makes a difference.

How was your September?

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Chicken Caesar Salad

Chicken Caesar Salad

Chicken Caesar salad is my go-to healthy meal when I don’t know what to cook or I just want something quick. I have a Hamilton Beach 25331 Super Sear 100-Square-Inch Nonstick Indoor Searing Grill and I cook everything I can on it. This dish is super easy to make because there’s only 3 main ingredients and it’s ready to eat in 10 minutes. So much better than any of those nasty microwave “healthy” meals on the market.

A chicken Caesar salad at a restaurant generally has 800 calories. This salad cuts is about half the calories and contains fresher veggies.

Chicken Caesar Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 4 oz. chicken breast tenderloin
  • 2 Romaine hearts
  • 1 whole tomato
  • Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy seasoning
  • Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning
  • Olive Oil
  • Kraft Classic Caesar dressing
Instructions
  1. Marinate the chicken breast tenderloin in olive oil and Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy seasoning for at least 1 hour.
  2. Wash and cut up Romain lettuce hearts. Add to bowl.
  3. Wash and dice tomato. Place in small bowl and season with Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning before adding to lettuce.
  4. Grill chicken until done (about 10 minutes).
  5. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces and add to bowl.
  6. Toss.
  7. Top with 2 Tbsp. Kraft Classic Caesar dressing.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 474.5 Fat: 36.4 Saturated fat: 5.2 Carbohydrates: 13.7 Sugar: 1 Sodium: 721.1 Fiber: 3.4 Protein: 25 Cholesterol: 65

Chicken Caesar Salad

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Lose It! #MyDayMyWay: In the Beginning I was 278 Pounds…

#MyDayMyWay In the Beginning I Was 278 Pounds
I had my 6 month check up on Monday, July 27 and I weighed in at a whopping 278 pounds. This is the largest I’ve ever been and I’m not going to stand for it anymore. At the end of this check up, I learned, not only do I still have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, but I also have type 2 diabetes. I’ve been teetering on the edge for quite some time but I never thought I’d fall. Well, it looks like I was wrong.

Like everyone else who struggles with weight loss, I’ve tried just about everything to lose the pounds. My problem is that, while I have good intentions, my follow through sucks balls! Each time, I’ve started strong only to hurt myself or let something throw me off course. Right now, I no longer have that option. Despite how I feel or what I’d rather do, my health must be front and center of everything in my life. I’ve made it clear to myself and everyone around me that I don’t love myself and that stops now.

I guess it was sometime last year, when I was floating around in the pool, that my brain started chattering away about me. It was so intense that I had to get out of the pool and write it all down. It just wasn’t going to let it go. So, out I got and wrote until my brain finally shut up about it. Here’s what I figured out (and, yes, it still applies):

What do I like about myself?

  1. Sense of humor
  2. Compassionate
  3. Intelligent
  4. Legs
  5. Hands
  6. Face
  7. Hair

What don’t I like about myself?

  1. Weight/Health
  2. Boobs
  3. Perfectionist tendencies
  4. I expect too much
  5. Acne scars
  6. Laziness

How can I change what I don’t like?

1. I need to exercise for at least 30 minutes each day. I need to eat better foods; more whole grains, fruits, and veggies. I need to track all of my food and exercise using the Lose It app. I must exercise first thing in the morning so that I actually do it!

2. Unless I have plastic surgery, there’s not a whole lot I can do about this one. My boobs don’t bother me enough to willingly have surgery that’s going to render me virtually useless for a few weeks.

3. I don’t want to settle for close enough is good enough, but I don’t want to keep adding stress to my life either. I have to learn to accept that my best is good enough. Not everyone is going to be happy with me or what I do, but I’m not responsible for anyone’s happiness but mine.

4. I need to learn to expect absolutely nothing or to accept that whatever wasn’t meant to be. Basically, I need a more positive outlook on things and people. Not everyone is as thoughtful or considerate as me.

5. These scars could be much worse than they are and I’m grateful they aren’t. I could spend hundreds of dollars on chemical peels, which would lessen the scars but leave me confined to the house because of peeling. Or, I can accept them as a badge of courage and find new techniques to covering them using makeup.

6. I need to just get things done so that I can stay on track. Even if I don’t want to do it, I have to suck it up and get it done. I need to remind myself that the more I get done, the less I have to do the next day. What an example to set for the boys!

This was all well before my diagnosis but it definitely still applies. Maybe diabetes was the kick in the ass I needed – I don’t know. I’d hate to think that I let myself get this far gone before I took action but, let’s be real, that’s exactly what happened. I failed at taking care of myself – period. I could ramble off excuse after excuse but that’s the real deal.

How did I let myself get to 278 pounds?!

The answer is simple – I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, and I didn’t exercise. I was lazy. I struggle with emotional eating, skipping meals, and always making excuses as to why I can’t do this or can’t do that. My favorite go-to excuse was that I didn’t have time. Bullshit! I didn’t make time – there’s a difference. I waited until the last horn blew to get off my ass and do something about it. I’m a triple threat and not in the way I want to be but I’ll get there.

So, what I am doing differently now?

Well, as of Monday, July 27, my entire world changed. It’s all whole grains for me, counting calories and carbs, and cutting way back on sugar. That was the hardest because I love my iced coffees from Dunkin’ Donuts. I started Metformin on July 30 and I’ve also been testing my glucose once a day. Now that’s a pain in the ass! The Metformin is no walk in the friggin’ park either. It’s like trying to swallow a dime. I grew out of that stuff a long time ago! 😉 I’ve researched the hell out of type 2 diabetes. I’m talking recipes, carb counts, glucose levels, everything. I’ve spent a lot time really learning about it and taking it all in.

What’s to come?

Who the hell knows but I can tell you this – I will NEVER see 278 pounds again! I know – never say never – but, trust me when I say that I will never see it again. I’m not going to let it happen!

On Friday, August 21, I received an email from the wonderful people at Lose It asking me if I would be willing to participate in their #MyDayMyWay movement. Talk about being flattered! Of course, I whole-heartedly agreed! So, here I am. I’m putting all my business out there because I need accountability and because I’m being real about this. The time has come to make some serious changes and the only way that’s going to happen is by being brutally honest with myself.

At this point, I could care less about what other people think of me. The amazing people at Lose It have embraced me and my journey and it’s high time I do the same. That’s the only way I’m going to be successful and I will be successful! This is who I am and, although I’m not happy with what I’ve done to myself, there’s still time to make changes. Now is the time I focus on myself so stay tuned to see where this journey takes me.

The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat. – Napoleon Hill

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Emotional Eating: Why I Use Food for Comfort

I’ve been in the vicious cycle of emotional eating for all of my adult life. Anything that happens in my life always leads to food. Family get-togethers, celebrations, sad affairs, stressful events, you name it – there’s food involved. My family gets together to eat all the time and mostly for no reason at all other than to eat together. My grandmother has this saying, “Food is all we’ve got.” My family is full of hearty eaters.

When I was growing up, I dealt with some pretty traumatic events in my life. In fact, I’m still in therapy so I can deal with everything properly and finally leave them in the past. It’s somewhat amazing how one thing can affect you in ways you never imagined for the rest of your life. I have trust issues, food issues, and many more issues to discuss. Anyway, I believe these events led me to emotional eating because there was nothing else to do. I felt like I had no one talk to about the things that were happening in my life when I was growing up.

My family is very judgmental and it irritates the living hell out of me. I work hard every day to not judge others because I know how it feels. I’m an accepting person who definitely has and isn’t afraid to share opinions. I think my emotional eating has gotten more severe as I’ve gotten older. I think that’s because I never dealt with my many issues before now.

I have a good life; it’s not the best and could always be better, but it’s a good life. I have an awesome husband who supports me in everything I do, no matter how stupid he might think it is. I have 2 boys who would do anything in the world for me and me for them, and I have a few close friends who are always there for me. I have a great job working from home and I work with some really amazing people. One would think that I have everything, and I do, except for a healthy lifestyle and a normal outlook on certain things.

Food is the one thing that’s never let me down. No matter what, it’s always been there and tasted amazing. However, I’m learning to not have any expectations on anything. No expectations means no disappointment. I used food for comfort because it never made me feel like a burden. To this day, I have a difficult time telling others my problems because I don’t want to burden them with my issues. I’m learning to overcome that, too, and that’s very difficult. I don’t feel that way with food. Food doesn’t ask questions, it doesn’t judge me, it doesn’t poke fun at me.

You have no idea how difficult it is for me to make this and my weight public. I’m so afraid of what others are going to think of me. I can hear some of the negative comments now. But, I can’t let that keep me from being the best possible me. I have to grow a thicker skin and remember that when others criticize me it’s because they’re insecure about themselves. I need to start thinking of food as an acquaintance and not a friend. It’s something that sustains life not something to make me happy.

Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I built my life.- J.K. Rowling

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It’s All About That Cake!

Its all about that cakeYes, I was channeling Meghan Trainor when I thought of this blog post because birthday parties are all about that cake! It’s got to be sweet, decorated perfectly, and moist (I tried to think of different words because I know some people don’t like that word but I couldn’t so deal with it). There’s also ice cream to accompany the cake not to mention all of the other food on hand. Where am I going with this?

My youngest son turns 11 next week and we’re having his birthday party tomorrow afternoon. Tomorrow will be a day full of celebration, food, family, and friends. Oh, and, I can’t forget the gifts (just in case he reads this post one day). The day is all about him. We also have this tradition in our house where the birthday boy (or girl) gets to have whatever they want for dinner (within reason because no one eats junk food for dinner).

I’ve been worried all week about this party because his favorite cake is also my favorite. Chocolate cake with white frosting – I can taste it now. I’m not a big cake person (pun intended) except when it comes to chocolate cake with white frosting. It’s my weakness and I know it’s going to be very difficult for me to avoid.

This is going to be my first true test and I’m not sure how it’s going to go. But, I do know this – I’m not going to deny myself a piece of cake if I really want it. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with me having a small piece of cake to celebrate my son’s birthday as long as I limit myself to one small piece. I may even scrape off the frosting to save calories and prevent my blood sugar from spiking. We’ll see about that. 😉

Image credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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New Trail

A New TrailI walked a new trail yesterday and it was amazing! It’s located about 30 minutes from where I live and I never knew about it until yesterday. I was born and raised in Dorchester County and it’s amazing that I’m still learning new things about it. This trail wasn’t any different. It’s located on a National Wildlife Refuge so you know the scenery was breathtaking! I definitely took a few pictures on the walk so you all can see how beautiful my county is.

As it turns out, there are quite a few walking trails within the National Wildlife Refuge; the shortest is 1/3 of a mile and the longest is 6 miles. There are also a few biking trails for when the cooler weather hits. I walked the 1/3 mile trail yesterday since it was my first time there. I had company, too, and I had so much fun!

It felt like it was 200 degrees yesterday (I really hope Fall is just around the corner) so I seriously worked up a sweat. My company and I also walked up one of the observation areas and saw a heron and a cotton mouth snake (ewww).

When it was all said and done, I earned a FitBit bonus of 595 calories!

FitBit Calorie Bonus

 

Okay, here are some photos from the trail. Enjoy!

I had so much fun on this trail and I can’t wait to go back! It’s so much closer to me, which means I can afford to drive there often. There is a fee to access the 1/3 mile and 1/2 mile trail but I’m going to purchase the annual pass for $12 – no excuses! I can take the whole family out there to walk and enjoy the sights.

Do you have any trails you love to walk?

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