Friday, March 31, 2006

You Gotta Love Fridays!!

I just love Fridays!! Nothing much to report. Just wanted to share the lyrics of a song that have been inspiring me lately. It's by Natasha Bedingfield and it's called Unwritten.

I am unwritten,
Can't read my mind
I'm undefined
I'm just beginning
The pen's in my hand
Ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words
That you could not find
Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your INHIBITIONS

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Oh, oh, oh

I break tradition
Sometimes my tries
Are outside the lines
We've been conditioned
To not make mistakes
But I can't live that way

It just seems to be a very inspirational and uplifting song. It's hopeful, and I guess it speaks to my heart because for the first time in my life I'm hopeful about achieving weight loss success.

Have a great weekend, everyone. GO GATORS!!!! GO GATORS!!!!

Friday weigh-in: 322.5/288.5/180
(some of these weight-trackers are "off" by 0.5lbs, which accounts for discrepancies)
Goal 1)

I'm not going to quibble over 0.5lbs. I'm getting the damn dumbbells!!
Goal 2)

Goal 3)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

March Mad Dash Victory!

My March Mad Dash to 290 is a success--3 days early!!
And my Florida Gators are in the Final Four!
What a GREAT month!

I'm soo excited to start working toward my next mini-goals.
"...weight loss is a big step along that road to fully realizing just how remarkable you can be--and every move you take toward that goal can help you become the all-around, inspired, inspirational person you know, deep down, that you were born to be." - Daily Dose, 3/29/06

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Baby Steps

First off, congratulations to my Mom who has lost a total of 8lbs in her first 3 weeks on Weight Watchers!!!! She is hoping to have at least a 15lb loss to show her doctor when she goes for her next physical in a couple of months.

Which brings up another Daily Dose (from Wednesday, March 22), the focus of which is the value of setting short-term goals. In my case, I started this diet having to lose 142.5lbs to reach my target weight of 180lbs (which, mind you, is still more than 20lbs heavier than the maximum recommended weight of someone my height). Most of you have no idea how daunting and overwhelming it is to think, "Gee, I lost 2lbs this week. Great! Now, I only have 140 more to go!"

So, I've started off this 12th week on NS with some new mini-goals to aim for.

1) Day 90 on NS - April 9, 2006: 288;

2) Birthday/Day 120 on NS - May 8 or 9, 2006: 280;

3) Fourth of July: 265.

Today's Weight (starting/current/goal): 322.5/291/180

Once each of these goals is met, I will treat myself to a "non-food" reward. Goal 1 = two 8-10lb dumbbells to work my triceps. Goal 2 = weekend trip away to the Florida Keys or Disney World. Goal 3 = an IPod or digital camera.

Ideally, I want to reach 180lbs by my 32nd birthday (May 8, 2007), but that's long-term and the point is not to focus too much on that. It's one meal at a time, one work-out at a time, one day at a time.

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." -- Mark Twain

Cassandre the Magnificent

For those of you non-NSers and those NSers who don't read the Daily Dose, I'd like to share this past Friday's Dose with you. I got chills when I read it the first time, and still do. I feel as though it perfectly encompasses my desires and new attitude toward my weight loss journey.

Mediocre or Magnificent?
It's time for you to make a choice. You can either settle for a life of mediocrity or make the decision to go for magnificent! Let's face it: mediocrity is oftentimes "comfortable." In fact, many of us often only aspire to a state of lifelong averageness. But imagine recruiting all 118 billion brain cells in an effort to move from average to AMAZING!
But you have to make the decision to change. Think about it: what could you change about your life right now, today? Think big. How do you want to feel, look, and experience your life? All personal greatness begins with change, and all great change is fueled by having a great reason to do so. It has been said that most people know what to do, but few people do what they know. Why not? Because they have yet to find compelling enough reasons to change.
So you need to find those reasons to change. To do so, here are some questions to ask yourself:
When you look around your life right now, do you like what you see?
When you view yourself objectively, are you inspired?
Are you energetic and strong?
Does your body reflect health and confidence?
Are your relationships honest and supportive?
Are you happy with the direction of your life?
If your life were soon to be over, would you feel that you had fully realized your purpose and potential?
This weekend, use your answers to ignite your spirit and to finally find the power to change. Use them to cross from where you are presently to where you ultimately want to be, and to keep you on track during the challenges that weekends tend to bring.
The power to make your life better is within you. It may seem elusive, and it may sometimes feel like it is too late, but the truth is that you truly do have the power to manifest your wildest dreams and desires. You've had that power within yourself all along!
The secret lies in finding reasons to change—and taking action once and for all.
I want to be MAGNIFICENT!!!

Friday, March 24, 2006

What A Difference A Week Makes

Last Friday at this time I wanted to rip my stomach out of my body and stomp on it. I was "hungover" from my junk food binge, I'd gained weight and I felt utterly miserable. But that was last Friday. Today, I can be enthusiastic and mean it when I say "Thank God It's Friday (and payday, too)!!! It's amazing what a difference a week can make in terms of perspective.

I started this week with the goal to re-dedicate myself to the NS program and, more importantly, to myself. I KNOW I can be successful on this and achieve my weight loss goals. I've been trying to change up the workouts so that I don't get bored. I even made a big ticket purchase and ordered Tony Little's Gazelle. I should be getting that in a couple of weeks, and I'm excited to start a new cardio-workout, especially one that is low/no impact and promotes increased metabolism and fat-burning. (Plus, you gotta love his commercials. LOL) I've also been putting more emphasis on my abs and arms. By the way: I have a muscle. I'm not sure where it came from, but the other day I flexed my biceps and I swear it was like Popeye after he ate a can of spinach!! I'm amazed. Must be those 12-20 wall pushups I've been doing in the bathroom stall everytime I go pee (okay, maybe I'm a little overboard, but it's working!). I've noticed that even while I'd gained weight last week, my clothes were fitting great and I continued to lose inches. Hey, I'm happy with whatever makes me look and feel smaller (loss of weight or inches).

So, yesterday I went to the doctor for some labwork and, for once, I was not scolded; I was actually praised!!! Since my last visit just over a month ago, I was down 12lbs, my blood pressure was a calm 128/78 -- so much so that I was officially able to eliminate one of the my high blood pressure medications. Talk about a great Non-Scale Victory! The doctor was very pleased and congratulated me for my efforts. When I left the clinic, I thought back about all the times over the years that I dreaded going to the doctor. EVERYTHING --menstrual cramps, back pain, headaches, a broken finger or toothache--was because I was "too heavy." It got to be so that I didn't want to go, even when I really needed to. But no more!!

I was so pumped after the doctor that I had an AWESOME workout: I did my usual 20 minutes at lunch, did Leslie Sansone's 2-mile Walk Away The Pounds (I highly recommend this GREAT series of tapes--they come in 1, 2 and 3-mile workouts), 8 minutes of squats and abwork with MaDonna Grimes and walked my dog Mosley for 2.5 miles. I was soo invigorated when I went to shower; I couldn't believe how great I felt...feel!

Finally, as of this morning, I've lost 7.5 of the 8lbs I gained since the start of my TOM 2 Fridays ago and through my fall off the healthy-food wagon last week. Which means, technically, I can still lose the 4lbs necessary to meet my March Mad Dash to 290 goal by April 1st. I'm on a mission!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Getting Back On Track

After last week's Terrible Thursday, I had a very hard time. I mean, I started working out again on Friday, but I pretty much felt sick the entire weekend. I missed working out on Sunday because I was busy, but I started right back on it yesterday and am feeling good. I have now re-dedicated myself to this program and, more importantly, to myself. I want to thank all of you NSers and all of my friends who took the time to express words of support and encouragement to help me through my "meltdown." Knowing that I wasn't alone is what really helped me through. YOU GUYS ROCK!!!! I have a little under 2 weeks left to meet my March goal to weigh 290lbs. Wish me luck.

P.S. My friend Danny is an actor/comedian who is currently performing in the off-Broadway play "Tony & Tina's Wedding." The show is doing a two-week run at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and RJ and I went to see the show on Sunday. It was a GREAT show, I had a blast (and, of course, Danny was really good!), even though I cheated and ate lunch at the "wedding buffet" table. And the best part? I got to dance with the hunky "Tony." It only cost me a dollar (and you know where I stuck it). Isn't he a cutie!?!?!

Friday, March 17, 2006

I'm An Addict

No matter that I've been "doing great". No matter that it's been more than 2 months into this new lifestyle. No matter that I truly felt that I had a "handle" on this NutriSystem program. No matter that I enjoy working out, that I no longer feel hungry or deprived, that I feel better physically than I have in years. The fact is I'm a food addict, and I always will be.

Last night I went to a high school play with a friend whose niece had a leading role (Mammy Yoakam in Lil Abner). I was doomed from the word go. I woke up late and because I had to rush to work, I didn't do my usual 25 leg lifts and 25 crunches I've been trying to get in the habit of doing. Then, because I had to dress for the play, I didn't go on my lunch time walk--I didn't want to sweat and be smelly as I wouldn't have time to go home and shower before I had to meet him at his house straight from work. I didn't have a NS dinner, but I'd already kind of half convinced myself that I could handle an evening off the program. They had hot dogs at the concession, so before the play started I had a hot dog combo (with a small bag of chips and a drink--I chose water, not soda) and a chocolate chip cookie. Not too bad, right? But that's only the beginning. During intermission I proceeded to down another hot dog and cookie. OK. Not a binge fest; nothing disgusting. But the damage was done. A couple of hours later on my way home I convinced myself that since I'd already "effed up" for the day, I may as well get away with any other little cravings I'd been having: namely, a burger. I really wanted one from Monty's, with a TON of mushrooms and sauteed onions (which, by the way, I can have unlimited quanties of on NS)...but it was late. A Wendy's classic single with cheese, no onions, would just have to do. And, of course, I just had to get a combo! So here come the Wendy's fries (not really the best in the realm of fast food French/freedom fries--McDonald's still holds that title--but they served their purpose) and a birch beer. The madness did not stop there!!! I added a 5-piece nuggets with barbecue sauce. Now, I know all of you are thinking the same thing: "Well, Cass, you know your eyes were bigger than your stomach. You've been eating soo great and soo little you couldn't possibly eat it all." And you would all be WRONG!! I ate every last crusty French fry crumb, all nuggets, all the burger and sucked the soda down to the last drop! And it was good. And I was full. And I liked it. And then I ate two spoons of peanut butter for dessert.
And today I woke up feeling hungover, as though I'd been drinking shots of tequila all night. I am still uncomfortably full and couldn't stop the projectile vomiting while I brushed my teeth. I feel sick, physically and mentally. What's worse? I'm up another 2.5lbs in addition to the 3 I put on during my TOM. I feel soo utterly terrible, so out of control and mad at myself. I can't understand why I would jeopardize my new lifestyle for a few moments of gratification, especially on a day that I'd received sooo many compliments, pats on the back for a "job well done" and encouragement to "keep up the good work". I wasn't really hungry. I should have stopped after the hot dogs. The question is could I?
Right now I'm a little stomach is still queasy so, other than my coffee, I haven't even had breakfast yet. I did get my leg lifts and crunches in this morning (I really felt antsy and anxious the whole day yesterday without the physical activity, so I wanted to get right back on that horse). I've got all my NS food lined up as usual. I can't let last night snowball...I really feel like I'll die if I do. I'm trying to look at the positives: the fact that I'm soo sick now proves that I've been doing well and I've begun to train my body to desire good, healthy foods; obviously, my stomach can no longer handle greasy, fatty fast food (no matter how good it tastes or how much my brain tells me I want it); and I did get--at least am trying--to get back right back on track with everything. I'm just sooo disappointed in myself. And it's scary to realize how close to the ledge I really am and probably always will be. Bottom line? I'm Cassandre, and I'm a food addict. Period.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Way To Go, Mom!!

Just wanted to congratulate my mom on her first successful week on Weight Watchers. She lost an amazing 5.5lbs in her first week!!! I'm soo proud of her and when I told her so, she thanked me for being her inspiration! How wonderful is that?!

Well, it's my TOM (thanks to all you NSers who helped me figure out what the hell that meant!); so i have no new weigh-in information to report. But I'll keep ya posted in a couple of days.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Sixty Days

60 days on NS and I've lost 28.5lbs!!!
That breaks down to
0.0198 pounds an hour;
0.475 pounds a day;
3.35 pounds a week; or
14.25 pounds a month!!!
I really don't care how it breaks down, just so long as it keeps coming off!!!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

What's Happening To Me?!

It's confession time: I like working out! Rather than looking forward to the day I can take off, I find myself experiencing the need to go. Last year, when I first started walking, I would get on the treadmill and huff and puff for an hour and I got sooo bored. I came to dread it: I would get dressed in sweats and mill about the house for hours finding every excuse not to jump onto the treadmill. But now, it doesn't seem like a chore anymore. I mean, with the walkman and my dog it's more like an after dinner stroll (at 3mph); when I view it that way, there's no dreading it and, therefore, no desire to take a day off. (OK, maybe only the walking doesn't seem like chore. I certainly don't look forward to MaDonna's 10 minutes of hell--which, by the way, I can do everything now except the floor crunches. She's a beast!! But I can get through ALL of the squats, which is a definite improvement.)
Also, I've been trying to increase the amount of upperbody and abdominal exercises I'm doing. This past week I added about 80-100 leg lifts (4 sets of 20 or 25 reps: a set in the morning, one before and after my evening walk and one before I go to bed). I've also been using Pilates resistance bands to work my upper body. Because of my blod clotting issues, I can't think about having surgery to "nip" and "tuck" excess skin when I reach my goal, so I figure I have to do as much toning as I can along the way.
Part of me worries that this newfound enthusiasm will be fleeting, but then I remember that one of the biggest detriments to my success is dwelling on my past failures. THIS WILL NOT BE ONE OF THOSE TIMES!!!! I am a different person than I was then; I have a different perspective and handle on things. I know I can do this.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Success Feeds Off Itself

Happy Monday!! I know, I know, that's an oxymoron, for sure! Anyway, today starts week 9 on NS (Thursday is day 60); I really didn't think I'd last this long (and it's only been 2 months!!). My weight loss to date totals 26.0lbs, a weekly average of 3.25lbs GONE! I have to admit I'm pretty friggin' happy. I've gotten so much encouragement and support from my family, friends and NS buddies that it's starting to become a breeze. My mom's so inspired by my initial success that she's joined up with Weight Watchers and starts today! Success Breeds Success!!
When I see the number on the scale getting smaller, it makes it easier to be "good" that day. When I feel my pants are baggier, my shirts roomier and my bra looser, it makes me want to go work out (OK, so maybe I'm not so thrilled about my bra size getting smaller, but I can't have EVERYTHING).
When my co-workers notice my face is thinner or my waist is smaller (one even called me "Slim" this morning), I find it easier to choke down another cup of yogurt.

Despite the obstacles, like my little fiasco with the crazy homeless guy last Tuesday*, I find that concentrating the little victories here and there (finding more wiggle room in my arm chair, for example) will help me along my journey. I can't dwell on past failures (I'd have a LOT to dwell on). This journey is all about today forward.

* Okay, about the homeless guy: for the past couple of weeks, I've been taking a brisk 20 minute walk during my lunch break. I work in downtown Miami near the courthouse, an area bustling with people at nearly all times. Well, walking back toward the office, a crazy homeless guy decided I was in his path (we were on a sidewalk that could probably fit 6-8 people standing side to side). He goes to shove me but, first, balls his hands into fists and proceeds to punch the ever-loving "sugar" out of me. One fist slams my necklace pendant and grandfather's ring against my chest and the other fist hits my arm, just below my shoulder. At the same time he yells, "Get the F&@# out of my way!!" He knocked the breath out of me and I spent about 20 seconds if it even happened because all of the other people on the street went on about their business like nothing happened. FINALLY, a woman approaches me and asks me if I'm hurt or if he stole anything 'cause he'd been "doing that to people along the street." Why, if she'd witnessed this, did she not call the cops, I don't know, but that's Miami for you. I was more than a little shaken up, but I'm ok now, and the point is: I did not allow this incident to prevent me from continuing my daily lunch walk. Instead, I took the opportunity to strengthen my resolve not to allow anyone or anything to deter me from my mission.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Focusing On What I Want

I WANT people to stop telling me I'd be soo pretty "if only".
I WANT to be able to buy clothing in a department store not designated for "plus sizes."
I WANT to go places and never worry that the chairs might be too small or the walk too long.
I WANT to eat a candy bar or ice cream cone and not feel like everyone's staring at me thinking "she really shouldn't be eating that."
I WANT to ride an airplane and not have to secretly ask the stewardess for a seatbelt extender.
I WANT to walk down the street and hear men whistle cause they think I'm hot rather than "beep" at me like I'm a truck in reverse.
I WANT to go to a club and be able to dance to more than one song without feeling like I'm gonna pass out.
I WANT to not weigh more than the average NFL player.
I WANT to stop having to use the handicapped stall in public restrooms.
IF I ever get married, I WANT my husband to be able to carry me over the threshold and not get a hernia.
I WANT to step on a footstool or ladder and not worry it'll buckle under my weight.
I WANT to look good in a two-piece bathing suit.
I WANT to be able to borrow clothing from my skinny friends' closets.
I WANT to like looking at myself in the mirror.
I WANT to go to a theme park and not get pulled out of line cause I'm too fat to ride the rollercoaster.
I WANT to be noticed for my great smile, rather than my fat ass.
I WANT to be happy with myself.
I WANT to live a healthy life.

I WANT all of these things more than I want the Snickers bar I've been craving; more than I want to skip today's workout; more than I want to throw my scale onto I-95; more than I want to give up!

I WANT to remember that


Friday, March 03, 2006

March Madness...

Well, as you know, I reached my first mini-goal to break the 300lb mark by March 1st. What a great feeling to have set a goal and accomplished it (and look better for doing so)! I thought about it for a couple of days and decided that my next goal will be to reach 290 by April 1st--that's a goal to lose 10.5lbs this month. I'm calling it my "March Mad Dash to 290"!! Wish me luck!!