Sunday, April 30, 2006

Less Than 100lbs To Go!!

I almost don't know how to report my progress without feeling a little guilty! I'm just soo excited and pleased and giddy and incredulous, it's nauseating! LOL. To date, the end of Week 16 on NS, I have lost 44lbs!! That's a rate of 2.75lbs a week (I lost 13lbs this month alone)! I reached my birthday goal 8 days early! And what's better than that?! Officially, I now have less than 100 pounds to lose! When I started, 142.5 was the magic number--not what I wanted to weigh, but what I wanted to lose. I have a number of friends that weigh less than that. But now, as daunting as it seems, I only have 98.5lbs to go! I now believe I can do it...heck, I believe I can FLY!!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Virtual Reality

Meet my virtual model, MizCass. She's a trim 180 pounds (relatively speaking), and this is what I'm hoping my body will more or less look like by my birthday in 2007. I only have about 102 pounds to go and twelve months to get there! {sigh}

On the upside, though, as of today I am down a total of 40.5 pounds! When I got on the scale this morning I could hardly believe it. 107 days ago I never thought that I would be able to get through even the first box of food, let alone be ready to receive my 5th order! I'm proud that I was able to commit myself for nearly a third of a year to something--anything for that matter, cause I have a short attention span: I'm always very enthused about a myriad of ideas, but not so good about following through. So, in addition to the physical benefits of the weight loss, this is a personal victory in terms of self-discipline, setting and achieving goals and overcoming obstacles.

I now realize that I'm going to have to take the lessons I'm learning from this weight loss effort and apply them to other aspects of my life. For example, on NS I've had to learn not to "give-in" to junk food cravings or the urge not to exercise, no matter how I try and rationalize and/or justify them. I've had to learn to ignore and disassociate myself from those people and things that are a bar to my success. I've had to build confidence in myself so that I'm not too embarrassed to go out and walk (people are cruel--I've even been stopped and told "you know, you really should be running!"); eventually I want to add swimming to my workouts and I have to be comfortable enough to go to the pool in a bathing suit without worrying about being harpooned. I have to develop a new attitude while I'm developing my new body: I AM WORTHY! I deserve to be fit and healthy and look good.

Theoretically, it's not impossible for me to be at goal next year; I mean, if I keep losing at a rate of about 1.88 pounds a week I can do it. It HAS been done before, which means I can do it too (talk about ego!! it's kind of like my sudoku obsession--if there's a solution, gosh-darn it I should be able to figure it out)!! I've just got to keep focusing on my mini-goals. So, I've got 2 more pounds to lose in the next 12 days. When I make that goal, I'm going to treat myself to a nice little road trip...the only question is: who's coming with me? ;-)

Montage III

Friends are the family you choose for family's dysfunctional! LOL

Montage II

Every Blog Needs a Montage...a Montage!

Just a couple of shots of me, some of my friends...and Shaq!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Inspiration from the Jazzman!

I did not write this; however, I was very moved and felt it worthy of passing along.

Posted by: TheJazzman Feb 24 2005, 10:09 PM

A time comes in your life when you finally get it. When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out - ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes. This is your awakening.You realize that it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change, to for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella and that in the real world there aren't always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter). And that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with YOU, and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect, and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are and it's OK. (They are entitled to their own views and opinions.) And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself, and in the process a sense of newly found confidence is born of self approval.You stop bitching and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected. You learn that not everyone will always be there for you, and that it's not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own and take care of yourself and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of seft-reliance.You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are and to over look their short comings and human frailties and in the process a sense of peace and contentment are born of forgiveness.You realize that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all the crap you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look, how much you shouldn't weigh, what you should wear, where you should shop, what you should drive, how and where you should live, what you should do for a living, who you should sleep with, who you should marry, what you should expect of a marriage, the importance of having an raising children, or what you owe your parents.You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for. You learn the difference between wanting and needing, and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with, and in the process you learn to go with your instincts. You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility, and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry, and that martyrs get burned at the stake.Then you learn about love, romantic love and familial love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving, and when to walk away. You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship. You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable, or important because of the man or woman on your arm or the child that bears your name.You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them to be. You stop trying to control people, situations, and outcomes. You learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love and you that you don't have the right to demand love on your terms, just to make yourself happy. And, you learn that alone does not mean lonely.And you look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a perfect 10 and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you "stack up". You also stop working so hard at putting feelings aside, smoothing things over, and ignoring your own needs.You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK... that it is your right to want things that you want and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands. You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity, and respect and you will not settle for anything less. And you allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you to glorify you with his or her touch and in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect.And you learn that your body really is your temple. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water, and taking more time to exercise. You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear, so you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul, so you take more time to laugh and to play.You learn that for the most part in life you get what you believe you deserve and that much of life is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for, and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success, you need direction, discipline, and perseverance.You also learn that no one can do it all alone and it's OK to risk asking for help. You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time: FEAR IT'SELF. You learn to step right into and through your fears, because you know that whatever happens you can handle it, and to give into fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms.You learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom. You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve, and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things. You learn that God isn't punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It's just life happening. And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state - the ego.You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy, and resentment must be understood and redirected, or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls. You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things you take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: A full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower, Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself by yourself, and you try to make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never ever settle for less than your heart's desire. And you hand a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make a point to keep smiling, keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.Finally, with courage in your heart and with God by your side, you take a stand, you take a deep breath, and you begin, as best as you can, to design the life you want to live.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Always Remember...

"If you must begin then go all the way, because if you begin and quit, the unfinished business you have left behind begins to haunt you all the time." – Chogyam Trungpa

End of Week 15

Because of having to take "before" and "progress" photos, I've been taking a lot more pictures in general. This photo was taken at the Marlins home opener of my "brotha from another motha" Joe, yet another zany character. And, yes...this is what he normally looks like.

It's been a slow week in terms of weight loss progress. But as I've realized, I only lose weight about two or two-and-a-half weeks a month: usually the first week of the month I lose a couple of pounds, then my weight gradually goes up during my TOM. It stays that way for about a week, spikes even higher for a couple of days and then during the last 10-12 days of the month I drop, like, 6-8 lbs. Knowing this eases the anxiety of seeing the numbers go up on the scale, but it doesn't erase it, and I often spend those weeks in a bit of a funk. I probably shouldn't weigh myself during those days, but if don't then I won't be able to keep accurate track (which has helped me notice these patterns to begin with). {SIGH} Everyone says, "Be patient," or "Just keep doing what you're doing." And they're right, of course, but sh*t! This is EVERY FRIGGIN' DAY; EVERY FREAKIN' HOUR; EVERY F%$#*N' MEAL!!! It's soo tiresome, sometimes. I know, I know. I gotta focus on the big picture: how my health is improving, the progress I've already made, blah, blah, blah. Look, I'm not belittling what I've accomplished. Sometimes I have to grab the old photos to sort of "pinch" myself into remembering I have made progress. But, like I was telling my dad the other day, I get up, weigh myself, 5 minutes of exercise, go to work, walk a mile at lunch, come home from work, do at least 60 minutes of cardio, eat, prepare food for the next day--in between all of which I have to follow the NS food plan & chug 8 glasses of water--and when I go to sleep, thinking how proud of myself I am that I had a 100% day, I remember that, guess what? I gotta to repeat all that f*&^$n' s*#t again tomorrow!!!! And the next day, and the next day, and the day after that....and if I don't, then none of what I did before makes a gosh-darn bit of difference!!!

****Deep breath*******

What a pessimist I am. Sometimes the rant just takes ahold of you...just ask Dennis Miller. And despite all of that, I'm actually feeling pretty good today. I'm finally at those last 10-12 days of the month and I'm hoping to see the numbers continue to go down. I still feel pretty good about being able to make my birthday goal.

IRONY: I've spent my entire life hating the fact that my weight would forever be a factor in my "love" life (or lack thereof), because, let's face it, who wants to date a fat chick? And most guys I've been interested in have pretty much proved that to me. You could be bright, funny or whatever, but if you're fat most guys won't even bother to get to know you. But just in the last couple of weeks, I've had two guys tell me how "fat is sexy" and that my weight "doesn't matter." Isn't it ironic that I'd meet these fellas as I'm on the way down the scale?!? Go friggin' figure. LOL

Friday, April 21, 2006

Another Zany Character

This shot is of my friend Scott. I've decided this is what I aspire to...the picture of health and fitness...everything in moderation, of course. Why do all my friends look sooo f%$^ed up??!!?!?! (See February 16th post)

Progress Pics II

Okay, so I'm not sucking in my stomach here either. For some reason, as my sister pointed out, I look happier in my "before" photo than I do in the progress pic. I just want to explain that I just woke up in the second picture. Ummm...I guess, it's true that fat(ter) people are "jolly". (I definitely gotta get the distances right for the next set of pics.)

Progress Pics

Well, the pictures on the right show my progress over approximately 80 days on NS. The first photo was taken on Day 11 (I weighed 313.5lbs in the first one and 287 in the second). I know it totally looks like I'm sucking my stomach in in the second one, but I'm not. It's nice to be able to see some progress.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tackling the Next 90

So, 93 days in and I feel great. I achieved my goal to reach 288 by Day 90 (Sunday) and on that day I weighed in at 287! (Time to get those dumbbells.) It's my TOM so the weight loss over this past week has been at a near stand-still, but at least I know why. I've got about 26 days to lose another 5lbs so that I can make my birthday goal. I feel very confident. I took some new photos so I can really see the difference 90 days made; I hope to post them soon.

My Gazelle arrived on Friday afternoon and Danny put it together for me Saturday morning. I gotta tell ya: it is sooo much fun!! I didn't realize I would actually enjoy a workout as much as I enjoy using that machine. I realize part of it is the novelty of the item, but I find myself jumping on it for 5 or 10 minutes at a time, even just during a TV commercial! It's better than my treadmill because it's not electric and therefore makes no noise. I don't have to turn the TV volume level to deafening in order to get through the workout, and I can have a conversation with someone next to me without having to stop & turn everything off. It even has a computer that tracks speed, distance, approximate calories burned, an odometer that keeps track of use since the beginning and a sensor to measure your pulse. Let's see if it's as good at helping me burn fat as it is fun to do.

I have to give myself a pat on the back here. During this past week I have socialized quite a bit: I went to Monty's for stone crabs to celebrate the Gator NCAA Hoop championship; I had Danny over for a movie; I went to my friend Diane's for a "jam" session with Danny and RJ; and yesterday was the Marlins game. In the past, during any one of those situations, I could easily have consumed thousands of calories in alcohol and junk food. (I'm ashamed to admit that, at times, that may even have been the GOAL). But now I've been able to excercise some control and despite deviating from the NS food, I still lost weight! I think part of the reason is that I did not compromise my work-outs.

NSV: Yesterday afternoon, I went to the Marlins home opener and I was very pleased to notice I had more room in my seat!! For once I didn't feel like all my fat was spilling over onto the people sitting next to me or that I had to squeeze past people in the rows worrying that my ass might knock over their beer or popcorn bucket. Also, the shorts I wore were the same ones I wore to the last game I went to (sometime in June) and they were MUCH looser -- in fact, I probably shouldn't have been wearing them last year. Now that I'm losing weight, I've learned how my clothes are supposed to fit. LOL.

MOMMY UPDATE: My mom has lost a total of 13lbs in 5 weeks on WW!! Everytime she loses a pound I feel like I lost it too!


Tuesday, April 04, 2006



More importantly, my mom's weight loss after 4 weeks on Weight Watchers totals 10lbs!!!! She's soo proud of her little pink ribbon commemorating her achievement (I guess WW prefers ribbons over bears). This month is just starting out great!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Springing Into Action!

As I end this 12th week on Nutrisystem, I look back to that first couple of weeks and how I thought I'd NEVER be able to follow this program or be successful. But I was wrong. I never really thought 3 months was a long time, but when I think of the difference the past 83 days has made in my life, I'm AMAZED. My clothes fit better; I even have a couple of pairs of pants that no longer stay up on me. I feel light on my feet and energized. I just feel GREAT!

It's a new month and I have a new goal--actually, it's the same goal I had from the start: to lose 40lbs in 4months on the program. That means I'd like to be at 280 by my birthday, May 8th (or 9th, since that's actually the 120th day on the program). Today, I weighed in at 286.5, which brings my 12-week total to 36lbs! Who'd have thought I'd have been able to maintain a 3lb-a-week rate of loss through 3 months! Just goes to show one really can do anything one puts his/her mind to.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Florida Represents!

Well, my Florida Gators did it and are going to the Finals!!! Most people in South Florida are Gator-haters, but they're the team in the Finals and I'm thrilled.