Friday, November 30, 2012

30DoB - D11 - one rule only...

I have a theory about myself.

I think that if I follow only ONE food rule, I would lose weight and keep it off.

Any guess as to what rule that is?

You guessed it.  The rule that (in theory) would help me to lose weight and keep it off is this:


so many pictures came up when I googled those words!
 I always eat in front of the TV.  This is almost not an exaggeration.  The only exceptions are when I'm on the go (eating in the car on the way to class, or actually eating IN class) or when I'm out to eat.  And even then, sometimes there is a TV.

I just really think that if I could stop this bad habit, that if I could just turn the TV off while I eat... then I would be forced to focus on my hunger signals.  Eventually, that alone would result in weight loss and then weight maintenance.

So, that's  my new plan.  No more TV eating.  I'm sure that I will slip up sometimes, because it's something that I've done my entire life.  And I'm sure that sometimes I will still do it on purpose, when I'm with family or friends and it would make less sense to leave the room to eat than it would to just go ahead and enjoy the company.

As with all STRICT rules, this one may backfire.  I may end up freaking out and overeating chips and snack cakes while watching Nick at Nite...  oh wait, I did that today.  So there is no real risk in giving this a try.  My crazy grieving appetite just won't shut up, and all it wants is JUNK. 

But really, I want that good ole' junk/TV combo.  Which I am going to stop that bad habit cold turkey and see what happens.

I will report back my findings.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

30DoB - D10 - Things I will miss when I move to NYC...

I don't know if any of you noticed, but there has been a countdown over there ------->  which passed by on my 28th birthday. 

A couple of years ago, before I went back to school and decided that I wanted to be a lawyer, back when my only dream for the future was to move to New York City, I started that countdown and made it my goal to move there by my 28th birthday.

I quit smoking and started saving the money that I had been spending on cigarettes towards my move to NYC.  My plan was to save $10,000 to move and get settled while looking for work for a few months.

However, my plans changed.  I still saved a bunch of money in a little over a  year, but instead of moving to NYC by age 28 with no education and very little job prospects, I went back to school and pushed my NY move to age 29, when I get accepted and attend Columbia Law.  :-)

Without a job for a year, my savings are almost gone.  But I guess that's okay because I'm in school.

There are a few benefits to where I live now, and I thought that I would write a post to help remind myself why I'm lucky to live in a Memphis apartment instead of a NYC one.  )Sorry that our place isn't cleaned up, so if these pictures aren't beautiful... oh well.  I tried to angle the shots to miss the messes.)

1) a 2nd bedroom.  Stacey and I live in a 2 bedroom apartment, and use the 2nd bedroom as guest/storage/exercise room.  There is a TV in there too, so sometimes Stacey will watch football when I'm busy watching Sister Wives or doing homework in the living room on a Sunday night.

2) a half bath in the master bedroom.  Yep, we have not one, but TWO toilets.  And that picture of the woman showering?  That's a Leah K. New original.  I went through a painting phase in my early twenties...  I still think about picking up a brush again some day!

3) a dishwasher.  Every NYC apartment I've been in does not feature one of these guys.  And I am not going to take it for granted while I still have one!

4) Washer and dryer in unit!  Yes these are ancient units, and yes one has stickers on it that are left from a previous tenant that I can not scrub off...  but I love having these bad boys.  So much better than laundromats to me.

5) I get to live with dogs.  I'm scared that I may not be able to bring them to NYC with me.  It may not be fair to them with my being so busy with law school and not having the money to hire a dog walker... but we will see.  I hope to be able to move Diva and Jacques with me for the rest of their lives.

And of course, I get to live in this apartment for less than half the cost of living in a one bedroom NYC apartment.  So there are plenty of good things about where I'm at.

But... as awesome as my apartment is, it's not in New  York City.  But don't worry, guys.  I'll get there.  The new goal in fall 2014, which is getting pretty close.  :-)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

30 Days of Blogging - Day 9 - Mom's Tree

As you all know, I'm always looking for new ways to honor my mom.  My grief counselor gave me a really great idea a few weeks ago, and I was able to impliment it (with help from my dad and brother) a few nights ago.

The idea is this:  A Memorial Ornament Party.  What is that, exactly?

It's when a bunch of people who lost a loved one gather at the home of the family of said loved one, each person bringing a Christmas ornament that reminds them of the person lost.  Everyonoe explains their choice, maybe tells a story or two to go with it, then takes turns hanging their ornaments on the tree. 

When I heard this idea, I immediately knew that it was perfect for our family.  Mom loved Christmas so much.  Her favorite part was always decorating the tree with my brother and me.  This year, I was dreading that part, and considered skipping it entirely.  But when I heard about the memorial ornament party, I knew Mom would love it.

So my brother and I gathered a bunch of family and friends to Dad's house, and we had our party.  Everyone who attended took it seriously; no one was just humoring me.  I think that this activity helped everyone involved to feel closer to Mom.

Here's the finished product:

Of course, ornaments are still on their way via snail mail from relatives who could not make it to the party, so it's not complete quite yet, but it's beautifully gaudy, just like Mom always liked her tree to be. 

After we each hung our ornaments, we all put the icicles (tinsel) on, which was Mom's favorite part of decorating the tree every year.  I really felt her presence at that moment, surrounded by people who she loved so much, doing something that she loved so much.  It was magical.

The next day, we found her beloved JCPenney snow globe collection and displayed those as well.  Unfortunately those jerks at JCP discontinued the tradition this year (I'm so upset about the timing.  Please sign my petition to get them to bring them back in 2013).

I'm feeling pretty good about the decorations being out!  They remind me of Mom. 

after decorating the tree December 2011

Thursday, November 22, 2012

30 Days of Blogging - Day 8 - Thanksgiving!!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I hope that all of you (who celebrate American Thanksgiving!) had fantastic days filled with happy family memories.
I managed to have a good time with Stacey's family, who is starting to feel like my family.  I can't believe that it has taken almost 5 years to feel that way, but tonight I just really felt accepted and loved by his family.  Perhaps they were super nice to me because they know that this was my first holiday season without a mom... or maybe they have always been this nice and I'm just now noticing (Stacey's theory).  Either way, I was very grateful to feel embraced by them. 

His sister hosted a big meal, and she made special vegetarian food for me.  I felt very loved!  Usually I bring my own food to  these things, but she said to not bother with that, that it was no problem to cook some extra for just me.  :-)  So I enjoyed a meal of spaghetti, potatoes, and vegetarian stuffing. 

The morning was filled with tears, because it hit me (AGAIN) how sad I am that Mom is gone and never coming back.  I debated not even going to Stacey's family thing, and instead staying home feeling sorry for myself.

I'm so glad that I chose to go. 

I'm so glad that Stacey's family was so nice to and accepting of me.  I'm thankful for all of them, especially Stacey.

And I'm very thankful to have had 27 years with the best mom in the entire world.

Mom and me, Thanksgiving 2010

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

30 Days of Blogging - Day 7 - Snuggling Chihuahuas

Yeah... After FINALLY being done with both a giant paper and a big presentation, we're all ready to just chill-ax.  Apparently all of my hard work has tired Diva and Jacques out.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

30 Days of Blogging - Day 6: Paper Writing!

This is a fun post to look at if you've ever wondered what I look like when I'm stressed and writing a paper that is due TOMORROW AT NOON.

6 in the morning, woo-hoo!!!
Notice the greasy unwashed hair and face.  This is the face of a trooper.  The face of a student who stayed up late working on this paper only to wake up early and start again.  The face of someone who has had months to work on this paper and still is not done. 

Same face a few minutes later, upon remembering exactly how much of her grade depends on this one paper.

Time to get to work, but maybe I'll post a blog first so that I don't accidentally skip today's blog...  Surely that's an acceptable way to procrastinate for a few minutes?

Exhasted and crazed, but this face will live to see another day.  Tomorrow this paper will be a thing of the past.

Monday, November 19, 2012

30 Days of Blogging - Day 5 - Hungry People

I am taking a class called "Human Rights and World Politics" (I'm a political science major!) and today's topic was extremely depressing.

World hunger. 

There were some very upsetting stats brought up, including this one:  Every 5 seconds, a child dies from hunger.

And that not only depresses me, it makes me feel guilty for being so overweight.  I mean, there are people going to bed HUNGRY every night, and people dying of malnutrition.  And here I am, wasting food every week.  50 pounds overweight.

Eating snack cakes and not eating healthy foods, even though they are all readily available for me.

It was such a hard reality check for me.

Not that knowing these facts about starving people can magically cure me of my food addiction.  But this is very eye-opening, and I hope that one day I will be able to help in this devestating world wide crisis.

Here's a link about how to solve world hunger, which seems like a really good source:

Anyway, I hope that I didn't depress you guys too much.  I just thought that I would share this sobering moment with you all.

Knowledge is power.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012

30 Days of Blogging - Day 3 - Mom with dogs

This is a picture only blog entry!  I will probably do that on the weekends, since no one really reads the weekend posts.

My three angels: Mom (1960-2012) with Rose (1997-2012) and Stuffy (1987- 2004)

I hope that you have enjoyed seeing these pictures!  I love how I had a mom who truly loved dogs, and I know that she is with Stuffy and Rose now.  I want no part of an afterlife without my dogs, and neither did Mom!  We talked about it plenty when she was alive, and it gives me comfort to know that not only were plenty of human family members waiting to greet Mom, but there were also several beloved dogs.

Friday, November 16, 2012

30 Days of Blogging - Day 2: Measurements!!!

It's been exactly one month since the last time that I took my measurements, and since I'm blogging daily I thought that it would be the perfect topic.

Lately I've been contemplating giving up on the scale and instead taking weekly pictures of myself and monthly measurements.  I figure that what gets me off track whenever I give up the scale isn't that I don't know my weight.  It's that I don't have a weekly ritual to look forward to.  Why care about what I eat or how much I exercise if there won't be evidence at the end of the week?  So maybe if I take a weekly photo of myself, that would be something.  But I'm not giving up on the scale just yet, because I think that it is a helpful tool for me at this stage.

I know that the photo would not change drastically from week to week, but over time I have to believe that it will.  And wouldn't that make a cool flip book some day, when I've gone from a size 18 to a size 12?  I think so.

Anyway, here were my measurements today (the difference between now and September 16th):

neck- 13 (-1)
boobs- 42.5 (0)
under boobs- 37 (-1.5)
wrist- 6 (0)
upper arm- 15 (0)
forearm- 9.5 (0)
tiny waist- 35.5 (-2.5)
belly button- 44 (0)
butt- 52 (0)
thigh, widest- 28 (0)
thigh, smallest- 21 (0)
calf- 16.5 (0)
ankle- 10 (0)

So in the past two months I've lost 5 inches from all over my body.  This would be cause for celebration, but...  I took my measurements a month ago (and have since lost them!) and the number was 5 inches lost then, too.  So I haven't really lost any inches since October 16th, which stinks.

But hey, I kept those 5 inches off for a month, which is great!  Still, I'm going to aim to lose more by the end of this blogging challenge.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

30 Days of Blogging - Day 1: Cousins!

Carrie, Me, Debbie, Mollie

I thought that I would start my blogging challenge with a topic that is very dear to me: cousins.

I have many cousins (one side of my family is Catholic) and we have always been very close.

Unfortunately there was a big case of family betrayal last year that resulted in a portion of my family being disowned, many of them cousins.  i won't go into any more details than that, other than to say that it still breaks my heart, but apparently the universe decided that the last twelve months of my life needed to resemble a soap opera as much as possible.  Well played, Universe.

Anyway, I still have so many cousins in town, and I love them all very much.  We are all around the same age, and are more like best friends than cousins. 

Last night we went to Paint-A-Piece and each designed a plate.  Mine is going to be a christmas cookie plate.  :-)

I appreciate all that they are, and all that they do.  I can't imagine having gone through the last few months without the support of my amazing cousins.  I may have lost a mom, but they lost a wonderful aunt. 

I'm so lucky to have these guys.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

30 Day Blogging Challenge - I'm making this one up, y'all.

Okay, so I've noticed (any perhaps you have, too) that it's been awhile since I've blogged regularly.

I could come up with a million excuses.  Would you like to hear the top five?  Here they are-

  1. I'm really busy with school right now!  Papers due, finals, etc.
  2. I'm still really distracted with my grief, and miss Mom so much it hurts too much to focus on anything other than things that I absolutely MUST focus on (see #1) and even those can be daunting at times.  I've missed more classes this semester than ever before.  I don't have perfect attendence in ANY class, which is weird for me.
  3. I've gotten WAY off track with my eating.  I wasn't even able to stick to my one-week-at-a-time thing for more than three weeks.  I'm overeating and not tracking one day, then tracking but still eating junk food the next day.  Rarely do I see a vegetable or a whole grain, unless you count the fakey onion bits on a sour cream and onion potato chips (or the potato, for that matter).  Therefore, it's really tough to blog on here, where I am supposed to be a role model (sort of...).
  4. I just don't feel like blogging.  So there.
  5. I'm worried that if I blog too much about new ideas that I have, you guys won't take me seriously anymore, because I'm flip-flopped plans and ideas so much in the past.  Therefore, I feel like if I don't blog about it, no one will know, and no one can judge...
Okay, so those are pretty much the top five reasons that I have not been blogging regularly.  And every single one of those is a legitimate reason to not blog.  Right?  ;-)

Anyway, I've decided that perhaps I could try to do a blogging challenge.

Instead of finding one that I like, I have decided to create one.  Every day for thirty days there will be a topic.  The challenge will run November 15 through December 15, and the point is that I will post something every day. 

I've always believed in quality over quantity when it comes to blog posts.  However, please ignore that belief for the next 30 days, because there are sure to be some really poor quality posts in there.

Some will be only pictures, others will contain only a few words, and some will be well thought out and beautiful.  But the latter of the three will probably not happen too often, as this is a very busy time of the year for a student!!!

I hope that you enjoy the next 30 days of my blog.  I also hope that I benefit in some way from regular blogging.  I think that it will be therapeutic and rewarding for me.

Stacey and Jacques snuggle up for a Cowboys game!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Naturally Thin?

Is anyone truly naturally thin?  Are there folks out there who eat only when hungry and only until satisfied, and to whom that behavior just comes... naturally?

I am so jealous.
Yes I know that SMG probably isn't naturally thin,
but the character of Buffy Summers totally is.  Yes, I'm crazy.

Because, as much as I have tried to be one of them, I'm not.

But here I go again, giving this intuitive eating thing a try.  But only for one week this time!  Possibly two, if I think that I'm getting the hang of it by Saturday.

I'm still doing the "one week at a time" approach to dieting, and so far it's working out.

This week (which started on Saturday for me, as all of my weight loss weeks do), I'm doing Intuitive Eating/"Diets Don't Work".  I will still be focusing on getting plenty of sleep, drinking plenty of water, and doing plenty of exercise.  But I will not be tracking my food.

Instead, I will be just listening to my hunger signals.  Which is tough.  This may require me to eat with the TV turned off, which is a huge struggle for me.  I do think that if I ever want to truly learn to listen to my hunger signals that the TV will have to go off while I eat, at least for awhile.

I think that alone would result in my eating a LOT less, because I truly enjoy eating while watching TV and if that's not available to me, why would I overeat, sitting alone without the company of the TV?  Trying to truly enjoy THE FOOD instead of enjoying THE TV and mindlessly eating the "food" (I tend to mostly eat "franken-foods" while I watch TV).

Anyway, here I go again, on another attempt at being an intuitive eater.  But this time, it's not a true attempt, because I fully plan to go back to using MFP within a week or two.  I think that the pressure of "forever" the last times that I tried IE got to me.  One week at a time, even with IE, will hopefully be just what I need.

Will I ever be naturally thin?  I actually do believe that I will be.  But it may still be a few years away.  It is a goal of mine still, and I will NEVER give up on that goal.  Just like my goal to move to NYC, I will have to make and stick to a plan in order to make it happen; it won't happen just because I want it to.  Through trial and error, practicing IE, and never giving up, I will one day be my version of naturally thin.

What is my version of naturally thin?  The next paragraph is how I want to eat some day:

I eat whatever I want, no restrictions.  However, because of years of working healthy diets, I will usually turn towards healthy and whole options because that is just what my body wants and what I crave.  Food has absolutely no moral meaning to me.  I eat a Kit-Kat bar just like I eat a Green Monster:  because it tastes good and it's what my body craves.  Also, I eat only when hungry and I always stop before I get uncomfortably full.  There may be special occasions when that previous sentence doesn't apply, and I will on those special days sometimes overeat, but I will feel no guilt about it and easily go right back to listening to my hunger signals.  I have worn the same jeans size for  years, because my weight no longer fluctuates.  I got down to my healthy weight and have been able to easily stay there, because now I'm naturally thin.

Notice that nowhere in there did I say my weight or pants size.  To me, naturally thin is not about a specific number.  It's more about the behavior and how comfortable I am in my own skin.  If I could do all of the above at my current weight, then by my definition I would be naturally thin.

Anyway, that still seems like a fairy-tale most of the time.  Because of years of disordered eating and dieting and hating my body's appearance, it may be awhile before I get there.  But I will get there, don't  you worry. It will take a long time, and plenty of ups and downs, but I will be naturally thin one day.

Here are last week's stats:

Weight Update
week three start weight: 200.0
end of week three weight: 199.0
total weight loss for week: 1 pounds
total weight loss since 28th birthday (10/07/12): 5.4 pounds

I love when Diva relaxes so hard that she literally smiles!

What are your long-term goals when it comes to
diet and exercise?