Breaking the Barriers

Breaking the Barriers

I have never stuck to a diet past 30-35 pounds. Time and time again I have struggled with  boredom, exhaustion and plain old complacency. I get to the point where I have passed 30 pounds and I start taking short-cuts. Or I start giving up. Or I start letting myself cheat a little more because I am doing so well.

Then it is over.

It is a barrier I have never seemed to have broken. I struggle against it and I think it is partially because I start thinking it will be too hard to lose the next so many pounds.

Well, guys, guess what? I broke the barrier!

That is right. I lost 4 pounds this week. I am officially 36 pounds down! Do you know what that means??

It means:

A) I have surpassed previous diets!

B) I have passed my 35 lb mark!

C) I get to plan my staycation!!!!

D) I am 1.5 pounds away from a halfway mark to my first goal (Onederland)

Exciting news aaaalllll around!

I was so excited that I flopped onto my bed and immediately began to try and figure out how much of a percentage that is. I nearly squealed when I saw it: 13.25%. I have lost 13.25% of my weight since I started this new lifestyle.

My theory is that this time around I truly did change my lifestyle. I don’t cheat anymore. I make healthy choices at restaurants, I get excited about making healthy dinners and I have been trying new ways to make vegetables every few days. I also love working out. I find I get cranky if I don’t get my full walk in. I really have gone far!

I also have learned to celebrate without food. This was a HUGE one. I don’t reward my weight loss with bad food. I don’t reward my promotions with junk. I don’t celebrate family get-togethers by making myself sick on buttery, salty food.

On the other side of the spectrum, I don’t comfort myself with food. This was a far bigger struggle than anything. I would buy stuff like chicken strips with fries and gravy when I had a bad day. I would get comfort from eating. This was harder. I had to rely on my family to help get me over this one and I still feel like it is a struggle.

HOWEVER,

I had a horrible day this week. Just absolutely terrible. I found myself at odds with my boss who had once been rather friendly with me. In the past six months we have constantly been at odds and I feel it came to a head this week. So when it came time for lunch, the urge to break my diet was there. Just one time, right? It wouldn’t hurt anything.

Well, be proud of me! Instead I asked my family to lunch. We all went to a restaurant I knew I could eat at. I made healthy choices and confessed the entire situation to my parents and sister. By the time I left, I felt amazing. I felt lighter in my heart and light in my stomach! I hadn’t relied on food to make me feel better.

I know it is silly, but looking back on this makes me want to cry. It has just always been a vicious cycle and if I can just shatter it… I could conquer every last goal in my life. I have relied on food for too long above human contact. NO longer!

This is a really great day… I feel amazing!

 

 

Skinny Chicken Cordon Blue

Skinny Chicken Cordon Blue

Okay, I went a little out and tried three different recipes this weekend instead of just one. It was rather fun and VERY delicious. My favorite was the Skillet Chicken Cordon Bleu. It was from SkinnyTaste so I am sure plenty of people will recognize it.

What I loved about this recipe was how fast it was. Patrick and I were starving (translate into I was starving and Patrick was accommodating). I tossed my Parmesan Baked Mushrooms (next recipe!) into the oven first and then started the chicken. It took less than 15 minutes!

So I am just going to post the recipe here, like I did last time. The link (Skinny Taste Skillet Chicken Cordon Bleu ) will take you to the actual blog site which everyone should visit! Like Eat Yourself Skinny , this website is FULL of delicious recipes with calorie counts. They also seem to break their recipes down for specific diets, which is just amazing of them. I hate having to break out the recipe calorie calculator!

Skillet Chicken Cordon Bleu
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 4 • Size: 1 piece chicken • Points +: 6 • Smart Points: 5
Calories: 258 • Fat: 10 g • Saturated Fat: 3 g • Protein: 37 g • Carb: 6 g • Fiber: 0 g
Sugar: 1 g  • Sodium: 578 mg • Cholesterol: 109 mg

Ingredients:

  • 4 thin boneless, skinless cutlets, 4 oz each
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour*
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2/3 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 thin slices low sodium deli ham, I use Boar’s Head (3 oz total)
  • 4 slices light Swiss Cheese such as Alpine Lace (3 oz total)
  • chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

* All purpose gluten-free flour works well here.

Directions:

Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Lightly dredge the chicken with flour on both sides, shaking off the excess reserving the flour.

In a small bowl combine the chicken broth, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and 1 teaspoon of the reserved flour, whisk until smooth.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Melt the butter and add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and half of the chicken. Cook 2 minutes on each side, until slightly golden, then transfer to a dish. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon olive oil and remaining chicken and cook 2 minutes on each side. Set aside on a dish with the other pieces of chicken.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the chicken broth mixture. Whisk scraping up any bits stuck to the pan then simmer 2 minutes to reduce slightly. Return the chicken to the skillet, top each piece with a slice of ham and a slice of swiss, cover the skillet and simmer medium-low for 3 to 4 minutes until the cheese melts.

To serve use a spatula and transfer the chicken to each dish, spoon the remaining sauce over each piece.
Progress

Progress

May 12th, 2016: Received my Fitbit in the mail, weighed myself in at 272.5 lbs, immediately started my new healthy lifestyle!

May 20th, 2016: One week in and have lost over 10 pounds, weighing in at 262 lbs total!

May 27th, 2016: Two weeks in, weighed in at 258 lbs, with 14 pounds lost!

May 28th-June 17th 2016: Struggled after a particularly hard week at work, lost track of my goal…stumbled forward and found my way again. Weighed in on the 14th at 256 and on the 17ths at 253, with 19 lbs lost! I decide that I will not be taking anymore cheat days.

June 24th, 2016: Officially six weeks in, 250 lbs and 22 pounds down! I am out of “Severely Obese” territory, with a BMI of 39!Patrick notices my weight loss, my pics are taken and- I see nothing different. Instead of being discouraged, I push onward!

July 1st, 2016: Seven weeks, weighing in at 246 lbs. That is 26 lbs down! I begin to notice my clothing is much too large.

July 8th, 2016: Eight weeks in, weighing in at 246 lbs. No weight loss, but I discover I have gone down a shirt size and a pant size! I purchase a pair of jeans, three shirts and a pair of capris. Most importantly, I begin to see a difference in my reflection! First measurements are taken of my chest and stomach. I also received a compliment from a co-worker who had not seen me in awhile!

July 15th, 2016: Nine weeks in, 242 lbs. 30 pounds down! Celebration of losing 4 pounds in a weak, begin to see a difference in my face.

July 18th, 2016: Began strength training. Can’t do any type of modified push-up, can’t hold myself up in a plank for the full 30 seconds and struggle to lift 5 lbs (for each hand) 20 times.

July 22nd, 2016: Ten weeks in, 240 lbs. So close to the 230s I can taste it. Start looking up pictures of previous diets because lack of difference in tummy is frustrating. Looks like my tummy really starts shrinking at around 225 lbs. That is only 15 lbs away! I can definitely get there <3!

 

Workout as a Weakling

Workout as a Weakling

There is nothing like working out in front of someone for the first time, to make you feel completely self-conscious.

After a week of separation (as it typically goes these days, *sigh* life) I honestly thought I might smother Patrick with my hugs. No man has truly made me feel so loved, so beautiful and so appreciated. I also feel extremely comfortable around him and yet… I waited until he was off showering to start my strength exercises. The thought of him watching me struggle embarrassed me.

I never really explained my work-out routine. I picked a fairly easy one after watching several videos on youtube. I settled on one basically titled ‘Strength Training for Plus Size beginners’ and since I am so weak, it is definitely difficult.

It starts with 30 seconds of planking (elbows and forearms flat on the mat, body held straight, tiptoes pressed to mat, butt down) . Followed by 30 seconds rest. Followed by 30 seconds of push-ups against a bench or stairs, followed by 30 seconds of rest. Ending with 30 seconds of stepping up a two step height on your right foot, and then 30 seconds of stepping up on your left foot. You do all of this three times. Then I have been lifting my 5-pound dumbells about 20 times, an exercise I found online.

I use a step stool for my step-ups. It is 12″ high (about the height of two steps), anti-slip and can hold up to 300 pounds. It is perfect. I think I want to extend how long I do each foot , however, because it is rather easy. I can only assume this is because I have been walking up 1000 step hills at a rapid pace every day, multiple times, for 10 weeks.

My push-ups are something I struggle with. I cant do them against my bench, on the floor, against my tv-stand and I felt ridiculous trying them against the wall. I really have been trying, but I know I have been failing.

Last night, Patrick got out of the shower around the time I was finishing the last of my steps. He cheered me on as I lifted my dumbells (which made me feel both happy and slightly embarrassed). When I finished, out-of breath but proud, I admitted to him my issue with push-ups. He asked to see.

That was how he introduced me to knee-push ups.

Oh my god, why can’t I even do these? I am so weeeeaaak. He coached me through the movements, corrected my stance… but even then I struggled. HOWEVER, these seem more feasible than any of the other attempts. So they are going to replace the push-ups I was trying to do.

I am surprisingly not sore today. I have been moving around plenty and haven’t felt a single protest from my muscles… we will see how tomorrow is though, haha!

I am proud of myself though. I have to recognize that I had NEVER done anything like this to my body, so of course I am going to struggle with the very basics right now. Actually, you know, thinking about it, I really want to do some Strength Training goals. If anyone is reading out there, can you tell me if you think these are realistic?

By New Years I want to be able to do:

  • 5 real push-ups in a row (Not knees, walls, etc.)
  • 30 minutes of strength training
  • Use 8 pound dumbbells instead of 5
  • Plank for 1 full minute without pause

If I get to any of them before New Years, I of course would adjust!

 

Dancing In a Mirror

Dancing In a Mirror

I have always loved to dance. It doesn’t matter if I am driving, being driven, in my room alone, at a grocery store, walking with Patrick or what… if I hear a good beat I will jiggle about like a fool.

For all that said, I have never liked dancing in front of a mirror. I hate my body, after all, and my face looks baby-ish, and my eyes small, and, and, and-!

Well yesterday I was getting ready for my walk and put on my new favorite Spotify playlist (don’t ask, my fav. changes every other day because I love variety!). I was doing my ballet bun up (also a new obsession) in front of the mirror when a particularly good beat hit and I began to dance.

This wasn’t just a bit of bouncing to the beat, my arms were going, my hips were swaying, my body was twisting and after only a second I was grinning at my reflection. I didn’t look bad, not at all. With my ballet bun, my over-sized shirt (yup, my workout clothes are TOO BIG now, hehe!) and my leggings, I had to admit, I looked adorable. Have I ever thought that about myself? Not really, no. It hit me about halfway through the second song what I was doing and I stopped… than laughed. I was dancing with my reflection and didn’t want to sob after it.

This, honestly, is just one example of the many situations where I have realized that more is changing about me than just my weight. I am happier and more confident! I haven’t walked past a person in public and wondered how much they judge me. I don’t cringe at my shadow. When people pass me (car or on foot) during my walks, I don’t hang my head and wonder if they are thinking ‘Why is the fat-ass even trying?’. Seriously, I was my own worst enemy!

There are still times when I falter. My reflection isn’t perfect. I am still obese and hardly confident of my naked body, yet I feel better. Even when I don’t get enough sleep, I have more energy. I feel like dancing even more! My imagination as a writer has flourished with my joy! And my anxiety has dwindled down greatly.

A few more updates:

Last time I was talking about my issues with my landlords. Well, they texted me yesterday to say they were probably taking the house off the market. They haven’t gotten any offers save for a very low one (It has been a week and a half?) and they wont lower the price. So, they want to know if I will stay or not?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Hahahahahahaha! Hahaha! Ha…haha…ha…heh…hehe… No.

Look, if you had treated me kindly and with respect… and if you hadn’t secretly been showing my house while I was at work (yes, I know you have, I don’t leave lights on, leave my door unlocked and I definitely don’t leave my cats without my ceiling fan on during the hot Texas days) , maybe I would consider it. At this point, though, this was really the final straw. I have quietly dealt with you breaking the law, blocking me in the driveway, waking me up at 7 am on Saturdays and Sundays, following your ridiculous rules… and this was it! Buh bye! I will be gone in a month, maybe two, but I wont be sticking around for your next mood swing!

Anyways, moving on. I miss Jane! My intern is gone and my heart is broken! She wrote me a lovely note that made me want to cry. I hugged her so hard I was sure I would break her in half. We both agree that she will HAVE to return and stay at my house with her boyfriend, several times. I also plan on visiting her as she only lives two hours away. Patrick has family in that city, so maybe we can go sooner than later. We were talking about taking a staycation, but two cities over is really not that far, maybe we could go there instead!

I would really like to lose 3 pounds by next week, I want to hit the 35 mark. Can I do this? Well… I am really not sure. It fluctuates and my average is 2 pounds. I don’t know what more I can do to speed up the process, and honestly, the way  I am going is healthy. I don’t want to be unhealthy. There is not much more I can cut out of my diet. I have been eating a whole lot less cheese, and my fruit is cut-back as well. My veggies have been upped (sooo, my cat Oliver likes broccoli even more than me) and I am walking 5 miles a day. I am still drinking gallons of water too! I guess this really is just a waiting game. As Patrick says “Mer, just have patience!”.

In other news, two of my close friends who have been crazy busy with girlfriends and jobs have contacted me in the last week. I keep missing them when I call, so it was nice to reconnect!

 

 

Weekly Update (This is the 10th!)

Weekly Update (This is the 10th!)

So , ten weeks in. How do I feel?

Sore.

Jeebus , guys, I am so sore. My arms are sore, my legs are sore, my tummy is sore. Last night at the end of my walk I collapsed in my bed. I know you aren’t supposed to push that hard, but in my defense, all I did was WALK yesterday! I have added strength training into my weekly routine (3 times a week, every other day), and it is killing me. I am such a weakling! Haha!

This week I weighed in at 239.8…so we will round up to 240, unfortunately :)! I have lost 2 pounds this week. This is amazing! I lost four pounds last week AND I started strength training. I was worried I wouldn’t lose ANY, or that I would lose, but then gain a bit from the muscle. It is still a possibility, but everyone insists I stick to planking, push-ups, dumbells and the like. Apparently muscle helps your metabolism, plus I don’t want to lose this weight just to be flabby!

Sooo, I did my full measurements this time:

Chest: 51″ (-1″)

Waist: 46″ (-1.5″)

Right Arm: 15″

Left Arm: 15″

Right Thigh: 25″

Left Thigh: 24″

Neck: 16″

Ring Finger (hehe): 6.5 cent.

I really wish I had done this before, but this will have to do. I have lost 2.5″ that I know of (and I know I have lost much more than that, but I didn’t measure myself 10 weeks ago) .

Why measure my ring size? Well, I know for a fact that when I started this diet I was a size 9 (a snug 9). How did I know this? Well, everytime I walked past the jewelry section at the store I would try on rings. Not because I am crazy, haha, I just have a ring I need resized! It was my great grandmother’s and she had teeny hands (think size 4 or 5). If I am right, I have gone down a size. I need to check it at a store though.

Anyways, those are the main weekly updates. I am going to make another post to talk about me, because, you know… I am obsessive!

*Would anyone be interested in me posting my progress pictures? I feel hesitant because I don’t see that great of a difference, but I also know that a lot of people DO post them. I wonder if I should just block my face out at first…. Please let me know if you think I should.

Rant.

Rant.

I was in such a good place Friday so why did I struggle so much this weekend? I felt strong, empowered, ready to face any challenge.

I think I posted previously about my landlords selling their house? It isn’t under contract yet, but they are putting it up for sale and want me to keep my house spotless. This shouldn’t have been an issue. It sucks that I am going to have to move. This was my first place, I spent three years making it what it is today. I get compliments on my decor all the time and all because I poured my soul into that house. Still, I understood they want to move to a bigger house because they now have four children in a three bedroom home.

This weekend everything changed though. I was under the impression three years of being a quiet, neat, punctual tenant would foster some level of respect through this process. I was wrong. My landlords have gone from mildly frustrating to full on rude. They do not care about my needs. They texted me at 8 am on Saturday to inform me they put the house on the market that night before and they would have showings every half hour from 11am-7pm. I left my house so I wouldn’t inconvenience anyone. When I tried to call them that evening, they refused to answer. I called and called and called, and nothing. Oh, but they had plenty of time with their phone to text me to either move out or take a discount on my rent, but the discount will only apply if I don’t ever block a showing.

Block a showing , huh? Well how am I supposed to do that when the only lock to my house apparently wont stop any of these random people from coming inside? On Sunday I was ready for another herd of people to come to my door, but I couldn’t leave. The first set of people unlocked my door without knocking and let themselves in. I was on my feet, ready to open the door and nearly got pummeled with it.

Everyone was shocked to learn there was a renter. Even the people who had seen the house on Saturday. What? Someone lived there? (What did you think, that all of my stuff was just for show??) Would I be here if they bought the place? No one told them a renter was here! What was my lease? Why weren’t they told?

I tried to contact my landlords, who ignored me. I texted them and asked them to please have their realtor inform everyone I exist. That people were not even knocking, they were just letting themselves in! NO REPLY.

I am a patient person, but I am going to say it: What the fuck?!? I have been nice, I am nice no longer. Patrick was infuriated when he found out that they could let themselves in while I was home and I had no way to keep them out. He pointed out that I should at least have a chain on my door, that it was unsafe and illegal that I didn’t have an inside lock.

All of this was so stressful this weekend. I just wanted to eat. It didn’t help that my ankle has been hurting so much lately. I tried walking on Friday and gave up 2k steps in. On Saturday I just moped in the evening, feeling exhausted by my battle with my landlords. I just wanted to eat junk food, really. I didn’t, but I wanted to. Last night I forced myself to walk 5 miles, pushing through the pain.

I know this is a huge long rant, but I am not done.

Why are people like this? Why are my landlords suddenly assholes? They act like I want to cause them headaches. I don’t! I am pissed beyond pissed at how they have treated me. The wife had the gall to send me angry text messages demanding me to respond on Saturday, then contact my MOTHER when I didn’t reply…THROUGH FACEBOOK. Why didn’t I reply to texts? Well, I was cleaning and my phone was on the counter. When my mother called me, surprise surprise, I answered on the first ring. I quickly responded to my landlord letting her know that she needs to attempt to CALL before she resorts to contacting my mother! (I am 24 for Christ’s sake! You are 37! CALL, stop hiding behind your text messages!) .

My father and mother are both appalled by my landlords’ behavior. The wife is a daughter of a family friend, that was how we found the rental in the first place. My parents are amazing to support me through this, both promising I will never be homeless. I just want to move out, I really don’t feel comfortable in my own home anymore!

I feel like they have been planning this for awhile too. With replacing my fridge, toilet, temp thing-a-ma-jig (gauge?) and faucet in the last few months and replacing their own HVAC, repairing various things in their house and trimming their trees. Why didn’t they warn me? (they wanted my money, that is why). It all just makes me want to scream.

I guess it is out of my system now. *sigh*