Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry, Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all. Have a joyous day.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Fit Food at Christmas?

The Christmas plans are finally in place. Everyone’s coming over here (sigh!). So I’m visiting “Fit Christmas” meal sites for food ideas that are easy, nutritious and kid-a-licious. I’ve found a couple of recipes that fit the bill for our needs; for Hubs, who is still afraid of big green attack veggies, for 7-year old Cam, who loves seaweed crunchy snacks, but won’t touch cheese. The rest, including, obviously, yours truly, love everything—anything. We’re going to have a simple brunch with low-calorie finger foods (crudités –am I dating myself?) and shrimp “something.”

One healthy site I’ve found is I’m going to base my menu on the recipes at this site. At, there are ten questions about traditional Christmas foods. I got 6 out of 10 right. Geeez! I can’t believe I did so badly on sweet stuff! Try it!

Actually, I have a couple of great “lite” cookbooks with recipes for brunches, appetizers and hors d’oeuvres in my cupboard. Enjoy the recipes at foodfit and the quiz and if you have any great ideas for “lite” brunch dishes – toss them my way! Huge thanks!

Friday, December 19, 2008


I’m looking at the world through new eyeballs. An old and good friend, "J" has been caretaking her mother for more than two years. Unbeknownst to me, "J" has slowly become physically and emotionally exhausted. I could tell things were pretty bad by the end of a phone conversation we had last weekend. I drove over to "J's" and stared around the living room that always felt so upbeat, and saw—sensed a heavy sadness that kind of hung there. Without going into this at length, I stayed there for as much of the weekdays as I could, while “J” visited some (dreaded words) elder care facilities throughout the bay area. It’s almost comical (darkly) to be blogging about my weight issues when there is so much big-time hurt happening all the time within families, to people on the streets, yes, and to animals and people elsewhere... especially in these stinking economic times.

“J” seems to be a bit more energetic; she's tough, but has been living such a nightmare. I've been neglectful of friends and feel badly that I've been unaware of the extent to which the grind of life, at least at "J's," has been disintegrating. And if I thought that was the worst news I could think of, I also spoke with another acquaintance this week, with whom I used to be very close. Her husband passed away last July. My girlfriend, "A" is young - too young to lose "C," although I knew he had cancer. Sometimes if you hear that a person is in remission, you actually believe that they're 100% back from a bleak sentence. Blindsided the second time this week.

I realize that this is not the best time to write about these depressing issues, but I do want to tell you about an immensely moving memoir about one mother’s decline when she got Alzheimer’s. Called Death in Slow Motion, Eleonor Cooney holds nothing, I mean NOTHING back. A worthwhile read for the right person at the right time.

Okay, enough of this. I’m home for a while this morning and glad to be here. (Maybe more than I’ve ever been!) As I said up top, I am seeing the world with a new set of peepers and what a huge gift that is. I feel changed in a way—something small, but significant. But I'm not certain that I can figure out how to write about it. I have only a few clients next week, which is also a gift. I send sincere wishes for a peaceful Sunday.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Have been away a few days and need a few more still, to deal with an issue that I unfortunately can’t work with here. Still getting in the work and the workouts, however - always good for mind and body. I'm missing reading all your blogs – have checked in for quick looks, which help me move on through this stuff – back in a few days or so... xo Miche

Saturday, December 13, 2008

One Word, A Number and Two Symbols

It’s been a bit chaotic lately. I’ve decided that exercise has always got to take precedence over writing—arrgghhh! So, I’ve gotten more cardio and lifting in this week, but less posting. That’s okay, but I meant to get in one word, a number and two symbols yesterday: - .4 pound. It’s going slooww. But steady.

Grandkids coming to help us decorate the abode, which I usually enjoy... but there are so many other tempting things to do—an encore round of ice skating again, perchance? Unfortunately, it’s catch-up time, before kids arrive, with the charming tasks that include cleaning, laundry and bills. I guess that’s why I tend to get super keyed up over outdoor recreation. And, actually, when I get into the domestic thing for a couple of hours, I fall into a kind of meditative rhythm. Once done, I feel great, so it’s not such a bad thing. Like losing weight, however, it looks like one giant mass of an undertaking as a whole. Broken up into smaller pieces, it’s manageable.

Off to exercise and house management! Hope you have an excellent weekend!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Truth?

I want to thank Mara at, who tagged me with this meme. Here are the steps I've followed:

1. Link to my tagger and list all these rules in my blog.
2. Share seven facts about myself right here, some random, some weird.
3. Tag seven people at the end of my post by including links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So, here goes...

1. I’ve weighed over 200 pounds for the majority of my adult life.
2. I have heart disease. In December of 2005, I had an ablation; an electrophysiological procedure for the treatment of atrial fibrillation – an ailment I’ve had since I was 16 years old.
3. I’ve had Grave’s disease since the mid-90s. That diagnosis was the catalyst for my “last journey down” throughout the year, 1997.
4. I’m challenged by rock climbing (indoors or out), ice climbing, skiing, skating and a bunch of other "warm-weather stuff as well!
5. I go to a boxing club in Novato. Boxing is an unbelievable conditioning exercise. It pushes me way over the top, but I don’t go as often as I'd like.
6. By the end of January ’09, I will have a third granddaughter and I plan to be a personal trainer for the rest of my life—all in the same sentence.
7. I reveal so many more facts (often very weird) about myself in LJD, that it really frightens me now that it’s in print.

Hope this didn’t bore you to tears, and I thank Mara so much for getting me write about these things. When I look at all the evidence from the past, I’ve just gotta be thankful that I’m actually alive. Now, please check out the blogs of these people who are hitting their aims with straight shots!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Distractions... Only a Little...

I’ve been trying to weed through the chores around here lately and again, I've been distracted. It’s been a busy last three days and there’s a slow ache coming on in my outer limbits that no mechanical orchestration of time seems to be able to heal. Yeeeooowww! Some tough workouts!

I’m on a marketing push these days for Last Journey Down and the work is sopping up my blog time, damn! It’s definitely exciting to have something in the palm of my hand that I've worked on for so long. On the other (palm of) hand, it means taking the responsibility to sell that thing! I’m not very good at this, since one of the problems I have is “to love myself—what I am and what I do" and communicate it! There, I wrote it! Miz—I definitely need to go after one of those t-shirts.

On Saturday, took the dog for tracking practice. Then I cleaned house, did laundry and vacuumed—all of the exceedingly boring stuff one does on weekends. But on Sunday, Hubs and I took son, Anthony, granddaughter, Cameron and dog, Samantha, to San Francisco’s Justin Herman Plaza to ice skate. What an awesome reminder that it was winter and that as a family and also as pals, we love to do things like this with each other. If we can’t go to the Sierras to ski [lack of snow (and $$$ - really)], skating is a fab reminder that we like activities that take place outdoors—lots! I raise a toast with mug of tea to a cool (tho not tooooo coooollllld) outdoor winter sports experience to you all!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Little Fear Goes a Long Way

I was feeling a little “all-over-the-place” this morning, incapable of screening out any distractions, so I made the mistake of looking up ADD/ADHD to check out the signs. Then I wrote a long blog about it and decided it was too depressing to post. Argghhh! I don’t want to fall into any traps that stink of self-diagnosis, but... there were some scary corollaries!

I put my coat on and found the nearest hill to climb, dragging the dog up with me (actually, it was the other way around). Usually, vistas of Mt. Tam and other sights are free for the viewing, but today, it’s been pea soup and cold... for here. I don’t want to belittle the weather in this pocket of the world, but earlier this morning, it was chill-lee! After my march up the hill, however, the body warmed up. I have to back up a few years to remember that never, especially on a cold, early, foggy, Saturday (or any) morning, could someone have persuaded me to haul my butt up some hill (that I would have identified as a mountain), much less prompt my own self to do such a thing. So, I’m definitely longer on motivation these days.

What eventually triggers some folks to change their lifestyles? In the blogs I read and often, (not always!) in my own clients’ lives, bigger numbers of people are dramatically altering the way in which they “do” life. I’m not a psychologist, but I’m getting to know myself well enough to realize that part of what has been driving my ass all these years is fear. I discuss this idea a lot in the book. After a little over 11 years of maintenance, the panicky feeling I get when I think of gaining back all my weight scares the #^*! outta me. Even after 11 years. That is one big reason why I was moved to write about my experience: I am still absolutely terrified of putting all those pounds back on my body, even though I have so many deterrents in place. My friends, family -- even trainers who have known me for years all assure me that the new habits are “in place.” I beg to disagree with them, because frankly, none of them has ever had an eating problem severe enough to lead them down the path to morbid obesity. Even though a few of them remember what I looked like in 1996. Fear is still my good friend for the time being.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Day of Weigh...

Very qwik entry today - whew, what a week. Mom's doing okay, yay. Down .9 pound, which is quite amazing considering the lack of much of any exercise except flat walking. Total loss so far is 1.8 pounds. I'm gonna keep going in that direction! TGIF - Have a great weekend y'all!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I haven’t posted daily this week because I seem to have done something to myself that prevents me from moving very much. I’m a bit P.O.d, to say the least. I just got over that crud I had and now... (dreaded word)... INJURY. I managed to get to a body worker I know yesterday, and my hour of intense pain (screams and whining!) with him produced miracles. Even though I am extremely skeptical of alternative treatments for injury or sickness, this guy has come through every single time I’ve done something dumb. The only problem that remains is that I can’t lift until next week or do any intense cardio—just walks. UGHHHHHHH!!!!! I’m sick of being sick!

Even though I’ve lost weight for the last couple of weeks, I'm not hoping for any downward movement on the scale tomorrow. Several of your posts have reminded me that in the scheme of things, life can really be very good, despite setbacks. I have a multitude of gifts to be thankful for—the blogosphere is teaching me about the power of gratitude. I send major thanks to you all for that and so much more. The weight will come off. But here’s a problem I can’t help with.

My son hadn’t called his grandmother (my 80-year old, very fit-for-her-age mother) for a couple of months. He phoned her yesterday morning, to what must have been her surprise, but she told him that she couldn’t talk at that moment as “someone was coming to put a cast on her hip.” Son called me, so I immediately tried to get through on this bit of news. Now, the night before, my sister-in-law had called and we caught up on some belated Thanksgiving doings and family. She told me that my mother’s Lhasa dog had broken her leg and was wearing a cast. I hadn’t heard about that either. All my extended family lives in or near New York City.

By yesterday afternoon, I was thoroughly confused and couldn’t reach ANYONE back east. Finally this morning, I was able to contact my sister, who confirmed that on Tuesday afternoon, my mother (who has had two hip replacement surgeries) reached down from a chair to pat her dog (who did have a cast) and dislocated her hip. She had to drag herself to the phone in excruciating pain and then spent all night in the hospital having her hip reset. Ouch and I can’t tell you how much I wish I’d been there. My sister was with our mom, however, for which I’m also grateful, but I also can’t believe I didn’t get any calls about this—argghhhh!

So, my son called just as she’d gotten home from the hospital yesterday morning and someone had just arrived to fit a brace on her hip. And her constant companion doggie has gone for a month to our aunt’s house, so I’m worried about my mother being lonely a little. Sometimes, I just wish I could afford a pied a terre in NY, but that won’t happen soon. It's a problem I can't fix for her although I can be supportive and positive. I can wish all I want, but as Mom used to say to us kids, “If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.”

Happy Thursday, everyone. I’m very lucky to be able to take a nice walk today and get to work. But I’m glad I have a place to vent my stuff. For that, I'm extremely grateful.

Lori's Gift!

I am dumbfounded and incredibly honored by Lori’s nomination for the Marie Antoinette, real blogs for real people award. In so short a time, I’ve discovered a mind-blowing community of people who are always warm and generous in their support of each other (and me!) Three cheers to everybody! It’s hard to open up and share our very personal thoughts and lives with so many people we often don’t know. Courageous, indeed. I’m very touched. Thank you so much, Lori and I nominate the following seven people for the Marie Antoinette award:
You have all helped and supported me so much in the last couple of months that I've joined this community - please check out these peoples' blogs if you aren't already following. These women are tremendously inspiring! Thank you again, so much for this award. I am truly grateful!
xoxo Miche

Monday, December 1, 2008

Lynn's Blog Reminded Me Of...

Lynn’s blog about beets and brussels sprouts hit me over the head with a resounding thump. I actually prepped beets and brussels sprouts a couple of days ago to cook for today’s and tomorrow’s veggies, although I didn't plan on having them for breakfast! Vegetables, however, for my first meal of the day did remind me of one 12-week diet I did about three years ago.

I write a bit about part of this in the book (that will be available for pre-orders in about a week – quite scary, but exciting at the same time...). Without giving too much away, six months after reaching goal weight, I decided to sign up for Bill Phillips’ EAS challenge, as it was called then. I used a modified “contest” diet that a couple of trainers “prescribed” for me at the time. I was required to eat protein and veggies for breakfast (with oatmeal) for the first couple of months, but for the final month, I was only allowed a starchy carb for breakfast every third day. This inevitably weakened my performance in the gym of course—incredibly frustrating.

The “diet” (almost a fast, really) was wearisome—an exasperating test to keep my mind’s eye on the prize, so to speak. One morning, on a non-starch day, I realized that I had nothing remotely appetizing for breakfast. Uh oh. I rooted around the fridge and cupboards and found some... sardines (yuchhhhhk!) and some canned spinach. Who on earth buys canned spinach? (I can only think of Popeye, but it still didn’t help my strength at the gym.) I guess I must have bought that stuff – Gawwwddd! So I made myself a small plate of sardines over a bed of green guck and forced it down. That is what Lynn’s blog helped remind me of: my only recent experience of veggies (other than onions and mushrooms in an egg white omelet) for breakfast! Thanks Lynn! And maybe I will have some beets for breakfast... far more enticing than canned spinach.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Exploring Open Space...

We’re still cleaning up, moving each piece of furniture back to its home again and picking up kids’ toys found under said furniture, from Thanksgiving 2008 that “keeps on giving.” Luckily, the food’s gone—either frozen or mostly, sent home with guests!

Hubs and I went on a fabu hike yesterday in one of our county’s “open space” districts. We are incredibly fortunate to have over 13,000 acres of land to hike in that will be preserved forever. There are over 1000 trails and fire roads that we can choose from—dogs are allowed, which is very cool, because Sam really needs to exercise as badly as we do! Another benefit to hiking this land has to do with the topography here. I can think of only one fire road that’s actually flat. The rest of the paths and trails move either up (often steeply) or down (great quad negatives!). While strenuous on certain routes, a good sweat is easily procured, and any hike over a couple of hours long is likely to incur good caloric deficits. Finally, the views are outstanding and the people and dogs we meet on the trail (far and few between) are warm and friendly.

We’re about to explore another area again today, as it is so unseasonably beautiful out. Methinks I can smell pine needles and autumn as I write!

Food consumption has been staggeringly low. I don’t know what’s going on, but it’s amazing how planning and food journaling contributes to healthier days. I sleep better too. Last night I konked out around 8 p.m. and didn’t waken until 6 a.m. What a little restraint on the “Kcals in” and a push in the “Kcals out” can do! Yahoo!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Post-Thanksgiving Hike, Weigh In Day and Impatience...

Friends have sometimes asked what we’re doing for, say... Labor Day weekend, or New Year’s Eve, or where we’re going over holidays A, B or C. The answer is always the same old boring response: nowhere. Often, I feel that we must be incredibly boring. I know that I can be incredibly impatient. Then again, hubs and I don’t get stuck in those horrible traffic jams on Sunday or Monday holiday afternoons. Likewise, I’ve never gone shopping on “Black Friday.” I probably should, as it might save me a ton of bucks, but I can’t bear to face even the thought of those crowds. What a wimp!

Instead, while my poor hubs trudged off to work this morning, I loaded dog in car and drove north to the trailhead of one of my (and dog’s, as well) fave hikes. It’s a beautiful day here in NoCal, but as we rounded the last corner of Indian Valley Road to park, there were dozens of cars, rather than the usual two or three... sigh. Once on the path, though, the trail was clear and the vistas spectacular. The leaves crunched under my feet with each step as I picked up the pace (dog always beats me to “gifts” horses have left—“LEAVE IT” I bark at her, to no avail). I decided to take one of the “roads less traveled” and turned off the main fire road onto the Waterfall trail. Right now, it’s lovely to reach a trickling cascade in our drought-ridden countryside. Dog waded around the pool above the fall and barked at the squirrels while dancing lightly on her paws around a large oak tree, ears eagerly alert. We continued on.

I feel so lucky to live in a place where we can comfortably plan to be active outdoors without (well... usually) facing 15 degree temps when we step out our front doors. Some of you have been writing about running 5 or 10Ks – even half and full marathons in sub-frigid weather. My hats off to you all, big-time! Huge congrats! I’ll bet that your bodies burn gi-normous amounts of calories just standing and breathing in that arctic air!

Samdog and I continued up the path to the top and enjoyed the views for a few minutes, finally turning around and heading back down to the car. A good couple of hours of fun and peace and beauty after yesterday’s crazy, but wonderful gathering. We encountered several families and dogs and runners on the return trip, stopping to meet and greet each with our own and distinct “formalities.” Samantha barked at a couple of equestrians who trotted past. I built up a sweat hiking up the hill and was getting a bit chilled, so we picked up the pace.

A couple of phone calls awaited me on the cell. My mother had called me from NY. I was able to get back to her for a good chat about her Thanksgiving with my sibs and their kids. And son, Anthony called to invite me to see a movie called, “Four Christmases,” with the girls. Cool! With the help of Fandango, we should be able to avoid too much of a line. See how impatient I can be? It’s the same with weight loss. If I’ve been close to perfect or exactly on target with the food and exercise, and I don’t lose at least eight pounds, I go ballistic. Definitely something to work on... I'm starting with snacks right now. Packing a few pistachios and some celery with some lemon water for the movie. And, as it's weigh-in day, thought I'd share the fact that despite the crud and lack of intense exercise, managed to lose 1.3 pounds. Yay!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Love reading all the Thanksgiving posts! Late yesterday afternoon, I picked up the youngest (7-year old) grandkid, along with her new friend from France, who is only here for three months. Once home, I gave them a container of street chalk. They went to town on our patio, which is concrete with brick, and in bold colors drew turkeys, hearts, and houses with smoke curling up the chimneys. They even outlined each other in white chalk (weird, eh?). Then they made one last huge heart and wrote, “Things you are greatful (sic) for.” The list was long, but four words that stand out are, “Love,” Exercise,” “Shelter,” and “Feries” (sic). Out of the mouths of babes.

I’ve enjoyed reading some of your blogs that discuss the use of gratitude lists in your daily lives—something I’m woefully and often neglectful of. I know it would clean up the edges of my life that are not in synch with my desires, so to speak (write). It may be a cliché, but each and every autumn, I’m apt to eat more (bad) food for some reason, and this tendency (me) doesn’t seem to (want to) quit until late February or March. Could it be the shorter days, longer nights? The grand triumvirate of holidays along with the food that says it’s absolutely and unequivocally vital to celebrate these events with food? With lots and lots of carby kcals—more than I could have dared to guess, according to blogland? Yikes! I guess... yes.

So, I’ve finally unharnessed myself from the house for more than carpools and tame dog walks. I got in some remedial exercise this morning and have set aside time for some lifting a little later. Ditto tomorrow morning early, early. Feel so much better that I believe I can pull off a houseful of 14 folks tomorrow. Funny thing: when I cook a good meal for others (our menu is nice and healthy!), I end up eating relatively little. My focus is on the many small details that seem to wipe out the desire to consume, despite the fact that I’m cooking a lot of food for a lot of people. It’s almost a meditative process. I’m not a great cook, but I find that I really concentrate on the kitchen skills if a bunch of people show up!

It’s rare that I fix anything too yummy—food that appeals to my inner addict, however. This year, we’re sharing dinner with several Thanksgiving “orphans.” I’m incredibly grateful for so many things, but friends and family top the list. I’m thankful also, for finding this blogging community. So very quickly have I received so much warmth and support from you gals/guys and I thank you so much. I could pen my gratitude list here, but it wouldn’t come close to the thoughts written in a chalked heart on our patio. Happy Thanksgiving all!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sometimes I just feel so spoiled - a feeling that looks a bit like guilt. Last night, I was watching the news and saw a story about San Francisco’s food banks. Like this country’s own banking industry, stock in S.F.’s food banks (and probably other cities’ as well) has tanked out. No matter what, guys, I've always gotten my greedy little paws on food - somehow! I’m trying to persuade some of my grandkids’ parents to leave some food – any food – in the hands of our very over-capable guys and gals at any Fire Department around here, but it’s an uphill battle and really, only a drop in the barrel.

Strange. Even though my hubs and I have suffered through financial difficulties at different times in our working lives, I have, of course, always been able to score food. I never shared any of it, natch! Hah! Are you kidding? No one knew I was stealing - stealing from the budget to hoard my stash of candy, cookies and other baked goods around the house, not to mention all the fast food I managed to get my hands/mouth around.

Money’s definitely tight these days. It’s likely to be a tough Thanksgiving for hundreds of thousands, and an even more difficult time near Christmas. Many of the small businesses in our community place large barrels inside their entrances, into which customers can drop one, or, a dozen non-perishable food goods. Just ONE helps, or so I understand. (There are lots of people who live in our community.)

I tend to drop a couple of things into barrels located at two of my favorite hangouts. One is at the market, of course, and the other? I drop packages of holiday cookies into the barrel at my gym. At least these won’t be ingested by me. I leave both places a bit mollified, and not just for my own food and exercise needs. I'm still aware of that spoiled "me" feeling, however, but it makes me aware of my gratitude for the things my family and I are blessed with.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Inner Food Addict is Sick too...

While I haven’t specifically written about the guilt I’ve felt over being sick and the concurrent “comfort food” eating, it’s been there big-time. I've been at war with my inner food addict and it's been a hell of a week. It’s time to haul my butt up (“take it slow,” my doc says) and out of the house and start moving and shaking again. I’ve had a food breakdown directly related to... well... basically being stuck in the house with a kitchen full of food that, of course, I was plenty able to ingest. I chose to eat (wrong foods) over the fact(s) that I let my clients down before an important holiday for them (and me). I felt as if I put extra pressure on my husband and my own kids by not being able to pick their kids up from school (which I try to do at least once a week). I harvested guilt over “abandoning” Samantha this week, with sub-par doggie adventure walks. I could have written a new tome using my anxious madcap notions.

Each day, I felt worse and worse, with both mind and body wreaking havoc on my psyche. Out of control? You bet. Each day that I spent planting new and fantastic “guilt” seeds, so my body grew in direct proportion to the inner (and) harebrained fictions. There is a path worn through the bedroom carpet and cold pavers to the fridge and back. Ouch. The number on the scale on Friday didn’t even affect me. I am numb again - bad sign. As I’m really, finally feeling better this morning, I’ve devised a plan.

Numbah one: A-hunting I will go—to the Farmer’s Market, on a search for Thanksgiving fruits and veggies. We have eight healthy-minded folks coming on Thursday and I’ve planned a menu rich in flavor, but low on the fats.

Numbah two: Cooking homemade turkey broth this afternoon. Easy, as it simmers for over four hours. Picked up several pounds of raw turkey “offal” yesterday at Whole Paycheck. And I didn’t even get into it last night.

Numbah three: Cooking two batches of cornbread (this is the most dangerous part) to be left out to get stale. Just those words conjure up some feelings. Maybe I won’t do that; instead, I could buy some old cornbread on Wednesday. My granddaughters will be here spending the night. Yeah... I’ll purchase it then and challenge them to ways of getting that cornbread in a state of staleness!

Numbah four: Last, but not least, did not get doggie bathed and groomed yesterday, so, getting her done is huge on the “today” list, maybe while the stock’s simmering.

Feel better already. I also just wrote out my own food plan for the day. Now, time to get to the Farmer’s Market. I need to be a part of the world again. Usually, I make better choices, but without my usual lifelines, I’m still prone to fall into my food addictive patterns soooo easily. Bummer. Really! It's just so easy.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Weighing in on a Few Things...

The girl is getting better (but bigger, as you will see). Antibiotic is beginning to fight the big, bad bronchitis. Not certain how or where I picked that up, but I don’t think I’ve had it since I was a little kid. Good riddance!

You may have noticed that I’ve been playing with the book’s subtitle, tweaking it a little each day. “Struggling” (with the subtitle) would be a better word. Although I have managed a total weight loss of 100½ pounds twice in the last 11 years, I haven’t come close to keeping it off for more than three months. It would be dishonest to imply that I maintain, on a day-to-day basis, a 100½ pound loss.

I have finally settled on a more accurate number. It’s a weird concept, but a more accurate one in my case. I’ve taken an average of pounds (within five pounds above or below my goal weight) kept off over the past 11 years and settled on that number. Turns out to be 86.5, which I (natch) rounded up. Hence the odd number. But no fraction of a pound has ever been too small for me to note in my journal, whether I am losing or maintaining. Each piece of a pound is critical, and whether I reached a 10, 22, 48, 63, 89-pound loss, it all felt (and still feels) amazing! The scale is such great feedback. It's black and white. I'd like to think it lies, but it doesn't, (and today, it's a little tough to take, damn!)

Since I haven’t been able to work out this week, I've taken short walks around the block with Sam. When I find that I'm exhausted after these, I’ve become somewhat bummed out, but probably more bored mentally, while physically, just about too tired to sit up in a chair, as in front of computer. Have indulged in comfort foods, thick soups and breads, ugh. And I weighed myself today, because it's that time.

I'm about to hit the shower and after, take Sam to our great McInnins Park to throw out her Kong. I'm taking today off for the last time this week to rest. Later, I want to bathe the doggie—a long neglected task. And finally, I need to organize my shopping list for Thanksgiving dinner that I planned a couple of weeks ago. THEN, joy of daily joys, I get to grab some tea and read your blogs!

Weight? 159.4# Arghhhh! Yet I knew it would be a “bad” week. Comfort foods and no exercise? Both together? Disaster. So, a place to begin. Again.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Old Scratchy Throat...

Wanted to pull out my hair, er... guitar out yesterday, as I was going just batty with the cabin fever, but whenever I do the guitar thing, gotta sing and that was definitely not on the menu. So... even though I did get that dog walk around the block, thanks to a very thoughtful friend (also with a dog), who knew I wanted a bit of exercise, I haven’t gotten in a good workout for several days and the body screams. Last night, I must admit, I had almost a pint of organic burnt apricot ice cream, damn! (It was very good... unfortunately...) There are so many non-fat alternatives, but this just felt so damned good going down, soothing the war-torn throat. When am I gonna be able to work those cals. off? Not gonna punish myself today.

I’m ready to leave this place for half the a.m. and half the p.m. today. Even though I’m still opting out of work so my clients don’t get this nasty stuff, I’ve decided to wear a mask over my face—no, a scarf—and run down to Macy’s this morning, which has a huge sale until 1 p.m. Then home to recuperate and finally, as it’s Wednesday, pick up Cam at her school in West Marin. A day that’s a bit more active, but a test to see how soon the exhaustion factor kicks in. Yesterday, tired just walking around the block. I really should take a look at that and comprehend that I spent three-quarters of my life struggling to make it around the block and then collapsed for the remainder of the day as a norm. To know that when I feel better, I can do so much more is such a great gift. I look forward to my first good workout again—maybe a day or two? Small steps to bigger things. I have a great deal more patience than I used to (did I actually write that!) and know that my health will be in the pink shortly. If I don’t lose weight this week, I don’t think I’ll be as reactive as I was last week, because there is a reason: a cause and effect. I can live with that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Crud...

I still have this ugly bug, so I’m homebound again today. I guess I should be grateful rather than disgruntled. The change from how I feel about cabin fever today as opposed to several years ago is incalculable, indeed. I used to pray for any excuse to make couch potato-ing acceptable! Now, after lying down for about half an hour, I get up and walk around the house, staring mournfully out the windows at the incredibly beautiful fall days we’re having here. I’m going to try and tackle a small walk around the neighborhood with Samantha (whose exercise is on hold as well)—I think I can do that later this morning. Slow thoughts, slow moves. Hate this! The food's changed a bit too. Soups and teas. Haven't counted any calories, carbs or proteins, but I'm not thinking about food--isn't that a hoot!

But as a wise friend asked me last evening: “haven’t you ever craved for a couple of hours to read that book or _________ (fill in the blank)? And she’s right, of course. It’s just that I tend to want to do it when I want to... do it. You know?

Right now, this old girl wants to feel well enough to work with clients and exercise her own body (she thought selfishly). Okay, it’s back to the couch—or bed. I’ll wander between them and at some point, I’ll try to take a stroll around the block—I have that to look ahead to, but need to lie down with my tea now. And get better. Ohhhhmmmmm...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Autumn Clean-Up!

Fall cleaning today arghhh! And yet I’m actually enjoying it, in a meditative way. I’m also finding things that I’ve been searching for since... oh, months ago (doh!). Cleaning out my office and clothes— polishing, scrubbing and vacuuming all have their magnificent benefits. Besides, a sparkling, unpolluted house works wonders on my soul as well. (And maybe good for a few burned kcals.) I tend to forget about food as well when I get into a project like this. Forget about FOOD? Perhaps I should go into the housekeeping business...

Why did I decide to do this on such a magnificent day—one that is so beautiful that I should really be enjoying in its entire fall splendor, hiking or biking? Well, last week, I was picking up my granddaughter from school out in west Marin, and I met another parent, here from France for just three months. My daughter-in-law had told me that Cameron (my grandchild) had a new best friend who spoke very little English, named Yonàh. Now just a day before, I’d been thinking of my childhood Thanksgivings back in Connecticut, when my parents would always invite someone to our table who was leagues away from home. Usually, they would find our guest(s) through the U.N. Our experience was enriched in many ways by our visitor’s company. Here, outside Cameron’s school, was an opportunity just waiting, so we immediately invited our new acquaintances to Thanksgiving (that will take a few blogs) at our house. This is the catalyst that has precipitated the need for our mad housecleaning, of course.

As I mentioned, there are immense bennies from a thorough scrub, and even though I’m not nearly done, I feel a huge weight lifted (maybe another quarter pound?) from my shoulders and a feeling of giddiness for getting rid of so much clutter (where does it ever come from?). Going to get back to it now, but thought I’d write in my nice clean new office! Happy fall days to you all.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Weigh Day

One week later I step on the scale. Down 1½ pounds. I’m slightly devastated since I’ve really been mindful of my food intake and my choices every single day. I've been exercising vigorously—six days of cardio this week and four weight training sessions.

“Never mind,” I tell my negative self, “keep going and the pounds will go too.” So I went for a good walk early this morning (dog tracking training with friends) until my throat got more sore than it had been and I felt warm. It was not from the unseasonably hot weather we’re having in California, but I could feel achiness in my body. So, I’m home now, trying to write this and get it posted. I promised myself to check in every Friday with weigh-in results, no matter what, so... here I am. A short little blog, but an important one.

Headed for the couch (oh no!) to rest and also to finish Refuse to Regain, but have a good weekend, friends, and will catch up later. Again, love reading all your blogs; they are truly inspiring.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Going Blonde Going Rogue

Dear Blog,

I don’t really remember the exact date that I asked my hair stylist to make me blond, but it was about five-six years ago. She told me my hair was too dark (dark gray, that is) to create “blonde.” Of course I argued her point, because well... I really wanted to be a blonde. I’d never experimented with hair color, other than to rinse out with lemon juice while sun tanning as a 13-year-old. I just wanted to “have more fun.”

So, after a couple of hours of dyeing, bleaching and whatever-she-did, I had a head of blond locks that I’ve kept up ever since. Rogue? Not sure, but there are several definitions:

As a noun:
1. Somebody dishonest: an unscrupulous or dishonest person, especially somebody who is also likeable
2. Somebody mischievous: a mischievously playful person, especially a naughty child (that sounds closer...)
3. Dangerous solitary animal: a vicious or uncontrolled animal that lives apart from the rest of its herd or group (Hmmm...)

Dishonest? If no one recognized me, then I guess I’d have to concede points, except for the part about “likeable.” (tee hee)

Definition #2 sounds much more promising in my case, as a definition of “rogue.” I’m all of these things and perhaps more. I love to “play,” although I’m not sure that it’s in a mischievous context, but I know that I was often a “naughty” child.

Not certain about the third possibility, since I love my fellow humans, but what if I were a “dangerous solitary animal?” Eating off-plan is a hazardous activity for this blogger when alone. Does that qualify? The consumption of red-light foods in uncontrolled amounts, particularly in the evening hours has vicious consequences.

I think I need to take a more in-depth look at this. For now, I’m still a blondie, but what does it have to do with eating patterns? More to follow!

Your True Food Junkie Gone Rogue,

Maintenance and the Art of Procrastination

This blogger has the art of procrastination down to a science. I changed the template, layout and colors of this blog and then read many new posts by all you inspiring writers out there. It’s really been helping me to stay “on” my plan this week, especially since I’ve been struggling with 15 stubborn pounds. I know that 15 pounds may not sound like a lot, and if this were 1997, it would sound ridiculous to me. But after menopause and eleven years of maintenance (Halloween was actually my 11th anniversary of keeping at least 77½ pounds off), the “glow” of losing that weight and looking (and feeling) so much better weakens in intensity just a wee bit. That is NOT to say that I ever want to return to where I was then. It’s just that the passion I felt for LIVING during those first couple of years after the weight loss diminishes a bit. Learning how to deal with the temptations and my own lifelong issues around food, month-in and month-out, year-in and year-out, is really what maintenance is all about for me.

As the years have accumulated, my ability to understand how to cope with living a different kind of life than I’ve ever managed before has improved. But... I’m human and am drawn to food like a barracuda to shine... still! It’s really quite incredible that almost nightly, I have to work with myself on the starchy carbs and sweets that still come calling. Often, I just leave the house and work out or, for the time being, working on a project with another personal trainer. By the time I get home, I’m exhausted enough to pass out. I hate fighting with myself! Wish I had more time, but gotta get going! I love to read your blogs and am enjoying the act of writing as well. It’s shaping up to be a gorgeous day and I’m about to get out into it (but I won't be going skydiving anytime soon)!

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's Possible, Party or Not!

I’m going to a baby shower today. There will be lots of food. I know this because I’m paying for half of it and, and, yet... I feel totally prepared to just say, “no,” when presented with a food that is not on my plan. I’ve been doing well and haven’t dared to stray from my food plan yet, and I stress the word, plan, because without one, I might as well be lost at sea. It just feels so good to set limits and live (satisfied, amazingly!) within the borders that I create daily. Yay! After a week, I’ll reveal my progress in numbers, but for now, I’m just charged up that I’ve got things going again for now. And I actually look forward to this little party, although since it takes place 1½ hours away from here, it will really take up the majority of the day, which is not that cool, because I’ve got other things I really need to be doing. But hey! This is a social gathering for my newest granddaughter, who is due to meet the world on January 23, 2009!

I’ll be back in plenty of time to get in a bit of exercise, meal planning for the next few days, and finish this excerpt by telling y’all if I got through this festivity clean.

Well... got through the food biz fine, but didn’t get home until almost 7 p.m.—yikes! Best exercise I got was carrying heavy baby gifts (carriages, etc.) from party to car, party to car as fast as I could. I had fun—really! I had a great time.

Bkfst: 2 Eggs, 3 Canadian Bacon, 2 C. Coffee w/ ½ cup 1% Milk
Snack: 1 Cup cut-up fruit
Lunch: Chicken Breast (plus a few more skinless nibbles off Grandchild’s plate), Salad with lite dressing on side
Snack: String cheese
Dinner: Pork Chop, Brussels Sprouts
Snack: Fudgsicle

Total: 1580 Kcals.

Whew – did it, party and all! Miche proves to herself, once again, that it IS possible.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Stunning Info!

Anyone who’s visited the 3FatChicks website knows that it is an veritable font of information on an encyclopedic scale within its forum. The dieter, the maintainer, the exerciser, the-you-name-it-who –wants-to-change-one’s-body can find help or illumination on topics that range from food (and recipes) to fitness. Although I haven’t been a “regular” for over a year, I’m haunted, on a daily basis, by a “Sticky” that Meg posted quite a while ago. Perhaps the research has been proven null and void at this point, but I wanted to offer the link to this post. It concerns a rather startling piece of a research puzzle regarding maintainers that we should all check out. If you’ve all seen it already, I apologize for repeating info that you know. Here ‘tis: I know I’m still stunned. Love to know what y’all think.

I’ve gotten through the day without a major hitch... yet, but the night curtain falls and I must be on guard against the monster carb attack. I’m pretty well armed, with determination, pictures, stats and plans, but intentions can go awry. My resolve is strong right now, especially after rereading “Meg’s” post as well as the responses. Pretty powerful stuff. I’m going to get through this evening successfully. BIG hike with Samantha tomorrow a.m.

Trip to Chicago sounds like a blast and I wish I were with you—maybe next year? Have fun everyone!
From a True Food Junkie,

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hard to Admit but... in All Honesty...

Okay, it’s time to face facts. Besides the need to become more computer literate, I need to drop 15 pounds. I’ve been trying, but seriously folks, without the planning that comes with serious commitment, pounds do not melt off the body by themselves. Lifelong experience tells me that about 80% of fat loss is “Diet,” and 20% is exercise, I’ve been about 15% “on” and I’m very disappointed in myself.

My reality goal weight is 150 pounds. I weigh (gasp!) 159#. Not happy. When I think about my current weight, I tend to pat myself on the back for keeping off 77½ pounds for eleven years. But that’s not the point. I don’t feel good or look the way I want to look—the more I think and write about it, the angrier I am becoming. History, however, has proven that if I can get mad enough about something I’m unable to do with regard to my bod, I dig deep and find a way to crawl out of my anger—and pretty fast, too! But I must be honest; I’ve been complacent lately. Writing about this helps and I know there are 100s of you out there who can relate with a backslide. But it’s hard to admit that after so long, I still snacked on yucky cookies the other night—how could I have done that? Regardless... I need to do something now. I’m tired of trying different workouts, climbing hills and beating myself up mentally and physically.

So... I’ve just put together a journal of sorts, with my weight, goals and body fat% all right in there. Twice, in the last ten years, I participated in a Challenge put out by a supplement company (EAS), started by Bill Phillips some dozen years ago. Phillips is now pretty well-known for his annual Body-for-Life challenges and book. I respond well to challenge and am just about ready to sign up for another. I’m a bit late for this year, but plan to start anyway! Has anyone out there ever tried these challenges? Just wondering... I’ll be logging my stats here, just as my book comes out, scared half to death, but trying to be brave at the same time. Wish me luck!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Just got in a workout that was extra fun because a friend and I were experimenting with an extra heavy-duty Spri Superband (color: purple) that I just bought. One of my perpetual goals is to perform one—just one—unassisted pull-up. I thought that this little “helper” could be the conduit to my dream! We flung the one end of the loop over the high bar of a squat cage and pulled it through the “hole” left in the middle into a knot known as a “cow hitch.” While my friend, Rob, pulled down the heavy elasticized loop far enough for me to step into (from a stool), I grabbed the high bar and voila! Pulled up and down (with rather bad form), performing pull-ups of a sort. The “action” doesn’t feel like a typical assisted pull-up machine; the elastic has a somewhat different effect. I found I got into better form when I stuck my knees into the loop instead of my feet, but the exercise became more difficult.

(This is what a more flexible version looks like. Oops - can't seem to copy the image... sorry!) The purple superband is about 2 inches wide and much more rigid. Fun and games at the gym. Just got back from a dog outing—these are usually good for a chuckle, as Samantha always puts on her doggy-face expectant look that simply cracks me up before I throw the kong out to her. I’m so happy today anyway that just about everything makes me smile!

Speaking of smiles, I’m picking up my youngest granddaughter at school later; she also has a knack for making me giggle. At 7½, she tends to regale me with all sorts of jokes, “knock-knock” and otherwise. If she’s heard a good one from her older sister, she often forgets a significant piece of the puzzle, but the new gag is even funnier! Lucky me to have such neat grandchildren. (Let’s see if that heart will stay there... It didn't!)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What is the DEAL?

What is the deal? I’m up at 5 a.m. and don’t have clients until nine o’clock. I should be dressing and on my way to the gym, or at least get on that spin bike we have (lucky us!), but that “other” part of myself is wanting her coffee and newspaper way too much more than exercise. I know that this mindset’s a habit that can (and needs) to be broken for the time being, at least, but I’m resistant.

I’ve read some of the blogs I follow in the last half hour instead of the paper and am refreshed—inspired! Be back later to finish this! THANK YOU ALL SO, SO MUCH! I’m off to take a run with the dog up a ridge nearby.

Later today after voting: I feel so lucky to find blogcompany in internetspace. I would never have pulled myself out of the gutter to move around in the humid outdoors without the bloggers out there who unabashedly write of the courageous things they are doing to lose weight and/or maintain a body that is functional and basically, happy.

I eventually went to work this morning, which takes place at Gold’s gym in northern California. After training a couple of people, I trained myself, because, after all, that’s what I need to do on a daily basis! Awwkkkk! Sometimes I resist resisting, however. I don’t really work out everyday, because I’m human, and also, because I’m prone to all the same commentary I hear from my clients: “I didn’t have the time,” or, “I took a long walk around ______ Lake the day before yesterday and didn’t think I needed to do any cardio today, “or any-you-name-it-excuse. I know them all. Just as I know all the diets that have ever been in existence. Only one works: the one where you treat the act of weight loss like a checking (or debit) account. Calories in, calories out. I don’t know any other way for my body, but if you’ve found a better (or easier way) please, please let me know! I know I’ll struggle tonight, just like any night, putting up barriers against evening-carb-syndrome or the “that can’t go to waste” disorder.

After my gym workout, I drove home (should get a bike, eh?) and took the dog for another outing. I may have gotten in my cardio on the hill this morning, but Samantha needs more. Many kong-tossings later at the park, we return to the abode, where I sit in front of the computer and create lists of changes to the proofs of my book (will this book every happen?). Finally, I finish and email it all off into cyberspace. Time to finish this blog and post.

Have planned a good, but simple chicken dinner with election TV as a side dish. Bon soir!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween: The Effects Linger...

Halloween has come and gone, but the effects linger! Although I was able to resist all candies and other sugary goodies, I was not able to put up my defenses against three versions of our hosts’ special chili dishes: buffalo, beef and turkey. I scarfed down a gigantic bowl of the scrumptious turkey chili with a side of garlic toast—too good! What a party—over 100 kids showed up for the food and fun that our generous hosts were offering. On the deck, an open pit provided fire to toast marshmallows for S’mores. Great fun for the costumed kids (and adults)! Invited doggies lingered at the edge of the action, hoping to snag some of the tasty treats. (We watched for any ingestion of toxic chocolate...) I guess I did a good job insofar as I was able to resist the temptations of candies and desserts, but the main course sure filled me up.

This morning, I had an appointment to call my editor to finish up the book proof. Getting very close to publishing this baby that’s been in the hopper for so long! We had a very productive editing session (my editor is incredible—catches the tiniest errors!). “That’s why they pay me the big bucks,” he chortles.

Then I delivered on a promise I made to myself last night. I showered (why?) and changed into gym clothes to get that cardio in. I drove to Gold’s and fifty minutes later, drenched, my trainer friend, Kristin, who has wanted to learn boxing moves, grabbed some gloves and target mitts from the office, and we get in a good punching workout. Trust me—if you’ve never tried boxing, go for it! A great cardio effect plus a good full body workout. You’ll be sweating profusely before you know it.

Home for the big veggie salad with chicken. This hits the spot—for the time being... Let’s see how the day progresses—a good Sunday with an extra hour to enjoy it. By the way, that's a picture of our dog, Samantha, as "Jeannie." She wasn't too thrilled about donning the duds, so we had a little striptease show about five minutes later.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

How Long Has It Been? Catch-up!

No excuses here, but I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks. Tempus fugit. I’ve been eating the fejoa that have dropped from the tree outside. It’s a fruit that looks similar to a kiwi, but doesn’t have the fuzz and is a brighter green. It tastes like a combination of apple and pineapple. I cut the fruit in half and scoop the inside out with a large spoon—yum!

I just returned from a trip to Colorado Springs, where I attended a conference organized by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. I am certified by the N.S.C.A. and need to “re-up” my cert. by the end of December. I’ve been short two educational units, so I decided to grace the grand ballroom of the Antlers Hotel with my presence. Little did I realize how scientific the keynote addresses would be! While the main goal of the conference was to present the most current research on strength and power training, I should have read the small print that included the words: “ ...scientific international...” Most of the information went flying over my head. The material was intended for doctors, high level university professors and exercise physiologists with Phds.

So I went for a walk on the second afternoon and explored downtown Colorado Springs. It was a gorgeous fall day, 70 degrees, with a lovely, warm breeze. I stopped by a couple of realtors to check out the prices—more bang for the buck here than in the bay area! Then I headed for the Fine Arts Center and had a look around. There was a good show by Walt Kuhn (Place and Time – An Imaginary History of the West) and a terrific showing of the permanent collection that I enjoyed immensely. I walked back towards town and perused stores that were selling typically western items—jewelry, boots, sweaters with bear and elk patterns woven in, and general kitsch. Then I headed for “home.” I had a massage appointment. Woohoo!

An excellent rub-down from a guy named Ruby, who is from India. His business card sports an amazing variety of offerings:

Yoga, Religion, Healing in India/Nepal/Bhutan/Tibet
Motorcycle Rides & Treks in the Himalayas
Volunteering at Christian/English Schools, Organic Farms
Safari’s (sic) in South Africa, Kenya & Tanzania
Rail & Bicycling in Europe & England
Must see bargains: Russia, Romania, Bulgaria

Ruby, you’re famous! And you are a good masseuse, a talent that you don’t mention on your biz card! Tomorrow: the great Halloween party last night, and my attempts at resisting the s'mores.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

From YoYo... to Maintenance...

Yoyo. Today, it’s a common slangy expression used in a greeting. To me, however, it more accurately describes my weight fluctuations for the last 50-something years, that sort of look like recent global market performance charts. I have lost large amounts of weight three times: once in my 20s, once in my 30s and finally, dropped 90+ pounds at age 48. I have remained within ten pounds of my goal weight (either over or under) for eleven years. The pounds I lost in my 20s (80 pounds) and 30s (84 pounds), were quickly regained. I subsequently added more fat to my growing body.

Until quite recently, there have been few resources available to help those of us to maintain often vast amounts of weight that many of us have managed to lose. While losing weight is tough enough—the prospect of maintaining a large loss is apparently daunting. Some “experts” (who are these experts, anyway?) say that less than 95% of the men and women who lose a large amount of weight can expect to keep it off. All THAT stat does is raise my hackles, acting as a super-motivater for me to try!!! Come on!

I quit reading studies by “experts” for a while, because their research was essentially telling me that I (and thousands of people like me) couldn’t beat the odds. That gets my blood boiling. There’s nothing I respond to more (in a positive way) than someone who tries to tell me that I can’t do something. (I must have been a hell of a challenge for my parents.) Put ON the gloves!

Officially, I reached my goal weight of 150 pounds on Halloween, 1997. I am 5’7” and currently weigh 161 pounds. I’m fitting (tightly) into size 10-12 pants and size 8-10 dress. By the time a book about my story (Last Journey Down) comes out next month, I “should” (excuse me—will be!) back down to my goal weight of 11 years ago. Yes, I’ve had to count calories and keep a food diary a large percentage of the time, since “eating in moderation” does not compute in my food mainframe in any way. Planning meals in advance, just as I did successfully in order to GET the weight off, still works best— ugh! But, it’s worked for 11 years, and I will not abandon success. I weigh myself about once a week—not daily. That would drive me nuts, since the scale is so volatile from day to day. I exercise each and every day—I’m a personal trainer, so I actually like working out—in many ways, and often outdoors, rain, shine, cold, snow.

Over the years, there have been blocks of time in which I’ve hired people—other trainers, who have kept me accountable when I was having trouble. And I’ve run into a lot of problems with food along the way. My ego can handle this—it can’t handle gaining all that lost weight back. I plan to stay at goal weight for the rest of my life, even though it’s still so hard to do this, from one day to the next.

There’s research that attempts to explain why maintenance is so difficult. A couple of years ago, Yale University did a study which supplied evidence that 80 – 85% of those who lost a substantial amount of weight would regain those lost pounds, and often more after a period of two to five years. The researchers theorized that our body metabolism changes after a big loss and afterwards, we can’t eat as much as we used to. (That’s a big “duh” for me.) But, I’m talking just eating a “little” extra and getting a gain. I guess that’s why we’ve been encouraged to exercise so much to maintain—both aerobically and anaerobically. Sigh. Controlled eating. Exercise. Controlled eating. Exercise. Repeat.

“Half of getting what you want is knowing what you have to give up to get it.” Bill Phillips

Monday, October 13, 2008

Doing Time on the Maintenance Track

Is there a blog out there on the subject of long-term maintenance for people who have lost a substantial amount of weight? Yes, there are a few! On another note, one study I read reported that the act of being accountable to a third party was key to maintaining weight loss. That sounds about right to me.

When I lost almost 100 pounds 11 years ago, I maintained the loss for a while by setting and resetting goals that I’d tick off one by one. Sometimes it was difficult coming up with goals that had a significant punch—one that I’d stick to. One of the things I did after I’d maintained for about three years, was join the non-profit organization, The National Weight Control Registry ( Being accountable to an annual (long) form I was asked to fill out was good, but an annual accounting to keep lost weight off is not enough for me. I need to have a constant source of goals: my off-exercise time exercise—to come up with a target that’s sexy and attainable. And believe me, it’s tough to conceive of these for ten years and counting.

As I’ve grown older, I’ve had joint problems, back and ankle issues and various muscle tears. I don’t even want to talk about hitting menopause! That’s ostensibly when I began having a real problem with maintenance. Exercise and my daily diet up until “the change” were no longer effective. No matter what happens, however, I will NEVER give up my quest to keep the lost weight off! It has been a wonderful challenge in the last decade and I have been at my happiest and most productive as well. I will simply not give up hope in my quest to remain lean and healthy for anything! Happy Monday!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

How Long It Takes (to get ready for the day arrrrgghhh!)

Good morning. Even though it's Saturday, there's lots to do, so I need to get up pretty early. I have to feed the cat and dog just about everyday (unless I'm sick or on vacation, in which case my husband, Bill, steps in--he's gone until tomorrow night). Then I'll feed myself. On weekends, I catch up on house chores--the boring things such as cleaning dirty clothes and vacuuming endless golden retriever hairs off of every surface. I could knit a sweater with this hair and maybe I will. Maybe I can locate my spinning wheel somewhere around here.

I have an eleven o'clock aerobics class on an awesome exercise system called "Living Motion." Then I'll take our dog, Samantha for a run... and throw things. Her favorite toy is the kong, preferably thrown into a body of water. Finally, I'll go back home and make lunch. Maybe more blogging and housework and if I'm lucky, some reading. I'm currently reading Dean Karnazes' 50 50. (50 marathons in 50 days in... you guessed it... 50 states - ouch!

I have a compulsion to read books like this to stay motivated. Since I lost most of my fat 11 years ago, I've developed some habits that are, for the most part, built-in. One of them is to stay close to videos, literature, seminars and any other informational and inspirational media to keep me excited enough to stave off my addiction to late-night carb bingeing. Last night, for instance, I did something I haven't done for a long time. My husband is away, and although I'd like to blame that scenario, it's just wrong for me to do that. After a fairly good supper of 6-8 ounces of chicken, some broccolini (it's just delicious!) and salad, I had a fudgesicle that was very satisfying. But some evil force that I still have trouble identifying crept into the depths of an unwary space inside of me that was temporarily unarmed, and off to the kitchen I went to spread two whole wheat slices of bread with peanut butter. Now, that's not the worst thing I've ever done. Last night, the damage happened to have stopped there. But I'll be on guard again tonight, when I'll have to fortify myself all over again. Got to get ready for the class - see? It does take me a while. Later all!

Friday, October 10, 2008

October 10, 2008

You might be wondering if it's possible to take a 60-year old's antics climbing in the Sierras seriously, but consider the facts. In 1995, I was facing a severe case of Graves Disease as a woman who had been morbidly obese pretty much all her life. My endocrinologist threw me a lifeline and the rest was up to me. I'm about to receive brand new copies of a book that I've spent the last seven years writing. It is about how I lost almost 100 pounds (and eventually 100 1/2 pounds) and how I've kept it off for eleven years... and counting.

As I sit here typing tonight, after feeding the cat and dog their daily requirements (and those requirements look pretty good, actually), I'm wondering how I've managed to keep most of my lost weight off. It's been tough at times, but I've set myself up for success. Here are some of ways I've done this. It would be highly embarrassing to show up at the gym to train a client at a weight of 230 pounds. I received instruction from my dear friend, Dirk, on how to climb several years ago. If I showed up at a pre-ordained date to climb in, say, Yosemite at 235 pounds... well, I just wouldn't have shown up. I'd have traipsed out to our garden to eat worms. At any rate, the reason I'm starting this blog is to let you all know that I've been through the ringer regarding the fact that I've been a fat girl all my life... well, almost all my life. And I've managed to somehow turn it around. Throughout the year of 1997, I lost almost 90 pounds. Since then, I've either kept most of it off, or lost even more. I have been reading some incredibly inspiring blogs that exist in cyberspace, but the stories are as real as if the writers were talking to me in this room. I really get it. Keep on writing about yourselves, because it helps me (and others, I'm certain!). I have a book coming out in a few weeks that chronicles my "last journey down" this time. My various diet and exercise programs are detailed, but moreover, my journey that shows how I have kept the lost weight off take up more than half the book. I hope you enjoy the story. But most of all, I hope the tale can inspire those who have been searching for a solution to losing and preventing any weight gains ever again.

All My Best from a Food Junkie,