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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year, New Attitude, New Religion

I was sitting and thinking this morning.  That makes me sound terribly introspective but really, I was in a post-sleep haze and it was the only function I was capable of at the moment.

So I was sitting, staring at my gym in the basement when a thought occurred to me.

It's silly but I was concentrating on the bright glow from the window and thinking about how it glowed so ridiculously that I was reminded of the light.  Well, not "the light", but "THE light".  Like people see upon death.  As in "Go towards the light."  So perfectly positioned in front of my treadmill.  So I have to go toward that life and into the afterlife.  MY afterlife.

I'm taking steps to rise above the entire life I've led and start anew to gain a heavenly-esque reward.  No more being the person breathing heavily because moving this amount of weight up and down stairs is one hell of a workout.  No more feeling like I'm not good enough because I hate the way I look.  No more panic attacks at the mere thought of having to go shopping for clothes that will inevitably not fit and make me feel like a fat cow.

I cleaned my gym, deodorized and scrubbed the carpet until it smells good enough to sleep on, and just in general got it totally pretty.  Because this next year IS going to be one heck of a party.  No struggling and thinking about the now.  I'm looking towards the future and only counting my steps forward.  Because every setback, oops, injury, and victory are steps towards my goals.  Learning.  Becoming stronger.  Not being the me from my life past.  Working towards the me of the future.  The me who has kicked that fat chick so hardcore that her insidious presence no longer rules me.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Let's Talk About Lube and Getting Things Blown


Not THAT kind of lube.  Get your mind out of the gutter.  I'm not Dr. Ruth doing a sex talk up in here.

So here is the story and hopefully telling it will help someone out as opposed to just making me terribly embarrassed that I was unaware.

I love my treadmill.  Not only does it allow me to walk and run when South Dakotan weather is nasty humid hot or -35F chilly, but it gives me hope.  It is my exercise buddy.  It doesn't judge me when I am forced to slow my pace.  It welcomes me back whether it's been since yesterday or a week since I visited.  It makes me healthy by taking care of me in a way I cannot do alone.  Yesterday it failed me.  I turned it on, it powered up, ran for a minute and then died.  I turned it on again and the poor thing tried again before powering off.  In desperation, I fled to the interwebs for answers.  I didn't call my husband to save me.  I didn't yell for tech support.  I sought to help my friend the treadmill.  After ages of sifting through the inevitable misinformation, I found a manual for my Schwinn 6100p treadmill.  Girding myself for the upcoming challenge, with my cute little pink and purple tool kit in hand, I began the delicate surgery on my dear friend.  Once naked, I inspected each fuse, wire belt, metal thingy, computer board and circuit, and everything else.  After checking that all was secure (and removing the toy mousie that God only knows how it got in there) I broke out the lube.

I sprayed under the running belt and along the rotating drums to reduce friction.  Apparently, this should be done regularly.  Oops!  So I lubed the hell out of him.

Then I gave his bits and pieces the blowing of his life.  He's never been blown like that thanks to a big ol can of compressed air.

Sparkly clean, not a speck of dust, primed for performance.

I plugged it back in.  Held my breath.  Pushed the power and start button.

It works!  I fixed it all by myself.  Now back on to the task of letting my treadmill help fix ME.

Moral of the story:  To do routine maintenance on yourself, your equipment might need some too.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Only Four More Sleeps Till Christmas

It's a tad early but to quote my favorite Christmas song:

"There's magic in the air this evening
Magic in the air
The world is at her best, you know
When people love and care
The promise of excitement is one the night will keep
After all there's only one more sleep till Christmas

The world has gotta smile today
The world has gotta glow
There's no such thing as strangers
When a stranger says "Hello"
And everyone is family, we're havin' so much fun
After all there's only one more sleep till Christmas

'Tis the season to be jolly and joyous
With a burst of pleasure we feel it all right
It's a season when the Saints can employ us
To spread the news about peace and to keep love alive"

I'm really trying to LIVE these song lyrics this week. I'm rocking an updated ticker:

But it doesn't make me feel good. I still feel fat but fake it since I feel like I'm supposed to be overjoyed.  But I'm trying.  I'm trying because of people like YOU.  I have been SO blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life that cheer me on, motivate me, listen patiently, and are just beautiful people inside and out.  They believe in me even when I can't bring myself to.  Never taking for themselves, they just give and give.  I have never met such beautiful women in all my life.  It's the kind of beauty that inspires others to be better people.

They ARE Christmas.  The feelings of joy, love, peace, and hope that surround us all.

Merry Christmas.  Happy Hanukkah.  Feliz Navidad.  Joyeux Noel.  Shalom.  

Thank you.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Victory Food

So, I'm still depressed but thankfully the gods of health and fitness have decided to take pity on me and add to my weight loss tally.

I don't get how this weight stuff works.  I'm super careful, eat exactly where I should be and nothing.  Then I say the heck with it, eat pizza (to be fair I gorged on pizza), have root beer floats, and almost call it quits and lose.  WEIRD.  I'm not complaining.  I'll take the loss.  i just wish I understood it.

ALSO:  There is this super sweet and beautiful girl I met on the internet who sent me a pair of jeans that didn't fit her properly.  THEY FIT ME!  They're a size 14 and they fit me.  Get this, when I graduated high-school, I was wearing a size 16.  When I started this whole dieting thing I was wearing a size 18 and even then they were tight.  I hope everyone trying to get healthy can experience the absolute, bubbly joy like I felt when those jeans slipped right on without a fight.  No spillage over the waistband either!

So in honor weight loss victory, I decided to try for a breakfast victory this morning.  On the menu:  maple sausage links, half a grapefruit, cranberry juice, and a delightful cheese soufflé.


Mini Cheese Soufflé

  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup whole milk (I didn't have any so I used 2% with a splash of cream in it)
  • 2½ tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 5 large eggs - divided with yolks and whites in separate bowls
  • 1 cup coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Grease 6 individual ramekins with butter. Coat each dish with the Parmesan cheese.
  3. Heat milk in heavy small saucepan over medium-low heat until simmering.
  4. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until mixture begins to foam.  (about 3 minutes — avoid browning). Remove saucepan from heat for 1 minute.
  5. Pour warm milk into flour mixture, whisking until smooth. Return to heat and cook, whisking constantly until thick (2 to 3 minutes). Remove from heat, and whisk in paprika, salt, and nutmeg.
  6. Add egg yolks 1 at a time, whisking to blend after each addition. Sprinkle in cheese and whisk to incorporate. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, scrape soufflé base into large bowl. Cool to lukewarm. (about 10 minutes)
  7. Beat egg whites in a clean, large bowl until stiff but not dry (you can use an electric mixer).
  8. Fold whites into the soufflé base a little at a time. Transfer batter to prepared dishes, divided equally.
  9. Set dishes onto a sheet pan, and place in oven on the lowest rack level. Immediately reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Bake until soufflés are puffed, tops golden brown, and center moves slightly when dish is shaken gently (about 25 minutes). Avoid opening oven door during first 20 minutes.
  10. Serve immediately.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Yes, I'm depressed.

No, it's not dire.

I don't feel like doing anything.  I can make myself, but I still don't like it.  I'm in such a mood that I'd rather sit on the couch and not move as opposed to doing almost anything.  I'm actually feeling a tad better today.  I wanted to blog about this on Thursday but simply could not bring myself to do so.  Not that I didn't want to, I just couldn't be bothered.  I think it's the weather.  The holidays.  The final exams coming next week.  The scale creeping so slowly in only 1/10 of a pound increments.  But I'm not allowed to be depressed.

That's my sister's "thing".  If she comes off as depressed at all, everyone is calling me and asking me to check on her, pleading with me to be extra kind to her, and just in general revolving the entire universe around her.  If I'm depressed, I get told that I'm not and that I need to be less dramatic.  Wonder why I learned to just shut my trap and not bother anyone with my problems.  Whether imaginary or legit.


To distract myself yesterday, I made a couple candies to the holidays.

Hard caramels that (if I may toot my own horn) rival Werther's Originals.  My first try!

And I made gumdrops!  The red ones are orange flavored and the green are lemon.  I think they'll be used to decorate the gingerbread house I'm making with my niece this year.

The gumdrops aren't ready yet as they take two days to cure, but I have sampled a few and they're delicious!

Also, i think it's about time to start thinking about New Year's resolutions.  It IS coming fast.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

UGH! I Feel Squishy

I am still trying to battle Thanksgiving.  I ate reasonably, didn't drink but one non-water beverage, and even avoided gluten pretty darn successfully.

Except for the dip.

YOU HEARD ME!  Hi!  I'm Anna and apparently when you mix a brick of cream cheese with taco seasoning and then top it with cheese, tomato, lettuce, and olives... I can't stop eating it.  Like, I would stop and realize I was licking my fingers even though I swear I don't remember ever taking a chip to that dip.  Super-salty taco dip equals major bloat.  MAJOR.  I woke up on Friday morning an weighed EIGHT pounds more than I did on Thursday morning.  It made me want to vomit.  So I've been eating as clean as possible since then, avoiding salt and gluten, and am almost down to pre-turkey day weight except for a reasonable 1.5 pounds that I can feel as a squishy fluid all around my waist.  So no weigh in for me this week.  I'll just be happy to lose this bloat.

But I'm a self hater.  I made naan tonight.

Delicious flatbread, grilled outside, a touch of char to the edge, but super soft none the less.  I totally ate like four of them.  So yeah, I'll be squishier tomorrow morning.  I can feel the itching beginning already.  Guess what?  SO worth it.

In other news:  I've decided to start working towards item #1 on my 101 things in 1001 days list.  I've started working on a few (including learning a piano piece by heart, new soup creations, and smiling at babies) but the first goal I wrote down was "Run a 5k for time".  I don't just want to complete the run, I want to race!  I'm starting the Couch to 5K program again as soon as finals are done and this time I'm going to really work on my weakness.  Pace.  I haven't been able to develop a good rhythm that doesn't have me blowing the majority of my energy before the second leg of the race.  So I'm working on it.  I wish I had someone to run with to help with this.  I'm too intimidated to hang out with the local running club.  Maybe I'll feel legit enough post-5K-race.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Empty Victory

I'm feeling down again.

I don't understand why my body, or brain, or whatever, is letting this fat chick take control.  I should be be pleased today.  I've done it!  I've officially moved to the other side of my weight loss ticker.

I was happy, don't get me wrong.  I got that wonderful, warm, cheerful feeling in my heart but it faded so quickly.  Second after it was replaced by the insidious voice of that fat chick inside me.  I thought I was destroying her but the whispers have began again.  Looking in the mirror, I don't see twenty-six pounds gone.  She whispers, "what's the point of weight loss if you can't see it at all?"  Reminds me that I still look fat. She makes me look at the spots on my naked body that are disgusting and obviously not changed by weight loss.

Twenty-six pounds is a lot!  That's the weight of three good-sized newborn babies.  You would think I could see something.  Heck, I think I should see something.  But no. That bastard of a fat chick is still in control.  Why won't she leave me be?  I just want to look in the mirror once and think "ooh.  I look good!"  Is that too much to ask for?  I mean, I didn't even really feel pretty on my wedding day.  This sucks!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy Monday! No, Really.

I've been suffering from what I refer to as "the weekend bloat".  It's due to my weekend eating being a tad more free and less regimented when it comes to salts, gluten, and fats.  So to be fair, I don't really suffer on the weekend.  I enjoy myself immensely.  It's the full pound or two of bloat that is in evidence on Monday and often until Wednesday that makes me suffer.  I feel all squishy around my mid-section and I think it's really visible in my face.  BUT not today.  i hopped on the scale this morning and it said I am .2 pounds less than I was on Friday morning!  That's not a big loss at all but since I sorta expected it to say I was up two pounds due to bloat, I'm thrilled.  I guess this low-cholesterol diet IS good for something besides torturing me.

In other news:
I made the best salad EVER.  So simple, healthy, and amazing it taste like one of those bad-for-you meals.  It even looks unhealthy.  I failed to pick up tomatoes at the store so it was a tad lacking today but generally it tastes like a BLT.

It's just baby romaine lettuce tossed in a balsamic vinegarette and then topped with a half ounce of cheddar cheese, two diced hard-boiled egg whites, and a serving of turkey pepperoni that I crisped up in the oven.  It really is delicious!  Especially with tomatoes diced as well.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I received my official heart risk report in the mail just now.  It really isn't pretty.

                                   My Numbers          Desirable Number
Total Cholesterol               244                          < 200
Triglycerides                     133                          < 150
HDL                                   31                           > 40
LDL                                  187                          < 130
TC/HDL Ratio                   8.0                           < 4.5

So today I started my day with two packs of heart healthy Quaker apples and cinnamon oatmeal.  If one is heart healthy, two has to be double as good.  Right?  I picked up some baby spinach to add an extra olive oil vinaigrette salad to my daily routine, some Smart Balance butter substitute, and some supplements.

Details include:

"Trust your heart health with Nature Made Fish Oil 1200 mg, Burp-Less. Every 2 softgels deliver 720 mg of Omega-3s. Burp-Less Fish Oil has all the heart healthy benefits of regular fish oil and is specially coated (enteric coated) to help control fish burps, fishy odor and aftertaste. The Omega-3s in Burp-Less Fish Oil protect the heart by keeping cell membranes flexible and healthy.
  • Supportive but not conclusive research shows that consumption of EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.  (See nutrition information for total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol content.)
  • EPA and DHA are the two key Omega-3s for heart health 
  • Every 2 softgels deliver 720 mg of Omega-3s, including 600 mg of EPA & DHA (360 mg EPA/240 mg DHA); more than the 500 mg of EPA and DHA recommended by some experts for heart health.
  • Specially coated to help control fish burps"
I'm not even going to lie.  I totally giggled at all the fish burp references.  Maybe I'll be able to compete with my husband now.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Broken Hearted

You know how sometimes it seems like everything is going well and you just sit waiting for something to go wrong?

That was me.

I've been doing pretty well overall in my efforts to get healthy physically by slimming down and getting stronger, and mentally by kicking that fat chick in the mirror in the butt in an effort to actually like myself.  I've been watching everything I eat.  Sure, on high-stress days i probably don't eat enough to keep up the weight loss but that's not often and I'm not slipping back into my old ways of not eating enough to survive.  Well, enough to survive but not enough to really live.  I've hit roadblocks and overcome them. 

Then today I got news that has shaken me.  My cholesterol screening came back and it appears I have the cholesterol levels of a fifty year old, male, pound of bacon a day, never exercising, two pack a day smoking, couch potato.  I have no family history of anything  heart related.  I'm rattled.  I've made SO many changes to get healthy.  I researched healthy options to loved foods so my husband wouldn't have to suffer during my weight loss.  I exercise and had even started training for a 5k.  I can run a 5k but I want to do it well.  I want to really race.  Completing a race is amazing!  BUT  I wanna beat people.  Anyway...  so I'm at a point where I really don't have that many things I can do in an effort to fix this cholesterol problem myself.  After an informal consultation with my favorite nutrition guru and some independent research talking to friends and using Google, here is my gameplan:

  • oatmeal, fruit, egg whites, or a combination of the three for breakfast
  • add Benefiber to everything I can
  • take fish oil and niacin capsules daily
  • switch to all low or no-fat dairy  (goodbye 2 year old, black label cheddar in my soup)
  • eat more quinoa and brown rice for the whole grain
  • no butter, just SmartBalance plus Calcium
  • eat beans at least twice a week
  • eat wild-caught fish at least twice a week
  • avoid juices with added fructose
  • only lean meats (goodbye favorite cut of meat: ribeye)
  • use sunflower oil instead of vegetable oil
  • add an extra 15 minutes of aerobic exercise per day
You know what sucks about that gameplan?  Can you see it?

It cramps my holiday style!  I rarely see anything that at holiday buffets that look like they are heart healthy.  "Heart Healthy".   I never figured I would be overly concerned with that sorta thing for at least another decade or so.  My doctor would prefer medical intervention and drug therapy immediately but dang it!  I'm not seventy!  I insist on trying to manage this all myself for a little bit first.  If no change in three months, I'll accept the doctor's opinion.  I'm too young for heart meds.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Giveaway and a Holiday Struggle

First things first.  I wanted to totally keep it to myself to up my chances but over at Prior Fat Girl they're doing a few fabulous giveaways that include a Polar heart rate monitor (hurry ends tonight), Some Billy Blanks programs, and a Shape magazine wellness pack that looks totally awesome.  Click here to enter:

In other news, it's just over 50 days until Christmas and tomorrow marks the start of my holiday struggle.  My church does a huge bazaar every year with tons of handcrafts, linens, books, furniture, and most importantly... food.  Not just any food.  Traditional Norwegian fare that defies you to try to put a caloric amount on it.  I'm sure you can do it, but the numbers would probably shock you into death.

Speaking of numbers:

BAM!  One more pound to the half way goal!

So it's totally important that I don't completely sabotage my progress with a gorge-fest.  And it totally could be.  Lefse, Swedish meatballs, pie, more lefse, shrimpy sandwiches, Rømmegrøt, sweet coffee, rosettes, and I have to admit that they may very well be more lefse.  What to do?  It's totally a once a year event but my weight is my life.  I know just one day isn't going to completely erase what I already have achieved, but then again, is one day of food pleasure worth setting back something that's for my life?

I mean c'mon!  It's kicking off Christmas!
But I might have to kick my own butt afterwards.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Day Zero ~ 101 Things in 1001 Days

If you haven't heard of the Day Zero Project, you should definitely check it out.  I'm excited for it.

Almost as excited as I am about Christmas.  Almost. Speaking of Christmas, my husband saw my eyes light up at Lowe's this weekend when I caught sight of a pretty, white, metal, tree with lights for outside.  I have one that's done it's duty for almost ten years and needs to retire due to rust.  My cat approves of the colored lights. (we had to try it out) Heck, I approve of the colored lights.  Those led ones are pretty nifty.

ANYWAY.  Day Zero Project.  I'm doing it.

Here is my list:
1    Run a 5k race for time
2    Identify 100 things that make me happy
3    Learn a poem by heart
4    Make a custom recipe book
5    Get to my goal weight and maintain
6    Go on a picnic
7    Learn to say "I love you" in 10 languages
8    Learn to write with my left hand
9    Keep the kitchen spotless for 30 days
10  Be proficient in conversational French
11  Take a photo of the same place every month for year and then turn it into a calendar for the next year
12  Build a piece of furniture I'll want to pass on to my children
13  Be able to play a full Christmas song, by heart, on the piano
14  Make a pie on Pi day
15  Make soap
16  Answer the "50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind"
17  Make a list of the top 5 people who have positively influenced me and write them letters
18  Keep my room tidy for a month
19  Create a painting worthy of hanging in my house
20  Have a new list of 101 Things written before my 1001 days are done
21  Have a monthly game night for a whole year
22  Make a quilt
23  Serve dinner by candlelight every Friday during the dark of winter
24  Read 10 books by local authors
25  Learn to juggle 3 balls
26  Build a gingerbread house
27  Do at least 1 project a month off of Pinterest
28  For one year, pick one person a day and honestly compliment them
29  Do a charity bicycle ride
30  Make a souffle that my husband likes
31  Make a simple household chores chart and stick with it
32  Send 101 postcards via
33  Draw at least once a week for a year
34  Make a pillow for the bed
35  Go ice skating
36  Read the bible and make a list of bible verses that touch me
37  Sew an apron
38  Take time for a coffee break once a week
39  Do all basic maintenance on my truck for 6 months
40  Lay in the grass and just watch the clouds go by
41  Make homemade pickles
42  Make a last name photo collage from my own pictures
43  Host a non-holiday party
44  Develop a daily stretching routine
45  Do 1 random act of anonymous kindness a week
46  Make mozzarella in my own kitchen
47  Grow my own mushrooms and cook with them
48  Make 10 random babies smile
49  Say "I love you" to my husband. Every day
50  Take 10 minutes a day to just sit and think about non-pressing things
51  Change someone's life for the better
52  Take a day trip to a state park
53  Wear nail polish and keep it looking nice for a month
54  Play a round of golf with my husband
55  Re-learn to cross-stitch and make something useful
56  Make my own candles
57  Study 6 different cultures per year; have a themed weekend for each with food, music, culture and geographical info for the family
58  Wear a sexy halloween costume
59  Make a family tree
60  Learn how to take a compliment
61  Have my make-up done at a make-up counter
62  Learn how to play the harmonica
63  Find a four leaf clover
64  Climb a tree and take a photo of the view
65  Have a Halloween party
66  Decorate my bedroom
67  Find a hat I don't look silly in
68  Write a poem
69  Go to a drive-in movie
70  Make a list of things I'd like to see before I die
71  Develop a signature entree that will one day be what grandchildren compare all other foods to
72  Design and build a vertical garden
73  Learn to love myself even just a little bit
74  Make a pretty calendar of some sort to keep track of birthdays and other special events
75  Decorate the family room properly
76  Teach 6 people to appreciate Christmas
77  Get rid of all clothes in my closet that do not and never will fit
78  Enter something for competition at the Sioux Empire Fair
79  Detail my truck's interior and keep it that way with weekly maintenance
80  Bring back kissing under the mistletoe
81  Get recertified at CPR
82  Make a time capsule to be opened on our 20th anniversary
83  Hit 50 lbs weight loss goal
84  Learn to be comfortable naked
85  Write a list of songs that I want played at my funeral
86  Watch the sunrise and sunset on the same day
87  Knit a blanket
88  Spend a weekend living like it's the 1800's. No electricity, no internet, just old fashioned entertainment
89  Spend an evening watching a meteor shower
90  Develop 5 new soup variations
91  Pick 3 things that are stereotypically "man activities", and learn to do them well
92  Get confident enough to once again sing in the presence of someone else
93  Scan old family pictures and make a book or books of them with proper labels
94  Make 5 new family traditions
95  Sew a week's worth of outfits
96  Learn to do a fancy braid to my own hair
97  Complete the P90X workout system
98  Go on 6 day trips to places I've never gone in my area
99  Sew a patchwork tablecloth that's pretty for any season
100 Combat my negative self talk with positive self talk. Daily
101 Teach my niece something that only I can do 
It's a handful but I think if I challenge myself I can do it.  If you'd like to follow me on the Challenge site:

Monday, October 24, 2011

I'm a Sinner

Life has been crazy.  I've been sick since last Thursday, demolishing my homework to-do list, cleaning my house, I sold my soul, and made the most delightful pumpkin-carrot cake with cream cheese icing.  Seriously.  If I gain a pound from eating it, I'm fine with it. No really!  SO worth it.

I used this SparkPeople recipe:

But I altered it a touch.  I definitely didn't use light butter. Paula Deen would approve. I used 3 whole eggs instead of using the egg whites. For the topping, I didn't bake it.  Instead I whipped together 3 C of icing sugar, a brick of cream cheese (not light), a splash of vanilla, a stick of butter, and a big splash of heavy cream.

SO worth it.  Because:
Look at my numbers!  They're almost even!

ALSO:  I'm totally doing the 101 things in 1001 days challenge.  I'm still thinking of my last 10 items but i start November 1st.  If you'd like to get on board here's the link:

I'll post my list and updates here on the blog as I complete.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Mind is Blown!

I've working out, nothing big, just walking and running mostly.

I've been so busy with school and other stuff that no, I have not been counting my calories on SparkPeople this last week at all.  I eat healthy food to begin with and think I've been snacking enough to keep my calories in an acceptable burn instead of starvation zone.

I stepped on the scale this morning and cringed as I waited for the digital readout to tell me I screwed up and that the Coke I drank on Tuesday, coupled with the 3 chocolate dipped cocoa rice krispie bars in the last three days (but they were good!) has resulted in a big weight loss dud.  NOPE.  I'm officially on the rice krispie treat and Coke diet because dang it works!

In other news:  I found a happy-place today.  I started piano lessons after nearly two decades without touching a piano.  It all came flooding back.  I'm weak and obviously don't have the comfort level I did years ago but it felt so natural and perfect!  It's something I can be a success at no matter what else happens in life.  We don't have a piano at home and I can't afford a snazzy sixty-plus key Yamaha or whatever keyboard, so for the time being I'm going to practice by plugging away on the only thing I could afford.  This:

It's cheesy, cheap, and meant as a kid's toy..  Oh well.  Music is still music.  I'll make do like I always will.  Maybe I'll luck out and Santa will have a spare big-girl keyboard lying around by Christmas  ;)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Weight Loss Goal Met.

Hi.  I'm officially less fat today than I was yesterday.

But you know what?  I can't really see it.  It's 20 pounds!  That's like 3 small newborn babies.  You would think that it would be evident I had lost that much. It's not.  I still feel fat as ever.  SO..  I think it really must be all in my head this time.  That whole "the first step is admitting you have a problem" saying is right.  I'm there.  I know that my perception of myself is skewed.   I'm working on it but I really don't have a clue what I am doing.  No clue other than that I've begun to tell myself to shut up if that little voice in my ear gets loud and negative.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Showing the Fat Chick Who the Boss Is

Happy Monday!  Well, almost Monday.  I'm jumping ahead a bit since I'm actually looking forward to this next week.

I was feeling pretty down last week but some lovely people (and one lady in particular) know how to get me out of a funk.  I needed to snap out of it but I was in a "woe is me" sort of frame of mind.  Damn that fat chick.  Slowly whispering her poison words in my ear.  Damn me for falling for it again! 

She tried to make me feel insignificant.  She tried to make me believe I am a failure.  Well I showed her!

I lost weight again.  Will you look at that!  I'm only 6 pounds away from being halfway to my big goal!  I weighed in at almost 18.5 stone and I'm almost at 17 stone!  What's a stone you ask?  A pound is about .0714 stone.  I'd just flat out say my weight but to be honest, it grosses me out.  So at this point you'll either have to do the math if you're not familiar with units of mass that are used outside the U.S, or just take my word that I'm fat and my current weight indicates a significant improvement.  While it may not seem like a lot of success to you all, I'm just pleased the number is getting smaller instead of bigger.  I was (and still am) terrified that starting school would result in convenience eating, a return to poor nutrition, and a freshman-15 weight gain.  If the fat chick who is the visualization of my negative self image had her way, I'd be blubbering on the couch about how I just want to be happy.  She'd want me to bake a cake because cake makes everything better.  She's partially right, cake is magical, but also calorie laden.  She'd want me to ask my husband to pick up take-out because I'm too busy studying.  Too busy to cook?  Maybe this fat chick doesn't know me as well as she lets on?  She'd also not want me to blog.  The fat chick I see in the mirror wants me to be dependent upon her for all forms of validation.  She wants me to be lonely, fat, and without hope.

The fat chick forgot one thing though.  I really do hate that chick and I really do want to kick her butt.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Hi. I'm Anna and I Have a Problem.

I've always been the girl with one good friend.  The sort of friend who would drop everything and drive 1500 miles in the middle of the night just because I called and said I needed her.  I've never had a lot of real friends.  I mean... I know a lot of people and would totally stop to chat for a minute if we met on a city street, but they're not the sort of friends that call me or throw me a party or hug me when I'm down.  A year ago, just before my birthday, my best girl friend left me.  I've come to grips with the fact that she must not have been a very good friend and I'm probably better without someone in my life that constantly takes and takes without ever giving back.  But it broke my heart.  Not that it's a terrible thing at all, but I feel like I'm missing something with only my husband on my list of real live friends.  He's a sweetheart, but he just doesn't take the place of that great friend.  After all, it's not like I can complain about silly things my husband does when my sounding board IS my husband.

I've been in denial.  I've been filling that missing place in my heart with busy-work.  I was studying anatomy today (and made a kick-butt PowerPoint about the skeletal system) and tried to figure out if there was a physiological reason for how I've been feeling lately.

This picture I took:

It made me realize that I've just been a shell of my former self lately.  I'm all structure with no substance.  I'm terribly, terribly, lonely.  It's gotten to the point that I have begun to devalue myself more than the ever present fat chick inside was ever able to do.  I've even been avoiding online friends.  I feel like I don't want to bother them, bring them down, or assume a level of friendship that perhaps they don't feel like reciprocating. I just don't want to be a bother. I need a friend.  I need someone I can call at midnight if I can't sleep and then argue with over whether any of the chicks on the Real Housewives shows have real boobs, or laugh about some random happening of the day that isn't that funny but is hilarious to us.

I feel terrible because my husband tries so hard and is such a wonderful man who I think would try to find a way to fix any problem if I asked him to.  But I need more.  I'm a social person and I haven't had a heart to heart conversation with another person in a while.  No girl talk.  No spa days for manicures.  No drinks and pie after a chick-flick.  I am so lonely it hurts.  The only conversation I have had today, was with my cats and they were no help at coming up with a game plan for studying for my upcoming exam on Wednesday.  In fact, my limited knowledge of cat-language gave me the impression that Charley thinks I should attempt to learn by osmosis and just sleep on my book, and Lucy just expressed her distaste for science by licking her butt.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Motivation... Have You Seen It?

Another week, another pound lost.

But I don't even care.  That makes me sad.  I should be all YAY I'M LOSING WEIGHT!!!!!! but instead i really can't even get motivated enough to celebrate.  I'd rather just sit here on the couch and... well... sit.  It's around seven pm on Saturday and my poor husband hasn't been fed dinner.  I don't even really care.  It's not like he's going to starve.  He'll fend for himself if need be.  The kicker?  I'M hungry and can't be bothered to make anything.  So yes, I am depressed. 

It's not a dire sort of depression as of yet.  I'm still here enough to recognize the problem and I'm pretty sure I could snap myself out of this round of it.  I'm gonna try anyway.  I've made a hair appointment for Tuesday.  I hate to spend money on myself. Hate it.  If it will make me feel beautiful, it'll be worth the cost.  Heck, the scalp massage is worth the cost.  While I'm there, I shall peruse their OPI nail polish selection and bring something pretty home to do my nails with.  Maybe something festive!  I wish I could find this:

It's OPI's color called "The Rainbow Connection" that's coming out along with the new Muppets movie in November.  I want it.  Doesn't it just look like a bottle full of happy?  Of course, I'll probably have talked myself out of spending money by then.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Seriously Diet??!???!?

Yes.  The excessive punctuation in the title was completely necessary.  This is a giant ol' WTF post.

I lost another pound.  I'm not doing a darn positive thing different this week from last week.  In fact, because classes started I've been naughty and picked back up my ginger ale habit.  So why did I lose weight?  I haven't been losing pounds at all in weeks and then this.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not upset by the loss itself.  I'm upset since obviously I still don't understand how my body works.  I need a math problem.  This one is good:

 But it's basic.  There is so much more to it.  otherwise I'd have already hit my weight goal.  I am SO sick of being fat and just want straightforward and 100% accurate advice.  Is there and honest to God, "exercise+willpower(my fat butt/calories less)=weightloss" formula out there somewhere?  What am I missing?

Monday, August 29, 2011

I Wasn't Kicked

You know how life always seems to kick people when they're down?

I've been panicking up until about an hour ago.  Like stomach in knots, jittery, panicking and all because I hate to feel out of control and I was still waiting on info from one of my new classes.  It's an online course since I simply cannot imagine making the 45 minute commute to the main campus once the snow begins to fly around here.  My brother made that commute and it once took him 2 hours +.  No thank you.  Well.. I haven't got a syllabus.  I sent an email to the professor and thankfully she wrote back to me today before I could fully spiral into panic.  So that's all sorted.

Since the day was looking so good, I determined that I was in a good place to get some less than stellar news.  I'm been a tad sensitive lately.  So I hopped on the scale and braced for tragedy since I've been eating like absolute shite.  Or more specifically, not eating.

Imagine my surprise!  I lost a pound in the last week!  Someone must have taken pity on me because I don't deserve it.  I really didn't do anything positive besides the usual and even some of that I slacked off on.  I'm trying to promise myself to work harder.

Off topic:  Anyone ever read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley?  It was published in 1932 but it's terribly modern and brilliant.  I'm halfway through it.  Thoughts?

Friday, August 26, 2011

I'm Afraid

I'm going to school as of Monday!

I'm so excited to feel like I have a purpose in life again.  Being unemployed and constantly searching for jobs has made me feel useless and like a big old loser.  I like learning though.  My brain has felt so dull lately.  It'll be great to sharpen it up a bit.  You do lose it if you don't use it.

Even with all the excitement of new books, new bag, news folder, and new super-cute purple paperclips (because I HAD to have them) I am terrified. 

I'm terrified that I'm not going to be able to juggle being busy with my diet.  It was 3:30pm yesterday when I stopped and realized that I was dizzy from having only had a can of ginger ale all day.  Even with dinner I only ate 600-ish calories.  I know, I know.  There are people who wish they could reduce their calories down to a reasonable point to lose weight and here I am complaining that I need to eat more.  I'm sorry.  I can't just eat a pizza. I wish it was that easy. I've always had an easy time restricting things, adding things... not so much.  I rarely am ever hungry.  It's really hard to enjoy good food when you don't want to be eating it in the first place.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy good food.  BUT I would seriously be content with a soda, veggie cream cheese on an egg bagel, and popcorn for dinner each day.

What if I start gaining weight by going back to school?  What if I just don't have an appetite because I'd rather read and study than eat?  What if I'm a big ol' failure?

I now have a big knot in my stomach that i'm pretty sure is taking up the space food should go.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dear Diary

I posted this on my TK message board today but decided to post it here too since it felt very close to a diary entry after I had posted it.

I am the fat kid.

When I was young, if my mother didn't feel like cooking we had pizza.  i always remember chips, microwave cheese and butter popcorn, and a freezer full of Schwan's frozen foods that included pizza burgers, pot pies, personal pizzas, and fried chicken products.  I remember once asking if my mom would buy oranges since I loved them when they were served at school.  She said they were too expensive and since I liked them they'd disappear too fast.  My sister and I use to chase each other and play loudly.  Until: "Would you just sit down and watch tv?!!  That's quiet at least!"  Until recently I took all of the blame for my weight upon myself.  I didn't want to be the person who always blames their parents and doesn't take responsibility.  But really.  I'm learning to not blame myself as much since I've recently realized that i really was never taught good food habits.

I was a depressed teenager who wanted to fade into the background and was convinced I was just a loser for not being able to be pretty or thin enough.  I can't say I'm not still slightly convinced.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Wanna ask me how P90X is going?

Don't bother.  I haven't started yet.  It's intimidating, I'm a chicken, and being lazy is so much more fun.  But at least I'm honest.  I'll be starting it Monday.  No excuses this time. 

It's hard to come up with motivation to better my body.  I don't know why and I think it's stupid, but it is.  Oddly enough, I have a competitive streak that drives me to beat others.  I was always the little kid who would yell "race ya!" and then take off down the sidewalk.  I think it stemmed from feeling inferior most of the time.  Competition allowed me to earn my place at the top.  To have a victory that others could recognize and appreciate.  I never felt entitled to good things.  Because, well, I never felt good enough.  This experiment/blog is about overcoming the negativity against myself and to stand tall by myself and for myself.  But i still need others to do this. Thank God for them. I've got motivation now!

Today equals 98 days until good old Greedy Pig Fest...  I mean Thanksgiving.  Typically I try to lose 2 or 3 pounds previous to balance out the extra weight a pumpkin pie diet brings.  This year I'm taking part in a weight loss challenge with a few fabulous women.  We're all different shapes and sizes so we're basing the challenge off of percentage of weight loss.  Whoever loses the highest percentage of weight loss in a healthy manner by Thanksgiving wins.  98 days of hardcore working out and watching my diet.  The winner will be mailed prizes from the losers.  Just something little from each of the other participants.  Of course, the losers might be winners themselves.  I don't mind losing if I still pull off a significant weight loss.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

New Beginnings

I've officially finished the 30 Day Shred!  I think I'm going to print out one of these award certificates and fill in my own name.

As much as it sucked hardcore, I think I am better for it.  Here's what I achieved by the end:
  • I don't lose my breath as easily so I was able to swear at Jillian Michaels more efficiently.
  • I noticed I am usually following the harder example of the exercises not the modified.
  • I've learned to drink from my water bottle while doing jump ropes, and high knees.
  • I've regained some of the flexibility I had years ago.  My knee seems stronger for it.
  • I've lost inches.  Most noticeable in my waist.
  • I feel like I accomplished something
BUT.  The fat chick is still here and she's still fat.

Phase 2:  P90X

I'm scared, excited, terrified, and totally hoping for magic.  I'm willing to put the work in, I'm just hoping the program will get the numbers moving on the scale.

Any advice on P90X?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Some Ups and Some Downs

I mowed the lawn today and was interested to see the stats on what kind of workout it was.  I'm impressed.

It's neat to see that it's a pretty darn close workout to 30 Day Shred.

I'm having a low self esteem day.  I can see differences in my body.  People are starting to comment on it.  BUT.  I still can't get past the number thing.  It's not like I'm 150 pounds and trying to lose 10 of fat.  I've got like 50 pounds to lose.  It's great that I'm building muscle along with losing fat but I really need those numbers to start moving. 

I need to get to a point where I don't see that weight whenever I look in a mirror.  I want to be comfortable in my skin.  I feel fat all the time. I feel like the elephant in the room.  I knew it was going to be tough to begin fixing my horrible self-image.  I just hoped the weight loss would be a bit smoother.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Testing Out the New Toy

I did my last day of level 2 of the 30 Day Shred.  Thank God!  I'm ready for level 3.

I hate:
  • plank jack
  • pendulum lunges w/ hammer curls (my knee hates)
  • double crunches

Thanks to my handy-dandy new heart rate monitor, here are my results after doing my dvd workout:

Now.  What they mean?  I'm working on it.  ;)

Monday, August 1, 2011

An Early Birthday Miracle

I am so flipping excited!

No more worrying if my calories burned estimate is right.  No more wondering is I need to eat more because I had a really intense workout.  got an early birthday present today! It's the answer to 99% of my dieting doubts and questions.

It was too late to try it out today, but I'm thrilled to try it tomorrow and finally know how many calories I burn during the 30 Day Shred.  I was supposed to start level 3, but i think I'll do one more day of level 2 just to see the numbers on my most hated workout.

Here are the stats and info on the Polar FT7 heart rate monitor:
  • Clear training guidance for those who want to know if they’re improving their fitness or burning fat.
  • The EnergyPointer tells you if the main effect of your training is fitness improvement or fat burning.
  • Displays calories burned.
  • Comes with comfortable textile transmitter and coded heart rate transmission to avoid cross-talk
  • Average and maximum heart rate of training
  • Heart rate – bpm / %
  • HR-based target zones with visual and audible alarm
  • HRmax (user set)
  • Manual target zone – bpm (upper limit)
  • Polar EnergyPointer
  • Polar OwnCal® – calorie expenditure
  • Polar OwnCode® (5kHz) – coded transmission
  • Training load – available via

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Some Rib Action

Happy Sunday!

Quick post today.

So I was laying on the bed this morning with my feet hanging off.  This is the pose that makes me the skinniest I can be.  I mean, it's the same pose I strike when trying to zip up or button too-tight pants.  It slims me.  But anyway, I was wearing my comfy pajama pants and had my tank top pulled up so that I could use my stomach as a drum. Don't pretend you've never done it!  If you really haven't, you should.  It's highly amusing as the tone of the "drum" changes based upon what you've eaten or drank.

ANYWAY.  I'm so darn easily distracted today.  My husband looks over while I'm drumming away and says "Sweetie.  You've got some rib action going on over there."  Sure enough, he was right.  Not that it's visible when I'm standing but without intentionally sucking it in, I've got "rib action."

Guess the workouts ARE working.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Diet vs Boobs

We've all heard women complain that the first place on their body that loses weight is their breasts.  I wouldn't mind if that happened to me as long as I lost weight all over so I'm at least proportioned.  They're kinda big and a pain anyway.

So a few weeks ago, I had to start putting on my bras by using the middle of the three rows in the back.  I was like,
"Huh?  Guess I lost weight around my rib cage.  Maybe I'll luck out and go down a cup size."
Then last week, I had to start putting on my bras by using the tightest of the three rows in the back.  I was like,
"Weird.  Maybe these bras are all stretchy so I can't tell the cup difference."
Then this morning I put on a bra and realized  that it was so loose that it was bra shopping day.  I went to Kohl's, picked up a few bras, tried them on and bought this cute Olga one (below - Kohl's model pictured) along with some more serviceable ones and some underwear that don't look like saggy old lady undies.  Yep.  I lost weight in my butt too.  Some clothes look better, but some like the underwear...  not so flattering.

But...  I just bought a smaller size band.  This diet hates me.  I swear my boobs are bigger.  I bought my normal cup size since I kinda refuse to buy anything in the ridiculous size ranges.

Another weird thing I've noticed lately:  my socks don't fit properly.  I don't think I suffered from fat-foot-syndrome and that I've lost weight in my feet, but what other explanation is there?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Plateau is Over

Thank God!

I finally lost a pound.  I've been panicking.  I know, I know!  It's not all about the weight.  I totally took a pic on Monday and compared it to the pic I took 2 weeks ago.  I am definitely seeing a difference.  Especially in my waist/belly area.  I'm halfway done with the 30 Day Shred and although I might hate Jillian Michaels, I gotta admit that the chick knows her workouts.

I'm currently debating between the Insanity workout and P90X.  I have both available and am unsure which to take on first.  They're both supposed to be great workouts.  Insanity has been nicknamed Intensity.  So maybe I should take that as a warning.  Plus, if I start P()X on the Monday after I finish the 30 Day Shred, I'll finish it 2 days before Thanksgiving.  Talk about earning your dinner.

Opinions?  Thoughts?  Comments?  Suggestions?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

It's Christmas in July!

I've been busting my butt all weekend doing chores.  Here is what I did in lieu of a conventional workout:
  • I spent hours weeding the garden
  • The mower's auto feature broke so I got to push it while mowing the lawn
  • I moved a couch, 2 tables, 2 heavy chairs, an ottoman, and a monopoly table.
  • I steam cleaned the carpet in the den/my gym.
  • I helped my husband with the "attic" we're building.
  • I used the stairs 17 times during regular chores like laundry and running my husband refreshments
It was Christmas for a while yesterday.  We went to Border's bookstore.  They're liquidating so I got some awesome deals on yoga and pilates dvds.  I've been wanting to try them to see what all the fuss is about.  I also got a really nice digital food scale and a Misto that were both in the clearance section.

So now it's Sunday night and I've caught myself watching the QVC shopping television channel.  I've never bought anything off of there, but I just can't resist when they're featuring Christmas items.  They are doing a big Christmas in July sale and it's gotten me thinking about the holidays.  Specifically about gifts.

 I'm really lucky and have some people in my life who love to buy gifts.  Especially at Christmas time.  Problem is, I can never come up with things to put on a wish list and this causes me to get harassed for weeks.  This year, I want to have a nice list so that no one is stressed.  Wanna help me? The only thing I have on my wish list is a Bissell carpet steamer/cleaner thus far and that's not going to cut it.  It's not that there aren't things I want, I just forget them.  Gifts aren't really all that important to me. I'd be just as happy if someone just sent me a lovely card.  I just like being thought of.   BUT.  That doesn't fly.  Especially with my mother-in-law.  She wants a list, so that is my task.  There have to be some health/fitness related things that I can put on there.  Hey!  Maybe a nice weight set?  But which one?ortant to me.

All suggestions welcome!

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Ray of Sunshine.

I hurt.

Not just a pleasant burn in my muscles.  I can barely move without wincing.  People weren't kidding when they said level 2 of the 30 Day Shred was the hardest.  I'm still debating whether I can do day 2 today.  I'm unsure whether I need the recovery day or if working out would stretch the muscles and make me feel better.  Anyone care to make the decision for me?

It's Friday!  Boo.  I know most people love Fridays.  They're not my favorite.  Don't get me wrong, I love the weekend.  there are just some things about it I'd rather not deal with. My husband's eating habits for one.  He could handle a one meal a day lifestyle and that doesn't really work with my mandatory 6 small meals a day plan.  I'm doing great food-wise today overall:
  • 4 egg scramble on a slice of light toast
  • 4 C of butter and dill popcorn
  • a bowl of honey nut O's with raspberries on top
  • oven fried fish & chips
  • 1 C of Jello devils food chocolate pudding
  • a peanut butter pop

I almost forgot about my ray of sunshine!  I had taken part in a discussion by Oboz Footwear about great hikes.  They liked my hike story that included tubing back down the creek so much that they sent me a gift!

I love surprise visits from the mailman.  Isn't it a nifty thermos bottle?  Thanks Oboz!

Sometimes I get so down on myself that it's nice to get a virtual gold sticker to let me know I'm doing a good job.  The thermos was kinda like that for me today.  I'm so thankful for the people online who have given me a virtual pat on the back, cheered me on, and helped me just by caring.  Sometimes just having someone who understands, is reward enough.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Started Level Two Today

30 Day Shred Level 2 =  kill me now

Here is what I learned or experienced today:
  • It was just as hard as the first day of level 1.
  • I still hate Jillian Michaels and happily told her so whenever I objected to her workout methods.
  • I sweat so much I soaked through my shorts and left an icky damp spot on my mat.
  • Despite deodorant, I smelled really bad.  I honestly offended myself.
  • I literally laid on the floor for 25 minutes after because I could not move.
  • This is a 2 bra workout.  I have horrific chafing under my left breast.  Horrific! (Anyone have a magical cure since this is gonna suck to wear a sports bra tomorrow)
  • Plank-twists are a product of the devil.
  • I followed the more challenging workout example most of the time (except when my knees couldn't take the impact)
  • I want this.  Hopefully I can keep my motivation up. 

 See that picture above?  That's Jillian Michaels.  While I don't look the same as her "before", I see her posture, body language, and expression and am certain I feel the same as her.  She looks upset someone is taking a picture because she doesn't want a reminder of how she looks.  She's covering her stomach hoping to minimize it.  She looks like that picture is just another misery added to her day.  She doesn't feel pretty, just insecure.  i don't want to feel like that anymore.  I want to feel like her "after" picture.  Minus the stink-face of course.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Fat Chick Got Me Down

I feel fat today.

I feel fat and the worst part is that I don't care.  My motivation is gone.  My desire to eat is gone.  I just want to sit here on my butt and watch tv or play around on the computer.  I tell myself, "Come on! Time to move!" and yet continue to sit here instead of getting a snack, working out, or just doing anything.  It's pathetic.

Thank goodness I know the cause and how to fix it.  I slept like crap last night.  My back was aching for no good reason and I just could not get comfy.  Time to stop dwelling and just make plans for tomorrow.  Time to stop worrying about the fat chick I am and concentrate instead about the smaller chick I will be.  This quote is attributed to Christopher Columbus, but I haven't been able to find a solid citation of any kind:

So that's what I need.  To let go of the shore. Who cares about today?  Tomorrow matters.

Tomorrow I'm going to do Day 11 of the 30 Day Shred.  I'm gonna get it done because I promised myself I would.  It's the first day of level 2 and it's supposedly going to kick my butt just as hardcore as the first few days of level 1 did.

Tomorrow I'm going to eat enough calories even if I'm not hungry.

Tomorrow I'm going to mow the lawn and remind myself that pushing the mower equals 350 calories burned.

Tomorrow I'm not letting the fat chick control my thoughts.  I hate that chick.