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Archive for the ‘Weight Loss’ Category

Next Goal

I have been working diligently all year on my next big goal. The ever elusive weight loss. I have floundered around all year with limited success, then backtrack, then try again with limited results, pause. You get the picture – basically limited consistent effort doing the right things. In August I paused and thought about what had been working and where I was screwing up, I came up with several key guidelines:

First, exercise. Yes I was exercising, but it needs to be the right exercise for my body to lose weight. Beachbody on Demand 21 Day Fix Real Time is my solution. As much as I love Barre Blend, I need the HITS of 21 Day. So I am working back through it and will move on to 80 Day Obsession next (another HITS program). Or I might just do 21 Day again for a third time. Who knows?

Don’t get the idea I am some beast at this. I am nowhere close. I huff and puff, curse and pause. I can’t do some of the moves, my legs can’t straighten out completely and I only have 5 pound weights. Hot mess, right? But it doesn’t matter, I do this in complete privacy and refuse to do anything other than be proud that I am getting this done. The last part has taken some time because I have to forget about perfection.

I have battled with my impatience and perfectionism. I want results sooner rather than later. I want to do all the exercises correctly even if I am modifying. I am learning that my body will do this on its on schedule and my brain needs to back the f*#k off.

The other area I changed has been my portions. I eat healthy – little to no processed foods, mostly plant-based, but the scale wasn’t budging. WTF? I realized it has been the quantity. I bought 4 smaller dinner plates and use only those. If I need a bowl, I have smaller bowls and even use ramekins to limit my portions. I try to eat more slowly and give myself time before considering seconds (which I rarely have).

In conjunction with the portions, I think about the hunger scale and strive to keep me right in the middle at 2+/2/2- all the time. Tonight I had dinner, very healthy and was still hungry. Really hungry. I drank water, waited and thought about why. I thought about what I ate today and it was unusually light for me. I realized I hadn’t had enough fats or protein to feel satisfied. I noshed on something that fit the bill, drank more water and feel much better.

Today, I reviewed my tracking sheet for August. Exercise, sleep, weight, measurements. I had consistent, strong results. I averaged over half a pound a week of weight loss. Even with bobbles. Even with me working through my trial and error.

It was all encouraging. When I look back at my weight at the beginning of the year, I am down over 10 pounds. This is where patience needs to come into play. I have to be in this for the long haul. This has to be a lifestyle, not a quick fix. This has to be sustainable.

My body is getting older and I need to recognize that the days of quick results are long gone. Both exercise and nutrition need time to yield results. I can’t think about deadlines. If I can just keep trucking along with my half pound a week, I will be great. That will be weight that stays off – it’s not water, not drastic. It will take over a year to get to my goal, but that is fine. I just need to stay the course. I just need to focus on a healthy lifestyle with good, clean food in the right portions and moving my body to make it strong.

As the writer Michael Pollan says, “eat food, not too much, mostly plants”. That sums up my plan in a nutshell once I add the exercise.

Bon appetite.

Photo by Nadine Primeau on Unsplash

Reset Once Again

For some reason weight loss has been a conundrum for me this go round. When I separated from my husband, I melted off 40 pounds effortlessly. I guess it is that revenge body situation. I have been trying to remember what I did and what I need to do know.

I have been reading Chasing Cupcakes by Elizabeth Benton. It is a good book and says what needs to be said. I am not quite ready to hear her lessons. Plus last week I listened to her podcast Primal Potential and she broke my heart. She lost her 12-day-old baby in April. Enough said. She is soldiering on and applying her grief to her coaching. It tore me apart to listen to one episode of her podcast where she talked about it. Particularly because I thought of Taz.

I decided that for August I am going to focus on three habits. Very simple: 30 minutes of daily exercise, 15 minutes organizing my damn photos (I only need to do this 20x in the month), bedtime at 10:00 with 7 hours of sleep. I have a habit tracker on my frig and off we go.

However, as I sat on my patio this morning enjoying the tropical storm breeze of Isasias, I knew that this isn’t enough for the weight loss. I need more tweaks. I have been doing my daily 30 minutes of Barre Blend from Beachbody on Demand (BOD). It is awesome and I feel my flexibility and balance increasing tremendously. I sweat, it’s hard and challenging, but it’s not enough. Sorry, Elise, but I think I need more pure cardio.

I was losing about 1-1/2 – 2 pounds on another BOD program, 21 Day Fix. Instead of switching back (because I do like the benefits of Barre Blend), I am going to add in another 1/2 hour 5x a week of cardio. Back to None2Run. Ugh. Maybe not the whole program, but at least get into some steady running intervals. The cardio really helps. Step 1 – increase my exercise to an hour a day/5x a week and 30 minutes on my off days. I won’t bore you with the schedule, but my off days will be midweek and those days will only be the Barre Blend.

Next, I need to focus on the food intake. Actually, I need to take my focus away from food. I have enjoyed meal prepping, having various meal options throughout the week and all that stuff. Too much focus on food. I need to downplay it. I am not a fan of intermittent fasting. Done it, meh. I guess my plan is a form of IF, but it harkens back to my previous weight loss success.

I will continue with 3 meals a day, but dinner will be extra light. Some Greek yogurt, a sandwich – very light. Lunch will be plant-based. Breakfast will be the main meal and it will still be reasonable. I need to recognize my hunger cues and stopping cues better. One weight loss coach recommends eating half of your meal, stopping for 20 minutes and then deciding if you eat more. I agree. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to realize if it is full.

I am convinced my scale is broken, but I know it is not. It hasn’t moved in two weeks and I am so frustrated with it, but really the frustration is with me. I am being impatient. Impatient with my body both through exercise and weight loss. I am not helping my body. I am not giving it the time it needs to change. I am not providing nutrition at the levels that maximize weight loss. I am not recognizing it’s strength in certain areas or appreciating where it is gaining balance and flexibility. I love my body and need to be kinder to it. I need to appreciate all it has done (birthed and nursed 2 healthy, beautiful babies, been strong and healthy, etc.), what it is doing now (exercising, staying healthy) and what it can do (get stronger, leaner). My body can do a lot, but I just need to allow her to have the time and the right fuel to do so. Patience. Dammit, it is always a lack of patience with me. Deep breath, reset and let’s try again.

Time to change the middle part, albeit patiently…

Health Check

I just finished my first Beachbody on Demand workout program. I did 21 days in a row on the 21 Day Real Fix. I wrote about starting it. The great news is I actually finished. That alone is a big win.

My weight is down and that program has directly contributed to a weekly 2 pound loss for 3 weeks. It has put me in the middle of the pack on the work weight loss challenge. This is a big win for me because I was bringing up the rear in the previous two challenges. All in all, amazing results for a soon-to-be 56 year old woman. I have another 34 to go.

I didn’t change up my diet too much. I try to stick to mostly plants. Salads, roasted veggies and the like. I do eat carbs like rice, non-white bread, couscous, overnight oats. Last week’s lunch was a tossed salad with a scoop of homemade chicken salad (little mayo) with some homemade balsamic dressing. I defrosted some homemade chicken & wild rice soup which I had for dinner. I was craving a pumpernickel bagel but instead I got pumpernickel bread and made the most amazing sandwich with avocado, cream cheese, homemade pickled onions and nova. I know it sounds chock full of calories, but it wasn’t too bad.


What has been an interesting change is my thought process around food these days. Food bores me a bit which is absolutely wonderful. I don’t want to make much these days, which is fine since I am headed out on vacation. I really am not interested in sweets because if I want them I have to make them (that’s part of my no-processed food rule). I have been feeling lazy, so making something is an effort. I did make some coconut macaroons dipped in chocolate. They were lovely, and since it was a small recipe I rationed them out one at a time over the week. Desserts are tasting too sweet, so a little goes a long way.

I am thrilled that I am not turning towards food to find comfort these days. To me this demonstrates that my mental health has been improving and I am keeping myself occupied in healthy ways.

Another improvement is that I now can identify if I am bored, thirsty or hungry and I know the difference of all three. I keep myself on a pretty steady schedule of eating about the same times each day which helps.

The Beachbody on Demand kicked my butt and provided a structured 30 minute exercise routine. My next series will hopefully be a little easier because at the end of 21 Day Fix Real Time, my attempts were in no way matching the instructor’s. I didn’t care except for the fact I have to be careful not to push too hard on something and hurt myself.

I am in a good place these days. My stress level is manageable, my finances are good with no debt and I am saving every month. I am eating healthy foods made from scratch with little to no takeout. This keeps me both healthy and saves money. I exercise regularly, and strive for at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

Vacay is right around the corner. I want to spend time outdoors. Usually I like to take a river float or easy rafting trip, but it will not be in the cards this summer. It would probably be outside my social distancing comfort zone, so I will be content with other things.

I made some pulled pork and black beans to take along for a couple of easy meals on vacation. My son and his friends are all South Florida guys who love Cuban pork and black beans, so we will probably demolish that quickly. One of the guys is a great cook because his dad is a chef. I have a great idea on how he can earn his keep….

Let’s see how I do on vacation. Can I keep my exercise level up? Will I continue to not overeat and make smart choices? I think so, however, time will tell.

What’s New?

What is new around here? Not much to report, thus I haven’t been writing much. I had my quarterly review — kicked butt. I cleared up a few things where I needed some direction and all is well with the Boss Lady. Great news is they will be giving raises, not sure how big, but anything is welcome around here.

I am now voluntarily doing health screenings for over 100 people 2-3 times a week. Why? Why not? I am meeting lots of coworkers, wearing a mask, feeling like a team player. The company needs the help, I don’t mind coming in early once in awhile and it scores me major brownie points all around. I am careful, we always wear masks, I keep my hands off my face and wash them. If I didn’t feel safe, I would stop.

I have a lovely road trip planned for July 4th. I am meeting my son up in the NC mountains at my dad’s vacation home. My dad won’t be there, so we’ll have the place to ourselves. A little R&R with some hiking and cooler weather.

I have joined the hordes on Beachbody on Demand beginning with the 21 Fix Real Time. I just completed Week 2 of 3. I like it. 30 minutes and I am done. 30 minutes of me out of sync with everyone, groaning, not able to do quite a few of the movements and I.DON’T.CARE. Why? Because I am still moving my body better than I do on my own. Plus I am -2 pounds for 2 weeks in a row. Did I change my diet? Nope, not really. Just changed my exercise. I have already figured out my next series on BOD once I am done with the 21 Day Fix.

My current frustration: my car door handle. The button that automatically unlocks the car from the outside doesn’t work anymore. I have to use the remote. I stopped by the dealership and got this breakdown:

  • Part: $250 – yes, $250 for a friggin’ door handle on a Hyundai
  • Labor: $150 – one hour for something that a guy on YouTube replaced in less than 10 minutes (and that included his close-ups on a couple of angles).
  • Paint: unknown. The handle comes unpainted so it has to be sent off to be painted to match my car’s current color.

At the end of the day, we are looking at over $500 for a Hyundai door handle so I have the convenience of hitting a button to open my door rather than fumbling with the remote. Yeah, that’s not happening.

My plan of attack instead is to find a salvage one (not easy) or just get the part and have someone else do the work. It’s the price of the part that annoys the crap out of me. OK, the labor also. Surely I can find it cheaper somewhere. A commenter on a discussion blog on this issue suggested just swapping it with the passenger handle. I think it could go upside down, but I am not sure. I need someone more mechanically adept to check it out for me.

Anyway, Maggie is alive and well. Staying home. Hitting the beach sometimes, but avoiding crowds, restaurants, stores. If I didn’t have this job, I would be in such a crisis. Therefore, I say a prayer of gratitude virtually every day. My passwords are things like “Grateful, Blessed, Gratitude” I remind myself every day of the good things in my life. I hope you see the rainbows in yours.

Alternate Reality

My new normal for now is so strange.  All of my great healthy habits are slipping.  My gym is closed, my 5K is canceled.  I am staying up an hour or so later, so I wake up later.

I can’t really exercise in the early morning.  Maybe I can if I did some workouts in my apartment.  I miss my gym, so I need to regroup and keep going.

I have continued to lose weight.  I am averaging 0.64 pounds a week so I have lost over 10 pounds since January.  I have trimmed down inches all over as well.  My clothes fit better.  I have two pairs of jeans I bought for the holidays that are so big now I can slip them off without unzipping them.  VICTORY!  I don’t feel like I am dieting which is good.  I am simply making better decisions and cooking my own food, so my diet is much healthier. It will be really healthy for the next two weeks since I have a bunch of fresh veggies and limited protein.  I need to blanch and freeze the veggies so they do not go bad.  Food cannot be wasted these days.   An example of my new healthy ways is before turning on the laptop, I thought about making something sweet.  Naw, too much trouble and it’s getting to late to be eating.  Extra calories avoided through sheer laziness.

I do need to get out of my head a bit more.  Read more, get outside to exercise.  Summer is coming which means soon we Floridians will retreat inside to escape the brutal heat (and giant mosquitoes that sometimes carry Zika)  This will especially be the case since we won’t have pools or beaches for the foreseeable future.  Ugh.

Tonight I talked to two girlfriends.  One has a son in Brooklyn – sigh.  She is facing unemployment as her profession has dried up due to COVID.  Her spirits were good, but she is worried primarily about her family.  The other is happily unemployed from the insurance world and watching that world crumple along with everyone else.  I called my son who is facing a rapidly changing world.  His grad school is now online.  The foundation that he is interning with just learned that a major source of their funding has evaporated completely.  He will be fine, but he may not know that yet.  I told him just to focus on school.

When I was talking to one of my girlfriends, I described what we need to do for the next 4-6 weeks as “surfing the tsunami”.  We just need to ride the gigantic wave of awfulness that is approaching us and stay afloat.   This COVID situation is stripping away everyone’s mask.  The greedy, the panicky, the noble, the scum, the desperate, the calm.  Everyone’s mask is being stripped away and true colors are being exposed.  So what’s next?  Time will tell when we have finished surfing the tsunami.  For now, we have to come to terms with our new alternate reality.


Photo by Austin Schmid on Unsplash


I am pooped.  I have kept up a 5-day a week workout routine, meal prepping each weekend, and a steady social calendar with 2+ events a week for two months.  It has worn me out to be honest.  Here I sit on Sunday night with no meal prepping, no laundry, no house cleaning (this is my scheduled weekend) and nothing particularly productive to show for myself.

The Hunter came over Saturday night and we made a great dinner, smoked a little weed, had a fabulous romp and all around fun evening.  Then we got up somewhat early to take a hike and then a long drive around the woods.  The day was mild and beautiful so it was wonderful being outdoors.  However, when we returned, we both were worn out.

I am getting plenty of sleep, my diet (until the past 24 hours) has been healthy and plant-heavy.  I am moving my body regularly and we can see results.  I think I worked my poor abs too hard this week and it made me feel like I had a stomach ache for two days.  LOL.  Getting old sucks.

Part of me has been wanting a break from all this healthy stuff.  I made a chocolate cake from scratch for the Hunter and ended up eating more than he did.  Sigh.  I challenged myself to eat from my freezer for February and that has been quite successful in using up a bunch of stuff.  I am just tired.  Tired of going to work every day, tired of cooking, tired of the same old, same old.  I need a little break.  I am not unhappy with my routines, I just want a little variety perhaps.

My meetups have been a lot of fun.  I did a Trivia night where I found people far smarter than me, I went painting with girls from work and that was fun.  I have never painted a picture and I really enjoyed it.  This week I am having dinner with a girlfriend, a work dinner and a Saturday horse show.  I think I have one more outing.  That is more than enough.

I think what I am looking for is some balance.  I am close to having it, but I am not quite there.  I still have paperwork to be done, photos to be sorted and basic drudgery (LOL). When I get home in the evenings after work, I am simply not in the mood. I am tuckered out and just want to veg.

The good news is I am finding social things to do and plenty of them.  I think that friends will follow as I continue with these groups.  This is a major 2020 goal and I am making progress.  I am making great progress with my exercise routine.  I have made serious inroads on my health check-ups.  My general physical, blood work and gyn checkup are completed.  I have my mammogram scheduled and next up are the optometrist and dermatologist.

Gee whiz, it’s only February and I am kicking butt.  No wonder I am pooped.  Once again, I just need to be patient.  Patient with settling into my new life and developing new routines, patient with when I run out of steam and just general patience with me overall. I think an early bedtime this week will do me a world of good.  Sweet dreams….


Photo by David Clode on Unsplash


I’m reading Michael Pollan’s book, Cooked. Fascinating. I also heard his recent interview on Fresh Air about his new Audible book, Caffeine. What he writes/thinks about food has always resonated with me. I discovered him when I read Omnivore’s Dilemma.

In his Fresh Air interview, he summed up his dietary habits in a haiku.

Eat food

Not too much

Mostly plants

That is also my plan in a nutshell. I am proud of myself these days. I have gone to the gym every week day for over 6 weeks. My None2Run training for the April 5k is about to hit the halfway mark and I am achieving those goals. I have increased my water consumption, decreased my food intake and think/plan before eating. I have talked myself out of bad choices for the most part.

I cook more now than at any other time in my life. I enjoy it. Most of my cooking is on the weekends with podcasts going. I am trying a plethora of new recipes. This weekend I made a vegan chicken salad out of chickpeas and raw cashews. Surprisingly delicious. I enjoy planning my meals and challenging myself in multiple ways such as new tastes, create meals from my freezer and/or frig for a week or two.

My body is responding albeit slowly. But slowly means it is gone for good. I remind myself of this as I watch others in our work weight loss challenge drop weight like crazy. I hear the ridiculous restrictions and know that they won’t be able to maintain it. None of them are incorporating exercise like me. I am the tortoise and they are the hare. Let’s see who’s cooked 3 months from now.

F#*king Weight

I was looking at my little weight loss notebook last week as I noted my weight and measurements (steady downward trend, thank you very much).  I flipped through the pages and then I jumped into MyFitness Pal which I have used intermittently since 2011.  I separated from my Ex in June 2013.  In August 2013, I weighed 194.4.  Today I am 202.

Between 2013 and today my weight has been as low as 162 to as high as 210.  Roughly a 100 pound swing.  Ugh.  Un-fucking-believable.

What happened?  Oh, I know what happened.

  1. Stress:  Ugh, all the work stress of trying to crank up my own company, trying to juggle my meager finances, being the primary breadwinner, realizing I was not making money and living beyond my means.  The stress of job hunting and figuring out my next career move.  Yeah, all that stress resulted in me feeding my emotions.  Nothing like sugar (and alcohol) to get a good solid dopamine hit when you are depressed.  Add in some cannabis to get the munchies cranked up and we’ve got a solid party going on….
  2. I stopped going to the gym.  Ugh, worse thing for me.  I got lazy and enjoyed snuggling with the Hunter.  Later the walks with him and the Kracken were nice, but not enough.  I need solo, dedicated workout time.  I need strength/resistance training to build my muscles and keep my metabolism chugging along at a decent clip. Yes, I know lots of weight loss experts say it is primarily diet, but I need the metabolism boost due to my sedentary work.
  3. The Hunter’s cooking.  Yes, I loved his cooking, however, he is a “meat & potatoes” guy.  Fries food, heavy carbs, red meat, processed meats.  I clearly remember very early in our relationship thinking “Oh dear, will I be OK with this?”  Clearly the answer is NO.

Now I don’t want anyone to think I am blaming the Hunter for my weight gain.  It is 110% my fault.  I put the food in my mouth and became a couch potato.  I needed to advocate more for myself in certain situations.  I let him reign in the kitchen because I enjoyed being taken care of, however, the result was not good for me.

These days I cook all of my food.  I mean all and from scratch.  I have very few processed foods if any.  I very rarely eat out because a) it’s expensive right now and b) I need to monitor and control what I am eating.  My sugar cravings are virtually gone.  I don’t want cookies or sweets.  I had a small container of ice cream in my freezer since November,  I barely touched it and finally chucked it out a couple of weeks ago.  I have 1-2 chocolate squares after dinner and that’s fine for dessert.  I don’t want more.  My veggie and fruit consumption has increased dramatically.  The past two weeks I reduced my carbs and saw immediate results.

I need to live alone for awhile.  Quite awhile.  I need the control of my environment.  I need to stick to my new steady habits.  This is working.


Photo by i yunmai on Unsplash


I Found My Rhythm

Life is settling into a pleasant routine these days. I hit the gym in the morning and my running program hasn’t killed me yet. I rarely eat out, so my food choices are always planned and under control for the most part. Work got busy with an unexpected project that has an impossible deadline. I am not stressed or worried – I am enjoying the challenge.

MeetUp in this area is actually pretty good. One last week was a fiasco, but another was lovely. I have several more coming up, so I feel like my social life is kicking off nicely. I am bumping into people who are very familiar with my company, which is a reminder that I am living in a small town, so my words matter.

Life is good. I wish I was losing weight faster because I was in the bottom third of the weight loss challenge. But then I remind myself that it doesn’t really matter because I am losing weight each week. I just need to be patient. Plus I am getting stronger and I really feel that progress. I had a physical and bloodwork done. My cholesterol is a bit high (some of it, the good ones are fine). I think it is related to my weight because I am not eating processed foods. Glucose is fine, sodium fine, etc., so I just need to once again be patient and allow my body to heal.

The Hunter has been really busy with work, so I haven’t seen much of him. It’s been OK because I have enjoyed having time to myself lately. I have been slowly working on going through all the damn photos. Right now I am sorting with some tossing. Good grief, there is a lot. Plus I found a shoebox of videos. I bought a used VCR for $9 at Goodwill so I can see if any are worth converting to digital. I need an adapter, so I can’t watch them yet.

What has been interesting about the photos is the flood of memories as I sort them. I intentionally avoided this project for years for just that reason – I simply didn’t have the emotional capacity to process all of it. Now I do, but in stages. It has been enjoyable for the most part, but it’s a messy project with lots of shoeboxes filled with loose photos. Ugh.

Life is good and I am grateful.

Kicking Butt

I have started 2020 with some big physical reaches/challenges.  First is signing up for my company’s corporate 5K run in April.  I have never participated in a 5k much less run that long a distance.  I am training using None2Run which is going really well.  I just completed Week 2 (LOL) with out swearing, so that is already a win.

My next physical challenge is a company weight loss challenge.  I had tried one last August, but there was so much other stuff going on with planning my move, long commute, etc., that I floundered.  Not this time!

I have been doing well with staying on a schedule, planning my food, exercising every day and I am already seeing positive results.

To kick up the weight loss, I toyed with the idea of doing another Whole 30.  A Whole 30 isn’t a huge switch from my current diet habits, but I need to think about it another day or so.

The weight loss challenge is based on the percentage lost, not total pounds so the playing field is leveled.  I inadvertently helped myself the night before the first weigh-in by making cornbread in my cast iron skillet.  DO NOT DO THIS if you live alone.  I ate way too much.  I stashed the rest in the freezer to save myself.  Ugh.

I enjoy giving myself some goals and activities a bit outside my comfort zone.  I have a quote on my bulletin board at work:

“Great things never come from comfort zones”

So true, so true.  I have hung outside my comfort zone before, so the unease is not unfamiliar.  Time to push myself again.  Happily this push is in the areas of my health and not work or money.  I feel safe and secure in those two areas.

Now let me make plans to crush my weight-loss competitors……


Photo by Linda Xu on Unsplash

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