Sunday, May 30

Achey, Achey, Takin' A Breaky.

I can't believe we're back at Sunday already!  I'm taking the day off from exercising, aside from helping some family move a piano and some other unknown items around.  My poor body needs the break, and the psychological damage from the last two days working in the yard needs time to fade and settle before I head back out to combat the creepy-crawlys.

Aside from the sore muscles and creaky joints, my body seems to be adjusting to the new exercise schedule really well.  Yes, my back feels like there is a 300 pound man standing on his tippy-toes on it, but I'm not immobile.  Being able to push through the exercises and come out without being bedridden is a huge step in the right direction!

I hope that you all had a great week of movement, and I look forward to seeing what next week brings.  Thank you for your comments and e-mails, they are inspiring and entertaining in their own right and I'm glad that we're all in this struggle together.

Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, May 29

Super Sunny Swingin' Sounds

The sun is back! For real! Not just poking it's nose out between crowded clouds, but actually shining brightly in a mostly blue sky.  Pooch, Dummykins (one of the cats) and I decided to take advantage and headed back out to the back yard to continue on our progress from yesterday.

Using hedge trimmers, a set of giant branch clippers and a lot of overhead reaching, I got a 90 minute workout while unburying half of my fence from the thousands of feet of brambly blackberry bushes that had embraced the chain-link fence and then eaten it whole.

Blackberry bushes give me this fantastic upper body workout every year somewhere around the end of May or early June.  Every year, I vow that NEXT year I am going to start cutting them back in February or March so that they are easier to manage, and every year our schedule gets crazy and the weather is too wet and the whole project gets forgotten until the blackberry tentacles have consumed the fence and have started reaching their spindly fingertips towards the house in an attempt to eat us alive.

I have finally learned to wear long sleeve shirts, long pants and gloves when working in the bushes.  The layers  help to warm up quickly and produce sweat in amounts roughly triple what I normally have at the end of a workout (which makes me smell delicious), in addition to protecting me from painful scratches and thorn-slivers.  It only has taken 4 years of managing them for me to figure that out.  But I try not to complain about the bushes too much because mid to late summer they produce enough blackberries to keep us fed for several weeks.

As my shoulders began aching and the vibration of the electric hedge trimmer started making my carpel tunnel tingle, I sadly realized that the other half of the fence will have to be rediscovered another day.  Even still, after 90 minutes of clipping, trimming, pulling, pushing, tearing and dragging vines around the yard I decided I was going to do just one more section of trimming before calling it a day. I grabbed the big clippers, hoisted them overhead to clip a large vine trying to invade from 9 feet in the air, began to close the handles and prepared to hear the juicy "snap" of victory as a clean cut was produced and... a giant slug fell ON MY FACE.

Making the chaotic freak-out from yesterday over baby spiders seem like a timid shudder, I promptly smacked myself in the forehead repeatedly to get the damn thing off of me, yelled out a YEEEAAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!! that made the neighbor's dog's start barking (Pooch and Dummykins just watched me in amusement and were no help whatsoever) and then frantically started wiping my face with the only dry and semi-clean part of my sweatshirt which was conveniently located on the inside-lower-back portion of the garment so I had to take the whole shirt off to make fabric-to-face contact.  After frantically rubbing as much slug-goo off of my face as possible, and cussing and stomping and throwing a general fit, I kicked the slug across the yard where Dummykins finally decided to "help" and pounced it.

I then realized I was not wearing an undershirt.

Isn't exercise fun?

Friday, May 28

Stamina?!? Where Did YOU Come From?

It seems that as one exercises over a long period of time, changes start to appear.  Each of my tiny changes have slowly crept up on me until the last 24 hours where they have all co-mingled into a surprising delight!

I've been pretty frustrated as the working out has gone on, and the healthy eating too, because the numbers on the scale just don't seem to be moving.  Husband has been encouraging me to keep going, and the growing number of readers of this blog (see, I knew I could count on you!) make me feel responsible for pushing on.  Thank goodness I have listened to all of you!

Although the scale isn't producing Biggest Loser results, I decided to dust off the tape measure and see if my body measurements have changed at all.  Back in February when I started exercising a couple times a week I had Husband take measurements of my neck, bicep, chest, waist, hips and thigh.  Last night I asked him to re-measure me in hopes that I'd be able to find some progress somewhere.  The results were mixed; my neck, biceps, hips and thigh are all marginally bigger than they were before but my chest (why is this always the first to go?!?) and waist have shrunk.  Initially, I was really focused on the larger measurements and felt like they overshadowed any loss in other areas, but Husband grinned and patted me on the back like a football coach and cheered, "Don't worry, things are moving!"  This morning I sat down to do the math and even with the slight increase in some measurements, overall I've lost 2.5 inches of body mass!

Encouraged, Pooch and I set out to do a walk of the big-big loop in the neighborhood to see if we could beat our previous time.  Unfortunately, even though I felt like I was pushing myself, we stepped into the driveway at exactly 45 minutes.  I blame Pooch's potty stops every 50 feet for the time.  On the plus side, although my calves burned and I could feel the little veins in my legs pumping like the bass at a 50 Cent concert, I wasn't exhausted or out of breath.

Feeling invigorated, I decided I'd keep moving by attacking a patch of weeds in the back yard.  Finally tired 45 minutes later, I discovered that I had cleared a 3'x10' section of yard from the jungle of overgrown weeds and re-discovered a portion of the path that trails across our property.

I couldn't believe that I was able to accomplish so much, and keep moving at such a steady pace without needing to take a break to catch my breath.  Out of the 90 minutes I was outside, I only needed to take two breaks.  One break to chase the cat out of the compost bin where he was chomping on partially decomposed eggshells.  A second break to dislocate my arm from my body and beat it against the side of the house, scream until my lungs shot out of my body into a projectile mess in the middle of the yard, kick and twitch like a rabid mutant ape-child and generally "spaz out" after a nest of baby spiders EXPLODED all over my gloved hand when I pulled at a particularly stubborn bush of a weed.

Baby spiders aside, I'm really excited for the direction that things are heading.  Being able to move and work for well over an hour is something I haven't been able to do in a really long time, and although for some reason my neck is fatter than it was before I am pleased that my waist seems to be returning to its hour-glass form.  I guess it just goes to show you that it doesn't pay to give up just because something is slow and the results aren't readily apparent.  Eventually the tiny changes add up to success and give you the momentum you need to keep going.

Thursday, May 27

Artificial Intelligence Has No Tact

I swore it was supposed to rain all day although now that I'm done with my indoors-with-the-blinds-closed workout it appears the sun is shining and it is beautiful out.  It makes me wish that I had made another jaunt around the neighborhood today, but maybe I'll squeeze in a walk this afternoon between other projects.

In the meantime, I worked out 40 minutes with Wii Fit.  I used to work out with Wii Fit several times a week, but as the Wii balance board animation (we'll call him Fitzgerald) reminded me, it has been over a year since I used it regularly.

There are parts of this program that I think are really helpful. For example, Fitzgerald encourages you to weigh in at the beginning of your workout to track your progress (or lack thereof).  There is a wide variety of activities to keep you occupied and moving.  And I really like the "bank" that tracks how many minutes you have spent in cumulative exercises for the day.

There are other parts which, when you aren't already in great shape and aren't seeing a lot of quick progress on the scale, are less than enjoyable.  I hate that when I stand on the Wii balance board, Fitzgerald's cute little voice cries out, "Oh!" as if he weren't expecting this mass of weight to be placed up on his shoulders.  I really hate that when it weighs you, if you are over your suggested BMI, a snippet of music plays like the sound track of Mario dying at the gates of Koopa's Castle in a failed attempt at saving the princess, and then Fitzgerald chirps, "That's Obese!"  And generally speaking, I don't like the way that Fitzgerald is programmed to play devil's advocate with fitness tips like, "Hey fatso, how 'bout you lay off the whipped cream and opt-out of the frozen desserts section altogether?" Ok, Fitzgerald doesn't really say that, but he may remind you in a squeaky-clean voice that it helps to take in less calories than you burn in order to lose weight.

Another comically disturbing feature of Fitzgerald is that he keeps track of everyone who's supposed to be working out, and will ask you to nag them for him.  Upon starting my workout this morning, Fitzgerald says, "Good morning!  Hey, have you seen Mr. Kawaii?  He hasn't visited me in 419 days.  Is he sick? Perhaps you should remind him that regular exercise is important to maintain a healthy body."  I'm paraphrasing a little, but not a lot.  This game is imploring me to go to my husband and nag him to exercise, and remind him that Fitzgerald doesn't think that the "beer to mouth" action counts as a workout.  Honey, if you're out there... you've been warned.

Although Wii Fit can't be classified as anything other than a low-impact workout, as long as you stick with it until your "bank" reaches 30 to 40 minutes you can still break a sweat and find yourself in a bout of heavy breathing from the movement.  I like to alternate between the three "running" tracks, and the other aerobic exercises (like hula-hooping and rhythm boxing) to get my heart rate up for about 30 minutes, and then cool off with 10 minutes of balance exercises.

Although it's a far cry from the rambunctious jumps, squats and roundhouse kicks of many exercise DVDs (and Chuck Norris FanFic) Wii Fit is a great way to get moving if you aren't used to working out, have injuries that make working out difficult, or just want a light workout and the ability to track your progress.  As your fitness increases you will definitely want to supplement Wii Fit with something more robust to push your body to new heights, but overall Wii Fit is great for people of all ages & sizes.

Chuck Norris fact of the day: Chuck Norris does not lift weights; weights rise before Chuck Norris.

Wednesday, May 26

Custom Workouts To Shake Things Up!

One of the many reasons I have difficulty going to the gym on a regular basis, or any basis at all, is that I bore with exercise easily.  If you haven't noticed this far in the blog, I try to do something different every day to keep myself interested.  When I'm bored, it's far too easy to just plop down in front of a movie or spend the day cruising the internet instead of getting myself moving.

Today, plagued again with rain, I tuned into Exercise TV On Demand and realized that they have deleted several of the 30 minute workouts I had yet to try (this is when I start talking myself into believing the universe is against me) and none of the 20 minute workouts seemed interesting.  I tried a 20 minute workout with Kim Kardashian called "Fit in Your Jeans by Friday", but about three minutes into trying to follow Kim as she step-touched her way over and around an aerobics stair in a distracting catsuit... I just couldn't do it.  I found myself spending more focus on making jokes about her outfit... Hey, looks like Kim is one set of ears away from a Catwoman revival!... which Pooch didn't find as funny as I did.  So I did something I rarely do once I get going; I stopped the workout and tried to find something else.  Sorry, Kim!

Surprisingly, the magic of On Demand saved me from myself once again.  Cruising on over to the 10 minute workouts, there was plenty to do.  And in a moment of clarity, inspiration and addition-type skills, I realized that I could do 4 of the mini-workouts and they would equal one big workout.  Brilliant!

The first area I targeted this morning was my butt and thighs.  Like many women, getting pants to fit around all these curves AND fit around the waist is like trying to fit a parachute over a jumbo jet.  You might be able to figure out a way to do it, but it sure won't be pretty.  10 Min. Buns & Thighs by Cindy Whitmarsh fit the bill perfectly, and I was happy that as adorable as Cindy is she was able to keep my attention without being annoying or bossy.

My next problem area is my abs, or rather, what SHOULD be my abs but is more of a giant marshmallow encased in a layer of Jello tapioca pudding.  Amy Dixon's Abs & Back Workout (sorry, the link just goes to a clip of the workout - I couldn't find the full version online but it looks like you can purchase the full version from Exercise TV if you decide you like it.  Give it a shot On Demand first.) took some pretty basic moves I'm already familiar with and added a few twists and turns that really made my abs feel like they were working!

I decided to round things out by throwing in some Arms With Attitude by Kathy Kaehler (Wha? No link for this one that I could find, but it's still available On Demand) to change the fabulous flab stuffing up my shirt-sleeves into what will one day be toned shoulders and arms.  Kathy uses dumbells and a yoga ball in the exercise but I used neither, opting to do the ball exercises either standing or on the floor and doing the dumbell exercises sans weights.

Finally, wanting to make sure that I really got my heart rate going I added Give Me 10 Blast by Amy Dixon (again, available free On Demand).  This workout really gets your heart rate going as you use ice skating and basketball inspired moves to work out from head to toe.

In the end, I got a custom workout that hit all the places I wanted to with several 1-2 minute breaks between each segment (for browsing and loading the new videos) and ended up moving and sweating for over 40 minutes.  Not bored, not annoyed, just pleased with myself and the way my body handled all the diversity.

Tuesday, May 25

Gaming Can Be A Workout Too!

If you are a geek like me (or a bigger geek like my husband), exercise can really eat into your gaming time.  Yeah, it's good to be in shape.  But what about getting another quest completed and turning in your Golden Wienerschnitzel to the Keymaster?  What about getting the high score on level fifteen-one-thousand-eighty-seven?  What about the Flying Monkey achievement?  What about the GAMES???

Fear not, Shaman of Dark Molasses, these days there are exercises you can actually play on  your favorite gaming console.  For points! High scores! Unlocking special characters! Multiple difficulty levels!  Multi-player! Off the couch!!!

This morning, husband and I played Dance Dance Revolution Hottest Party 2 on the Wii (I have been hunting for another version because we love it so much) for a half hour.  It is a great way to use your entire body to gain points, burning calories and gathering sweat along the way.  After a half hour of jumping, stomping our feet, waving our hands in the air like we just don't care and bumping into each other on occasion, we both were panting and sweating as if we'd been to see Jane Fonda at a 1987 Jazzercise convention.  

If you have a Wii or other gaming console, check out the exercise games that are available.  From dancing to boxing, tennis to track, there is a game that you will enjoy that can get your heart rate up and push you to move from the recliner you normally game in.  Granted, playing the games aren't EXACTLY like playing the sports they imitate, and you will find that it is a lot easier to learn to hit grand-slams in your living room than it is at Fenway Park, but on a day that is too hot/cold/wet/snowy/sickly to be outdoors it is a fair substitution.  

The best part about gaming to lose weight is that it is a ton of fun whether you play by yourself or with a friend.  You can get as competitive or relaxed as you want to without having to answer to the glare of a Coach or Personal Trainer and are able to enjoy yourself while you burn calories you didn't even know you had.

Monday, May 24

Monday Meandering

Ah, Monday.  I woke up to find no rain for the first day since early last week, and so I got up and got outside!

Actually what happened was I got up, looked out the window, decided maybe I'd go for a walk.  Started to put on my sweats and picked up my running shoes from the closet in our bedroom with the door closed.  Pooch somehow detected my intentions from his spot curled up and asleep in the living-room.  Before I even had my shoes on he was outside my door thumping his tail and tapping his little toes in excitement.  Trying to casually talk to my husband without seeming like I really WAS going for a walk didn't work. Pooch started running back and forth from his leash hanging by the back door to the living room and back again.  I don't know how he knows when I'm going for a walk vs. when I'm going to check the mail - but he KNOWS.

Still overcast, it was the perfect kind of weather for going on a good long walk around the "big-big loop" in our neighborhood without overheating.

My husband, Pooch and I have broken up our neighborhood into different looped walks that we can do in as little as 15 minutes or as long as 45.  We use these looped walks to get outside and walk and talk problems out, to train for 10k's and to breathe in some fresh air when we're feeling cooped up in the house.

The "little-little loop" goes from our end of the street to the end of the street and back and is 3/10 of a mile.  Not a big hike by any means, but the perfect little walk to warm up for another activity or to walk off a full tummy.

The "little loop" goes from our end of the street to the end of the street then crosses over a block and comes back down the neighboring street, and is just under 1/2 mile.  Not much longer than the "little-little", but long enough to get your heart beat moving before going on a bike ride or playing Wii boxing.

The "big loop" goes down our street, up five blocks to a trail that goes around the back of our neighborhood and then comes back to the street we live on, and is around 1 mile.  It is a really pleasant walk, especially the trail portion that borders a wetland, and is a great way to keep an eye on what all our crazy neighbors are doing.  It is on this loop that we discovered the neighbor who complains that all the basketball hoops scattered around the neighborhood are an "eyesore" has a basketball hoop himself!  Not that we're nosy or anything.  Really.  We're just exercising.

Then there's the "big-big loop" that goes around our entire neighborhood, the neighborhood adjoining ours, and a third neighborhood on the other side.  This is quite the walk, just over 2 miles.  The "big-big" loop is my favorite, not because of the exercise, but because it is an interesting walk.  In 45 minutes you get to walk across 3 different income brackets, 3 different HOA's and 3 very different ideas of what an "ideal house" should look like.  It's nice to be able to say good morning to other people walking and jogging towards their perfect waistline (especially the ones who are struggling right along with us - all those skinny bitches can go to hell), and to "window shop" all the houses for sale on the loop.

So today, at the end of the "big-big loop" I'd walked 2 miles in 45 minutes.  Not fast enough to win any trophies, but right on schedule for training to get a 10K done in 2 hours (which is 6.6 miles in 2 hours - I'll need to shave the walk down to under 36 minutes, and be able to complete it 3 times to make it).

I'm glad that I was finally able to do some exercise outdoors again.  Although there are so many workouts that can be done in a gym, with an exercise DVD or with Exercise TV, there is nothing like being outside to make all the work more interesting and engaging.  When you get a chance, map out your own loops and see where they take you!  You may be surprised at all the interesting things you find, and the people you meet along the way.

Sunday, May 23

And On The 4th Day, She Rested

Goodness, we've made it four days with this whole blog/exercise thing.  Can you believe it?  I certainly can; my shoulders, knees and butt cheeks keep reminding me every time I bend over that we've been on the go all week.  I've conceded that it's time for a break.

Taking a day off from exercise once or twice a week is an important part of the fitness process.  Just like your brain needs time to recover after a long stint of studying or working, your body needs time to recover from all the squats, knee lifts, push-ups and yoga-pretzels.  Back in my "eat-nothing-exercise-until-your-head-pops-off" days I learned that if I didn't give myself a day of rest, eventually my body began to break down on itself and would take one for me.  Suffering from exhaustion and torn muscles is about as fun as being IN a barrel of monkeys (and they aren't the cute cuddly ones - they're angry and have poop), and so I recommend that you schedule a day of rest as a part of your work out program.

So with that, Pooch and I are going to go play in the yard or take a nap on the sofa.  Perhaps a nice bath is in my future (but not Pooch's - that's just more work) to help relax some of these sore muscles.  Please feel free to leave me comments below and let me know how your work-out week went.  Was it good? Bad? Ugly?  I want to know!

Saturday, May 22

Surviving the 40 Minute Workout

Here's a tip for all you home-exercisers out there... don't be afraid to try something new, but know where your limits are!  This morning, I woke up feeling the opposite of yesterday.  I was ready to kick some major butt!  Flipping through the 30+ minute workouts at my disposal I decided to give Body By Jake a try.  It was 40 minutes, just double the time of the yoga exercise I did yesterday.  No problem!

Since it looked like there were some more advanced moves in this workout, I opted to do the work minus dumbbells and it's a good thing that I made that choice.  The Rock Hard Total Body Workout is jam-packed with advanced moves that require a lot of balance and strength; two things that I'm in short supply of in my current state.  But I decided to stick it out, and I'm glad I did!

Minus the weights I was able to do most of the workout.  There were a couple of sections (the push-up sections where you twist, turn and go from push-up-to-standing-to-jumping) that I am just not physically capable of yet.  But, each section is 45 seconds with a 15 second rest so I was able to push myself through the rest of it without feeling like I'd missed out on a big bulk of the movements.

Once I got to the end, where they play commercials for poop-balancing yogurt and protein-enhanced chalk water, there was an ad for the workout that I had just completed.  The announcer says enthusiastically, "This workout is not for beginners, and will take you to the NEXT LEVEL in fitness!!"  ... That would have been good to know going in.  I probably would have given it a shot anyway, and now that I have done it I'm sure I'll try it out again (still without weights until I can do all the moves).  But it helps to know what fitness level the exercise demands, and it's important that when you are working out you don't force yourself beyond your physical abilities.  There's no point in being able to do a single rep of twist-squat-lift-your-left-leg-lower-your-right-arm-arch-your-back-until-your-buttcheek-touches-your-forehead if it means pulling a muscle and not being able to do anything for a week.

So when you dive into an unfamiliar workout, make sure to listen to your body.  While exercise can be a little uncomfortable as your body stretches and moves in new ways, don't push yourself until it hurts.  If you feel like you need to take a break to catch your breath or get a drink of water, do it.  The workout will always be there when you get back.  And if you can't do everything, it's OK!  Do what you can and walk in place through the sections you don't feel comfortable with. Someday you'll be able to do those moves and more.  It just takes time, determination and lots and lots of practice!

Friday, May 21

10 Pound Slim Down Workout: Yoga

Well, it's the second day of the blog and for some reason this morning I woke up feeling like a bump on a log.  Not sick enough to call myself "sick", but definitely didn't wake up ready to face the day either.  It was one of those days when I mentally told myself it would be OK to bag the whole fitness thing for the day, sit down with a new book and lose myself in a bag of beef jerky.

But then I remembered. I started this whole "Blog" thing.  I said I'd try to post my activities daily and I couldn't bring myself to post that I'd spent the day on the couch for day 2 of my project.  Bummer.

So, still in my pajamas and curled up with the dog I contemplated what to do.  The weather here has been pretty hit or miss and today it looks like it could start pouring at any second, so Pooch and I decided that a walk was definitely out.  We're too soft and delicate for any of that "rain" business.

In true lazy form, I picked up the remote and started scanning to see if any of the "good" daytime workout programs were on.  Darn, it looks like I missed the dance one that I liked so much.  And the last time I tried to work out with Gilad I almost passed out when he suggested doing lunges with weights and then continued bouncing around the screen like some cross between Billie Blanks and Russel Simmons.  Darn, struck out again.

Pooch reminded me (in a not so subtle telepathic dog expression) that there are plenty of exercises saved On Demand.  And they're free.  Damn the dog for knowing these things and for making me feel guilty for trying to skip out on my exercise.

The great thing about the On Demand exercise programs is that there are a really wide variety of them.  Want to catch a 5 minute workout before heading out the door?  They've got that.  An hour-long full body toning exercise?  They've got that.  Want to focus on your shoulders / thighs / abs / left ankle / right toe?  Got that too.  Whether you're on the run, or have an afternoon to kill, you can find something to get your body moving.

Since I was feeling low and slow, I settled on a 20 minute yoga exercise called 10 Pound Slimdown with Chris Freytag.  It turns out that Chris has an entire workout program (including days off for rest) focused around helping you get over the 10 pound hump.  All of the workouts are roughly 20 minutes long, which makes them non-intimidating.  Hell, it takes almost 20 minutes to make macaroni and cheese on the stove.  I could do that.

And I did.  I love yoga because it seems like it's going to be super easy to follow and won't give you a heart attack.  You don't realize how hard your body is working to hold the poses until you're half way through and you fall over into a dresser or you realize you've sweated through your underwear.  (Always do your home-exercises away from the furniture!!)  By the end of the workout you can feel every muscle burning, the sweat rolling down the small of your back, and you feel... relaxed.  Refreshed.  So much better than a bump on a log.

And so thanks to Pooch and Chris Freytag, I got my workout done today.  It only took 20 minutes, I now have to wash my stinky pajamas (probably a good thing anyway), and I feel far more energized than I did at 6:30 this morning.  All I had to do was stop giving myself an "out" and get it over with.

In the end, it's more work to find reasons NOT to exercise than it is to just do it and stop worrying about it.

Thursday, May 20

I'm Not Obese, I'm Bacon Enhanced!

Well, I've been talking about doing a blog to follow my quest for a smaller bottom (and waist and arms and legs and...) for the last year.  Now that I am precisely 105 days away from my target, and no less large than I was a year ago I figure it's high time I get myself in gear and make myself accountable for losing enough poundage to look like Lara Croft.

So, to start off, let's take a look at where I'm at and how I got here.

Here I am today:

No, I'm not Master Chief... that's me on the left.  The one with the crazy face.  I was originally conceived in a scientific experiment that involved melding human skin with an LCD screen.  The results are really amazing, albeit a bit pixelated.  You'll be able to download your own LCD Skin app from Apple in 2025.

Note in the photo that I've accumulated what we like to call a "Bacon Enhanced" physique.  I tip the scales at very near 200 pounds.  196.8 to be exact.  It's hard for me to type that... but it's the truth.  Four years ago I weighed 50 pounds less than than I do now.  I hovered between 145 and 150 and was a size eight.  I started to say "was a happy size eight", but that isn't really true.

I've had weight issues all my life, which I blame primarily on my upbringing (sorry, mom and dad).  When I was 12 my uncle told me he was thinking about breaking up with his girlfriend because she weighed 120 pounds.  At 12 I was as tall as I am today, and I weighed 125 pounds.  Now, that single exchange isn't what has caused me to focus so squarely on what the scale says every morning.  No, there were many such comments made by almost all of my family members about my weight, their weight, and the weight of just about everyone around them.  So, it's been something that I've worried about all my life and I've struggled with both Anorexia in my teens (I weighed an average of 107 my Senior Year of high school) and Binge Eating throughout my Twenties.

But somehow, I was able to gain and maintain a steady weight of 145 - 150 for about three years and while I always wanted to be "just one pants size smaller" in reality I was super healthy with exercise and balanced eating both included in my daily habits.  

Sadly, I lost my ability to control my eating and keep an active lifestyle when I got an amazing opportunity to spend 4 years sitting at a desk for 10 hours a day with unlimited free fast food at my disposal.  I've learned a lot about myself and about business over the last 4 years, but "healthy" hasn't been a part of my vocabulary in quite some time.  Between the chili-cheese-burritos and mozzarella sticks, the thousands of hours spent slaving away in an office chair and the stress of meeting deadlines I lost the drive, energy and desire to focus on the scale.

So now I am a curvy size 18 instead of a svelte size 8.  Being classified by my doctor, my BMI and my Wii as "Obese" really sucks although truth be told I do enjoy being called "Curvy", "Voluptuous" and a "Big, Beautiful Woman".  But it's time for me to go back to some middle-size so I've set a goal for myself to drop to 160 pounds and a size 10 by September 3rd.  It's totally do-able if I stick to it (and I do need your help, dear reader to keep me on track), and now that I've kicked the desk-job to the curb and distanced myself as far as possible from the free fast food I know that it is something that I can maintain long-term too.

So I ask from you, reader of blogs, to please comment on my posts with your own weight loss frustrations and victories.  I will in turn start posting my thoughts and activities several times a week (I'm shooting for daily, but as I'm spending more and more time outdoors I forsee there may be a few days I don't make it online).  By helping each other we can all meet our goals, whether they are the last stubborn 5 or 105 pounds on our trek to healthiness.  Let's put down the bacon, and look forward to a thinner tomorrow!