Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Week Six, Seven, Eight and Nine: Yes, I suck at blogging, but I am kicking ass at weight loss!

Well, where to begin, maybe with an apology for neglecting my blog for so long. I am sorry, and I will try really hard not to let it happen again.

To be quite honest, I think the reason why I have been avoiding the blog is that I am having a really tough time these past few weeks. I am still losing weight, and I had some really great weigh-ins, and I am still sticking to the program, still going to the gym. So where is this tough time I speak of, well a lot of it is in my head. It has been a really tough couple of weeks, and I was having a hard time admitting that I was struggling. I guess it's because I started off so focused, and now it's not so easy. But it has gotten better. My thoughts have been consumed by food and how much I am missing it. My cravings have kicked into overdrive, and my hungry tummy has been growling up a storm!! Well, I got tired of the stupid storm, and I found that by pushing myself a little harder, it helped me get through the tough times. It also helped me see a 9 pound weight loss in week eight, my best week since the first one. That was what I needed. A reminder of what I could do when I push a little harder, and it has helped keep me on track!

So much has happened since my last post. Here's the quick rundown:

I have lost more than 10% of my original weight!
I am in clothes that I wore when my husband and I met (which was almost 7 years ago, and those clothes are baggy already!!).
I finally got more than 10,000 steps in a day, and now am achieving this on a regular basis.
I conquered the elliptical and made her my bitch!!
I went dancing with the Pwincess... at the gay bar and had a friggin blast. I love gay boys!!
I saw Daughtry in concert, and danced the whole night!
I finally tried yoga, and I loved it!

And the one big thing I did was I treated myself to a new tattoo to celebrate my 50 pound loss!! My tattoo is so special to me in so many ways, and it holds so much meaning. So what did I get you ask? I got a big crown in the centre of my back just below my neck, and she's beautiful!! So why a crown, you ask? Well, as I mentioned before, I call myself the Queen, and the reason I call myself this is because in my past, I was in a very bad and very abusive relationship, and it took me a long time to get out of it, and it took me a long time to get over it. When I got out of said relationship, I vowed that I would never allow this to happen again. I vowed that the next person I fell in love with would treat me nothing short of how the Queen should be treated, because I am a Queen, and I will be treated like one! Well I found that man that treats me like a Queen, and reminds me that this is what love is all about. So the Queen has her King, and all she was lacking was her crown, so now I have my King and my crown.

The tattoo is also very special to me because it was a drawing done by my sister, who is very talented and despite the fact we often don't see eye to eye, I am so proud that she is in my life. My crown has her initials on it, but the initials also stand for the Mantra that I have been using: Keep in The Moment. I have had to remind myself of this throughout my journey, and it has been working. I am succeeding, I am losing, and I am loving the new me!! I still have so much more to achieve, but I am on my way, and this makes me happy!!

This week, week number nine, was the second week in a row that I had a very hard time Keeping in The Moment, and it just made me push through. I put in some tough workouts, and got more steps in, and drank lots of water. I got a grip on myself, and I am proud to report that this week I lost 7.6 pounds! (Editors Note: I will post my weekly weight losses later because I can't remember the week to week numbers, so I have to check my file, so stay tuned!)

This brings me to 67.4 pounds lost in 9 weeks!! I am a rock star!!! I am doing so much better than I ever thought I could, but most of all, I see a change when I look in the mirror. I see a smaller me, I see a happier me, and best of all, I see a healthier me. That is the best outcome I could ever ask for!

Stay strong, Keep in The Moment, and remember when you look in the mirror, you are amazing, beautiful and in control. Till next time (and it won't be as long next time, I promise I will push to do this too)!!

I am 67.4 pounds closer to a Brand New Me!!

Love, The Queen

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Week Five: I feel like dancing!!!

I love music! It is something that is very important to me, and often, the music I am listening to determines my mood. I am not much of a dancer these days, but being a girl of my word, I did promise a certain Princess that I would go out dancing with her once I reached the 40 pound mark. I really thought I would be off the hook because my goal for the program was 30 pounds. Little did I know that I would find a strength in me that I never thought I was capable of. So when I passed that goal, I knew I would be putting on my dancing shoes sooner than I thought. And this week I surpassed 40 pounds, now I feel like dancing!!

Each week that I complete I still find it hard to believe that I am really doing this. Never in a million years did I think that I would be able to give up food. I love food, I love to cook food, I love to buy food... me and food, we were in love, and we still are, but now I love it from a distance. I know that in 7 weeks food will become a part of my life again, and surprisingly, I am not scared. I think that it's because I have the control back again. It is entirely up to me to keep the weight off and continue losing until I feel healthy.

I have a lot to be thankful for these days, and I feel happier than I have in a long time. I owe a lot of this new outlook to many people. Now is a good time to say thanks, so here goes:

I have been given an opportunity to get my life back, and I will be forever thankful to my doctor for turning me onto the program. Without her planting the seed, I could not have taken the first step towards the brand new me.

Thank you to the resource people that run the program. Your commitment to us and our health makes me want to push through and succeed. Because you all show up, I do too. I won't let you all down, because I won't let me down.

Thank you to the people in the program with me. For the first time in nearly a lifetime, I really think that there are people that get it. We are in this together, and we can do it!!

Thank you to my cheering squad. I have so many friends and family that are so proud of what I have done. I think they all look forward to Tuesday's more than I do. They love getting the text, and it makes me feel even more motivated because they give me strength.

To my daughter, Addison. You gave me another reason to live, and to want to live. All that I do in life is because I love you. You are my strength, my love, my heart, and I will be here to watch you grow up! For all the gifts that you have given me in two short years, this is my gift to you!

To my family for standing by me through this. For believing in me, and for reminding me that I can go on when I just want to quit.

And last but not least, thank you to my wonderful and amazing husband Shawn! Thank you for loving me for the woman I am, thank you for always making me feel beautiful, and thank you for your patience and understanding as I push through this journey. As you always say: We can do anything, because we do it together! Well babe, we are doing this!

I am sure there are many more that I need to thank, and I am sorry if I missed anyone. So until the next post, stay strong, stay alive and stay beautiful. I know I will!!

I am 40.6 pounds closer to a Brand New Me!!

Love, The Queen

Monday, April 19, 2010

Week Four: One month down, two to go!

Disclaimer: I am a slacker! I will be the first one to admit it. So I will apologize now for my late posting of my latest results. It was a busy week, so to my loyal followers, I am sorry for the delay. Now on to my post for the week.

I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would make it four weeks without food. I think about it and I can't believe the amount of strength that I have been able to conjure up. I am feeling so proud of myself. The other thing that makes me feel good is the amount of support I have gotten from my friends and family. Hearing people tell me what a great job I am doing is a great motivator to keep moving forward and to do the best I can do. I got this, and I will succeed.

In the beginning, I was kind of worried about how people would react about being in a program like this, but I have to say, the people in my world have been very receptive. It is an extreme measure to take, but if it works, hey why not, and so far it has been working. I recently went public with my involvement in the program at a meeting I was at last week. Many of my colleagues mentioned how great I was looking, and asked what my secret was. I thought about keeping it my secret, but then I thought, why should I? I am proud of my success, and I want to shout it from the rooftops that Optifast is working for me. The other reason is because maybe my involvement in the program will be the push that someone with weight issues needs to make a health change in their life. So I said that I was in this medical program, and gave the quick and dirty explanation. Surprisingly the reaction was not skepticism, it was awe. I guess mostly because when you think about it, it takes an awful lot of willpower to do what I am doing. It also doesn't hurt that I am as stubborn as they come!

Despite having a busy week, and feeling a lot of hunger and cravings, I stuck to the program. It's sometimes really hard, and the moments that get me are when I just feel defeated by the monster that I have created. I did this to me, no one else did it, and it's up to me to prevail. One of the moments that nearly sent me into a tailspin was when my husband ordered pizza for supper. It looked and smelled so good. I would have killed for a bite. But I asked myself, would you be able to stop after just one bite? The answer: highly doubtful. So I walked away, bottle of water in hand, cup of ice cubes in the other, and for one more day, I beat the monster!!

One of the things that I am struggling with right now is that I am having a hard time visualizing the results. The scale doesn't lie, the clothes that fit better don't lie, but why am I having such a hard time seeing what everyone else sees? So many people tell me they can see it, but when I look in the mirror, I still see the same thing, maybe a little bit on a good day, but that's it. I think the hardest part is that I have not been a fan of looking at myself in the mirror, so now when I do, I really look, because I am looking for the change. So this week we are talking about positive body image, and it got me thinking about what I want to see in terms of results that will make me happy. The answer is kind of silly, but it's something I have not had in a long time, and that is a sexy collar bone!! Silly I know, but when I see that it means, it has emerged from beneath the fat. And damn it, I think it's beautiful!! So that is another of my goals for this journey. So, come on sexy neck bones, I know you are there, now come on out!!

Tuesday nights are becoming something I look forward to. I really like seeing my program mates. They are such wonderful people, and so funny! I laugh a lot when I am at the meeting. It's nice to be grouped with such a great bunch. We are becoming like a cheering squad for each other. It's great because we are not in it alone, and we know it! So this weeks meeting was another success for me!! I surpassed my goal of 30 pounds gone (I set a low goal for myself because the most I have ever lost on a serious diet was 25 pounds). This week I lost 7.6 pounds!!! I am so proud of myself! I am beating the monster, and that is amazing. The other thing that I am pleased to say is that I truly feel as though this will change my lifestyle, not just for the duration of the program, but for the rest of my life! I want this, and I want it for a long time. Life is a gift, and being in the program has been a great reminder!!

I am 34.8 pounds closer to a Brand New Me!!

Love, The Queen

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Week Three: More Positive Results!!!

Despite having a really tough couple of weeks, I am still in control, and I am still going strong. I am the type of person that tends to eat when I am stressed or sad. I have been able to recognize that, but it never stopped me from chowing down when life got hard. Looking at me, I must have endured a lot of stress!! Now being on the program, I have to find new ways to deal with stress. The gym has become a great stress reliever and I have also turned back to my first love!! I have started to write again, and it feels good. It is the one thing that I love to do, but since having my daughter, it has been on the back burner, but now it is back, and some of it is in this blog.

One of the things I noticed since becoming a mom is that I have given up many of the little things in life that brought me joy, specifically, "Me" time. I found that since becoming a mother, I tend to put others before myself, and when I do put myself first, it comes with a big old helping of guilt. One of the things being in the program has shown me, is that it is okay to put me first, especially when it comes to my health. It has been my goal to go to the gym, and not feel bad about taking an hour for myself. This is something that I do struggle with, but I am having an easier time lately. I guess it's because a friend of mine really put it into perspective for me. He said, one hour at the gym, is just giving you the chance at a longer life with your daughter and your husband. He was so right. I want to have many years to enjoy my little family, so one hour a day is nothing compared to a lifetime with them, and good health.

As I mentioned earlier this has been a tough week for me. I recently lost a man that I highly respected, and thought the world of, he was like the grandpa I never had. He was actually my childhood friends grandfather, but I thought of him as my own, and I am very thankful to my friend for sharing him with me for the last 25 years. This man opened his home to me for so many holiday dinners as I grew up, that it just became a given that I would be at the table at suppertime. He also saved my teenaged butt by towing my dad's truck into town when it broke down. He didn't even give us hell when he found out that we weren't supposed to take the truck out of town. He just shook his head and said, let's go get it before your parents get home. He had a good life, and I am very sad that I won't see him again. I do take comfort knowing that he is with his late wife granny, his daughter and his dog Patches. Bye Papa, I will miss you, you old coot!!

Along with the death of Papa, I also suffered an injury.... I broke two toes!! Stupid steel bed frame, damn big feet!! It was so unbelievably painful, I actually cried a little. My toes turned completely black, and swelled up. It looked like I had two black sausages where my toes were. Sad thing is, treatment for broken toes is: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!! That's right, nothing they can do but advise me to take it easy for a couple of days and keep icing them. So I did take it easy for a day and then I was back at the gym, pushing past the pain, mind over matter. I was a couple of days away from my weekly meeting, and I wanted to see some good numbers from my frenemy, the scale. So, I am proud to report that the scale was good to me and I lost another 7 pounds!! Wow, 7 less pounds of Lana to love, and boy, I am loving it!! I am 2.8 pounds from my 30 pound goal, and only 12.8 pounds from a night out dancing with my girls! I never thought that I would get here. I never thought that I would make it this far, but I am doing it, and I will succeed!! Hell, I have already. I am also proud to report that I am now wearing my wedding band and engagement ring, something I have not done for more than 2 years, and I can fit into my pre-baby clothes, and those clothes are already a little big!!! Words can't describe the feeling I got when I zipped up my pre-baby jeans. It was euphoric, and just reinforced my belief that I can do this. I will do this!! Life feels good!

I am 27.2 pounds closer to a Brand New Me!!

Love, The Queen

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Week Two Down, and Only Ten to Go!!!

This past week was pretty hard. I found so many minutes of my day were spent thinking about food and eating. It was to the point where I actually found myself rather agitated and wanting to eat. I pushed through and did not give in. I made myself busy and chewed a lot of ice. ICE! YUMMY! A nice crunchy change from my liquid lifestyle. Still something to chew on, and still allowed! It definitely helps me get through the rough moments.

The other thing that gets me through the rough moments are the people in my life. I have such wonderful supportive people surrounding me and cheering me on through this change. First and foremost I am accountable to myself, but there is this little voice in my head saying, do not let yourself down, and do not let your supporters down. It does help me, and it has been working wonders! I was so worried that people would think that I was crazy for doing this. Really, it is very extreme, and I had a hard time convincing myself that I could actually do it. So far, so good!! I have found a strength inside of me to do this, and to keep me motivated to succeed. I will not fail at this, and I will not let my demons win. The demons are still very much alive, but they are starting to shut the hell up!!! Proof, that I am winning!!

Tuesday night was my weekly program meeting, and the moment of truth.... the WEIGH IN!!! It's sort of a bittersweet experience. I look forward to it because I am one more week closer to the end, I am one more week closer to a healthier lifestyle, but it is my show down with the scale that scares me. For people who are overweight, we tend to spend our fat lives avoiding the ugly reality of the number that screams the truth. I hate the scale, and have never even owned one in my 36 years. And I don't know if I ever will. So for now, I will make friends with the one at the program, and hope that she doesn't hate me when I step on her!!

This week, me and the scale, we good, we cool and we are still friends!! Another great week!! I am down 6.2 pounds this week!!! That is 6.2 pounds less of me to love!! Buh-bye fat, I will not miss you!! I feel so good, and my success just shifts me into overdrive. I am doing something right, and the number on the scale is my proof. I can do this, because I choose to do this!!

I must of looked silly at the meeting because I just couldn't stop smiling. I really like the people in my group. We are from all walks of life, but yet we have so much in common. There is one lady that stands out to me. We'll call her Dee. She is so positive and kind and just a wonderful person. She is like a cheerleader for the group and just an all around awesome lady. I hope to get to know her better, because she is lovely! The others in the group are awesome, and I am sure we will build some strong friendships! We are becoming a little family. It's nice.

This week is going to be interesting, especially because of Easter. My mother makes a wicked Easter dinner! Ham, Turkey, her homemade stuffing, candied yams, mashed potatoes, gravy, and a million other amazing and tasty items!! I love my moms holiday dinners, so this weekend will be tough, but I will prevail. I will not give in, and I will succeed. So as the family is dining, I will be at the gym, and will join them after for some board games, a shake and some ice!! I'm sure it will taste just like turkey and stuffing. Well, maybe not really, but a girl can dream right?

I will leave you with a poem that I found this week. I found it very inspiring, especially the last two lines. I have been saying them over and over when I am having a tough moment, and it has worked. "I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul."

Thanks everyone for your support and thanks for reading!

I am 20.2 pounds closer to a Brand New Me!!

Love, The Queen

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Trying to feel normal

Please note that the following was written last week, but I did not publish it because my daughter got sick and unfortunately, I became a bad blogger and neglected it and my followers. Anyway, my baby is better and I am back to my blog.

When I began the Optifast program, I told myself that I wanted to continue life and have the adjustments be mine to make. I vowed that life would go on, as normal as possible, and the only thing missing would be the food. Today I faced a big challenge head on... I went for lunch with some girlfriends. Not such a big deal for most people, but for me, off food for 7 days, this could be a problem. Well I did it, and it was a breeze. I drank my lunch on the way, and ordered lots to drink and chewed my ice cubes happily. I felt normalcy, and it was good.

Getting off the couch has always been a challenge, but now that I have, I am actually loving the gym. It doesn't hurt when you go and you walk in and there are firemen working out all around you. Now if that isn't incentive, I don't know what is. It was living out a fantasy, minus the R-Rated (okay, sometimes x-rated) stuff. Another bonus that has been found at the gym!!

Speaking of fantasies... at the last meeting, we were asked what was our fantasy reward, and what was our reality reward? I have been thinking about this, and I feel stumped. There are so many things that I would love to reward myself with, but my fantasy reward is not anything really crazy, but I want to get to a point where I am comfortable in my own skin, and then go on a shopping spree for some really cute and sexy clothes. I also want to buy some really stupidly expensive jeans, not only because I can afford to, but because I can fit them!! My realistic reward is to buy myself a bike! I loved to ride my bike when I was a kid. It was how I got around when I was in junior high, and it was fun. So after the 12 weeks is done, I will buy a bike. And by the end of the summer I will bike to my parents home, and not feel awkward doing it. I will not feel like an elephant on a tricycle. I will feel normal... whatever normal is.

Love, The Queen

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Week Number One: Complete, with success!

So I am not sure about the whole blog thing, but I need a way to express how I am feeling during my life change that I have begun. Before I begin the pouring out of my soul, how about a little background.

My name is Lana, AKA, The Queen (at least in my head anyway). I have struggled with weight issues for as long as I can remember. My earliest memory of my struggle was in grade three. It was then that my teacher made me stand up in front of the class and proceeded to let my classmates know that if they didn't exercise that they would end up being fat, just like Lana. Those words still ring loudly in my ears, and it sometimes still stings, just the same way my tears stung my face as I walked home in the cold, crying the whole way and feeling shame. A shame that I would endure throughout my life.

Even as I type this, I am having a hard time. By putting it out there, I am admitting the things that I have not addressed my entire life: I have a problem, I am fat, really fat (I hate the O word, but one day I will get over it and say it), I love food, especially the bad stuff, the gym scares me, the couch is stuck to my ass and has been for some time, and last but not least, I have no one to blame for this body, but me. There! I said it! Wow, that was a lot to confess... I feel lighter already!!

Nearly three years ago I began going to this wonderful doctor while I was pregnant. My former doctor was not listening to me or my concerns, so I decided to look for someone that would. A friend mentioned a new doctor in town, a woman doc, that was taking new patients. I quickly got an appointment and she became my new doctor. I felt a great connection to her and was able to talk to her so easily. As we met regularly during my pregnancy, she had mentioned a program that she was facilitating, and asked if I would be interested in it after the baby and breast feeding was done. She explained that it was intense and all I would consume was liquids (four Optifast meal replacement shakes, water, herbal teas, minimal caffeinated beverages) for 12 weeks. I stopped listening when I heard that, but I humoured her and said, sure keep me in mind. I felt bad that I lied about being interested, but at that time, I had no interest in giving up my bad habits. I never asked about the program again.

So fast forward to September 2009. I woke up one day and I looked in the mirror and really did not like the person I saw. I got in the shower and cried. I hated how I looked, I hated how I felt, I needed a change. And it was up to me to make that change. Today, I would accept accountability.

I think the reason I hit this point was because I had been reflecting on my life the day before. I kind of evaluated my life and for the most part I have a great life, an amazing life to be honest:
  • I have a wonderful husband who loves me and makes me feel loved every day, and reminds me that love never hurts,
  • I have a beautiful, healthy, hilarious daughter who fills my heart with so much love that I think it may burst,
  • I have two parents that are together, alive and live close by, and they are so proud of me it borders on embarrassing sometimes, but I like it,
  • I have three sisters and a brother that I love as though they were my own, and I am so proud that they are in my life. Each one of them brings something so special to my life, and I am thankful for them everyday,
  • I have two dogs that I love, even when they are bad,
  • I have a kick ass job, and work with so many wonderful people. I, truly, love my job and I am so thankful to have this opportunity,
  • I have a home, not a house. It may not be a $700,000 house, or have the big back yard that I always dreamed of, it may be in a trailer park, but it's ours, and it is filled with love,
  • I am financially stable. I got bills, but who doesn't, but we live within our means, we have all we need and more, and our financial worries are minimal.
Yes, life is good, great, amazing, yet here I was crying in the shower, not happy, and it hit me; I, was what I, was unhappy about in my life. I, was what needed to change.

I made the call to my doc, and at my appointment, I asked about the Optifast program. She told me that there was a waiting list and it was quite long, but I could begin the process to get on the list. I started attending the required sessions, and completed them all, now I just had to wait. I was told that it would likely be a year before I would get in. Disappointed, but not discouraged. I would wait.

Thankfully, some how the stars aligned, and my wait was not too long. I got a call in February asking if I was still interested. Of course I was!! Went to the appointments, the assessments, the blood work. I was in!! It amazed me that I was so excited to be a part of this program. I was excited to give up food, and change my life. I felt alive, I felt ready, I felt strong!!

March 18, 2010 was the first day of Optifast shakes and it was hard. Harder because I seemed to be surrounded by food that I loved, at various work meetings and functions. Some times I just needed to walk away, for the most part, I just drank a lot of water. I survived.

March 19, 2010, I began going to the gym. I met with one of the trainers from the program, and she was wonderful. Just an inspiring woman who encouraged me, and understood my insecurities at the gym. She got me, and she reminded me that we would go at my comfort level. Baby steps, she kept staying! I am very thankful to her.

I continued on with my program, drinking the shakes, lots of water, major cravings, but livable. I made a major effort (with the support of my sisters Whitney and Sage) to hit the gym everyday. I was using a pedometer to track my steps, averaging more than 5000 a day since I started. I was doing it, and I was finding the strength inside of me, somewhere!

Last night was my weekly Optifast Program meeting, and weigh in. It was judgement day, the moment of truth! Would I see a difference for all the sacrifices I made during the past 6 days? The scale would let me know.

I am happy to report that after 6 days, I have lost 14 pounds!!! WOW!!! Fourteen BIG POUNDS OF ME... GONE!! When I was told, I cried. I worked hard for this, I did it, and I was successful! Those 14 pounds fueled my determination, and have given me the strength to continue. I do feel better, I can feel a difference in my clothes, and I do have more energy. This is just the beginning. One thing the facilitators remind us is that we should not be discouraged if the results are not always as high as our first week. Hell, I won't be discouraged as long as the number keeps going down. One pound less, is still one pound less. Loss at any amount is a fantastic thing!!

One week down, and 11 more glorious weeks to go. I can do this, I want this, and I will not give up. My success is determined by me, and I am accountable for my choices, and I choose to change. I choose to live. I want to see my child grow up, I want her to have her mother for a long time, I want to have a long life with my wonderful husband, I want so see my siblings continue to grow up into amazing adults. Not a lot to ask for really, but things definitely worth working towards and living for.

I am so thankful for the support I have gotten. My family and friends have been so encouraging. They have all told me how proud they are of me. Hearing, "I'm so proud of you", makes me feel amazing!! I know that I am not alone in this, and I have so many people to turn to when I need a kick in the pants during this journey! I could not do this without them!! I won't let them down, but most importantly, I will not let myself down.

Thanks for reading, and I promise to keep updating my progress. I put it out there, so now I gotta do it.

I am 14 pounds closer to a Brand New Me!!

Love, The Queen!