Tuesday, September 30, 2008
It really is neat to see how I feel after my meeting. It was something that I totally needed! I feel ready to face another week and I'm totally determined to NOT gain more and to instead post a loss next week! (which will be the day before we leave for vacation!)
I was pleasantly surprised and happy to see two of my past leaders and the receptionist that I usually have attending the meeting this morning. It was good to see them and to talk to them, which I was able to do after the meeting. Ironically enough, they are in the exact same boat as myself. One of them actually took off her pants this morning when she weighed in trying to get below 'the mark'.
I came home and did a few things around the house. I cleaned out the car! It desperately needed it especially before we start to pack the car for vacation ( a week from today). I also putzed around with a few errands in the house. I also ate lunch. I had a salad, a yogurt and some applesauce. Internally I was screaming....eat something else, eat something else. But I didn't and I've actually been satisfied. For me, it is not a craving or hunger or fullness or anything...it's my mind telling me to eat more. I didn't listen this morning and I've been fine! I did bring along an apple to munch on here at work sometime during the mid-afternoon. I guess that time is NOW! :-)
SOooooooo imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon a post on the ww boards today saying taht they have a ups redemption program for ww brand stuff!!! YES, and I went on...the rewards are NICE! NOt cheesy things. We are talking stuff like attachments for your kitchen aid mixer, pan sets, vacuum cleaners (hoover) all sorts of stuff! GOOD STUFF! Stuff that we buy on a daily basis!
I am so all over this!
Monday, September 29, 2008
Tomorrow morning I'm going to hit up a weight watcher meeting. I am actually quite dissapointed. I had decided to go to this one......basically because my first leader, which I loved was the leader. So this morning I went on to double check the time. OH NO! Nancy doesn't lead this meeting anymore. She dropped all meetings from this center according to the website (she still does the Hancock meeting..but that's way to far away...and not the right time anyway). SHUCKS! So I'm HOPING that the leader that is there now is a good one! I have heard that the Saturday morning leader is a good one. But that meeting is at 7Am. The meeting would be over at 7:30 (if it was on time). I have to be at work at 7:45 or 8AM (flip flops back and forth)...and it's about a 15-20 minute drive. I may try that one a few times to see how that goes. Twould mean that I'd be driving to Hagerstown twice on Saturdays (morning for my meeting....back to S-burg for work...and then back to H-town for my weekly grocery trip). Hmmmm
My weight this morning 186.0 SO I"m back at 4 pounds from the very tip top highest that I can be to get back into lifetime!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I totally overate tonight! Cookies (they were supposed to be some healthy recipe that this health /nutrition/weight loss clinic owner makes) that I ate 5 of! Yes, FIVE cookies. Oh yeah, I had some bread with dinner...and not one but TWO servings of spaghetti!!!! Yeah, I took most of the food to my mom's house..but mom put it all together and made dinner...I just provided the ingredients...and we all know that mom's cooking tastes SOOO Good! (I at least had a salad with dinner! woo hooo)
And I feel ICKY!
(am I absolved from all wrong doing if I say that I went to the gym this morning and worked out for an hour??? Because I did!)
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
I got to thinking after reading todays post from JC about feeling power when we eat or overeat. It got me to thinking. NO, I never had that when I overate. However I do definitely feel empowered when I am eating correctly and making good choices. And as I read it, I knew that I want to feel that self satisfaction and empowerment. It really is a great feeling! And I'm going to strive for that feeling! Thanks JC!
Meanwhile, I'm trying to force myself to ignore those feelings and desires to 'stay hidden' in the woodwork. I'm pushing myself to do what I want to do and not worry about anything other than the fact that it is what I want to do and ultimately that I'm happy. And you know what? It's not killing me. No-one has looked at me oddly, in fact some of my efforts have sparked some really great conversations with others. So I'm trying.
My weight today 185.4. So still up. I'm actually not too overly surprised. Last night I made the ultimate comfort food (ok, one of them), Perogi casserole. It is super yummy, tasty and a carb lovers dream! I did eat accordingly the rest of the day but I know that when I overload on carbs I don't lose as well.
Don't know what I'm going to do to shake up my weight to start losing...but I'm gonna try my best! I will also have to start going to ww meetings regularly and paying until I get this excess 3-5 pounds off to get me back under. Not that that is any problem because I actually have always planned on continuing to attend the meetings weekly. I haven't done it though this month because I've been trying to get back under my goal so I dind't have to pay. Didn't make it...oh well. So either Monday or tuesday I'll be back in meetings. Not sure which yet....as there isn't really any meeting that fits my schedule!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Thank you for the kind comments about the demise of my friend. (the mug) I admit I've chuckled a bit about my death of a friend and some of ya'lls comments. :-) I'm really having a tough time finding a replacement. I'm using my backup mug now....but I need to replace the one that I broke (even if as only a back up mug). I hesitate to buy one with a sports logo on it (I'm not into sports) or an advertisment (remember, I take this EVERYWHERE). Not to mention that just the sheer amount of ounces in the mug take it to a whole different level (it's a 64 ounce mug). Todd, oh my dearest of dear husbands found me a replacement online. From HOOTERS! Uhhh NO! Although it is funny!
I have a friend that I correspond with pretty much every day. She is a good friend from college, and then she and I shared an apartment for a year after college. We had lost contact for a while, but have been talking for a while now. Talking to her has made me realize and remember what I used to be like and it has brought some of that back to life. Tis a very good thing. Thank you Suzy!! I think it's long think it's long past time to bring back the 'real' maryfran!
I thank you for reading my emotions about my teaching fiasco/mess. I honestly think that was the first time that I have actually admitted to anyone that the situation has caused me to have an intense fear of failure. I know that is also one of the first times I have ever made it through a conversation (or writing about it...which I have done in the past) without crying or actually even feeling the phyical problems that occur when I think about that situation. (my throat closes up and I can't breath....nothing major...tee hee hee) Does that mean that I'm healing??????
I think part of what is helping me is this project to take a picture a day for a year. Yeah, I can snap pictures....but to view life through a view finder. I actually have to look for the beauty around me. And it's everywhere. I'll admit, sometimes the 'dark' photos are pretty to view, but I'm figuring out that I don't have it in me to actually take those dark photos......it just not intrinsically in me. That is just one more little piece that got me to thinking.
Just one more step in the metamorphisis of myself. Changing my body for the better, changing my emotions for the better, changing my lifestyle for the better. It's all inter-connected.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
So lets all have a moment of silence for the newly departed mug!
I was in the shower this morning thinking about the plans that Todd and I have for the day. We will be on the go ALL day...meaning we will most likely eat two meals out. Part of me wants to just say screw it and eat what and where I WANT to eat. However, I know that I can't do that. I can't give up. Giving up is the easy and 'safe' route. In conjunction with what I wrote last night, giving up is safe. If I say I'm stopping now, there is no risk for failure. It's a difficult decision..because I greatly fear failure...the taste of it is still in my mouth. I don't want another dose.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Let me tell you, at the rate I"m going today with eating....even these dog biscuits look good!!!!!!!! I will say though that the dogs and the giving of the dog biscuits are my favorite part of my job! :-) Seriously though, this picture just reached out and grabbed me today.....so that is what I chose for my picture for the day for my 365 project!
Well after the cookie dough I've actually managed somewhat to keep myself under control today. Thank goodness!
Ohhh watching TBL right now.....and I won't say much of anything about it in case some of you haven't watched it yet. But the one person talked about afraid of doing it because he/she is afraid of failure. I'll admit it...I'm afraid of failure. I already feel like a failure in the career field. I loved teaching...but had such a failure that it affected my mental state. Ironically enough, the failure was not of my doing either......I was in an unfortunate situation designed by some other person and all I could do was ride it out. But it was bad enough that I seriously thought about committing suicide to get out of the situation. I had tried every other means at my disposal to correct the situation and getting nowhere, and for those few minutes felt that it was my only soluntion. It wasn't the only solution. I quit the next day. Sealing my fate. I quit in themiddle of a school year, with no notice. Some things are more important than a contract...I'm one of them. I moved home (literally into my parents basement) and licked my wounds and healed. Ok, at least I began the healing process. I still frequently cry when I think about and talk about the situation that I was in (my life was threatened by students....administration refused to help and actually made threats also......and numerous other offenses). It really just was a terrible situation. And when I heard that person tonight it hit me. I'm afraid of failing. I've already failed and I dont' want to do it again! To the point of not trying. Because if I don't try, then I can't fail! But what I need to tell myself that I fail IF I do not try!
My weight was up this morning...back up to 183.8. I have no clue why.
And uhhhh today. Well, this morning I slept late. I decided to eat my breakfast first and then exercise. I ate my breakfast and sat down at my computer to check my emails before exercising (letting my food settle). My dearest of husbands (yes, that was written in a sugary sweet tone) looked at me and innocently said, "ohhh yeah, we are having a committee meeting here at the house tonight" I'm sure my eyes bugged out. You see, I've been busy working outside and we were away on Sunday and well......my house is a wreck! Ok, it's not a wreck, but with four cats the floor is in constant need of vacuuming and the kitchen floor....well sweeping and mopping are a daily need (not that it gets done every day). And then just a few minor things. Didn't exercise....went on a wild rampage to clean the house instead. Oh yeah, and I baked chocolate chip cookies for the meeting also. Made lunch for Todd and I and STILL made it to work by noon. Uhhhhh I purposefully skimmed over the cookie part..........I uhhhh ate some cookie dough. Can we leave it at that???? (a little slip up...but not the end....I will just pick up the pieces and move forward)
Ohhh and the final straw....at 11:30 when all the work was done todd got a phone call........yep, you guessed it......the meeting was changed. It's not going to be at our house!!!!!!! Oh well...the house is spic and span! (and I brought the cookies into work!)
On to better things....well maybe not better things..but different things. On the way to work I was in the car and I realized that a stink bug must have made his home on my shirt while it was hanging on the line drying on it's laundry day. Yes, my shirt STINKS! It's terrible! (ok, I only smelled it when Iwas in the warm car, closed in...but still!)
WOOOOO HOOOOOOOO!!! It's The Biggest Loser night!!!!!
Monday, September 22, 2008
After my half hearted attempt at exercise, I brought the laundry in and then set about making dinner. Tonight was an attempt to make a knock off version of the Outback Steakhouse's Alice Springs Chicken. I think I did a pretty darn good job of it, if I do say so myself. The recipe is a keeper.
The rest of the evening, I've simply sat here and split my time between my scrapbooking and being online. I am very proud of myself. I've actually caught myself up...the year 2007 is DONE! So at least I'm working on the current year now! (well except for those things that I'm going WAY back for....but I'm talking about the current stuff)
On Saturday at work we were all sitting around and talking between customers. My manager mentioned the cherry angel food cake. Well, it sounded delightful. So I of course had to pick up the stuff to make it when I went to the store that afternoon. I came home from the store and set about preparing the dip, and fruits and veggies for the week. I made some more watergate salad for my huband and I made this cake. We each had a piece for dinner. It was scrumptious! SOOOOO on Sunday when I packed our lunch to carry along on our hike, I cut two pieces of cake to add to the lunch. Well, I ate a sliver (ok, ok ok...it was not a sliver, it was a normal sized piece of cake, I can't lie!) We hiked for most of the day, we thoroughly enjoyed our lunch and the cake that I had packed. We got home and we discussed and agreed on the fact that we would have dinner in about 2 hours. I decided to have a 'sliver' of cake. COME ON NOW! I planned on having a sliver of cake! I promise you, that was really and truely the plan! Yeah, it was a honkin' big piece of cake. Well, I ate that and I was getting ready to leave the kitchen when I saw tha tI hadn't covered the cake tightly. So I walked back over. And that is when I noticed that there was really only enough cake for three pieces left. So I went ahead and cut it into the three pieces. I immediately plated up two of the pieces for dinner and covered them up. But what to do with that third piece? Yep, you know it! Ahhhhh it tasted sooooo good! Just as good as the other three pieces I'd already had earlier in the day! :-) And let me tell you....piece number four for the day; the one that I had at dinner......outstandingly delightful! But that is the end of the cake. Soooooo even though it's relatively healthy....I've got to be careful.....dangerous cake for me!
Thank you to Donna for her advice to log onto fitday (where I count my calories.....in conjunction and parellel to weight watchers). I was honestly thinking about letting it slide and just chalking up the day as a loss.....even with all the hiking from yesterday. BUT after reading her comment, I did just that. I found that even with all that cake (oh yeah, and the 1/2 cup of ice cream that I had AFTER dinner and all that cake...hey it was fat free ice cream at least) that I was still about 1000 calories below what I had expended. THANK YOU HIKING!
This morning....on the scales. I was back down to 183.2. (from 182.6). I determined...this week I'm going to bust through that barrier and get myself back below that weight watchers goal so I can maintain lifetime. (for those of you who brought up the doctors note thing....my doctor thinks between 160 and180 is a good weight for me....and has already filled out the papers for me...so my weight watchers goal is set at 180 instead of 164.....I'm just having a heck of a time getting it to 180 and keeping it below there! But as I've said in previous posts. If this really is the weight for me, and I really can't get it lower (when I'm not eating whole cakes obviously) then I'll be ok with it and if I have to stop goign to weight watchers meetings, I'll be fine!
I was a bad girl this morning. The alarm went off and I didn't get up to exercise. SO consequentially, now I'm sitting here at work and thinking about having to go home and do 'something'. But I will!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Yep, that's my desk and the firemen checkin' it out! :-)
I set the alarm to go off early in the morning this morning. But when the it went off, I just coulnd't bear to get up. I haven't taken an off day from exercise in at least a week, so I decided to make this an 'off day'. I usually do try to give myself one day of 'rest'. So I snuggled back in and tried to go back to sleep. Uhhhh not happening. I did lay there for another hour and did eventually get out of bed to get ready for work at 7. I got sidetracked a bit this morning and forgot to weigh myself until after I had eaten breakfast so I have no clue where I'm at today. Little worried though. Last night I splurged on points and ate a pumpkin muffin. This morning at work we were talking about pumpkin stuff...so what did I do. I ran home and brought muffins back for everyone...and yes, I ate one here at work also! They are so yummy!
Today is a typical Saturday. Work, home, grocery store, home, fix and clean everything that can be fixed. And that will pretty much fill up my day. Nothing exciting happening at work today. Nothing like yesterday that is. Well, I'm brain dead and totally messed up someone's transaction.......not cool....and let this be a lesson and reminder to anyone out there that reads this. ALWAYS COUNT YOUR MONEY BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE WINDOW AT THE BANK! I'm appalled at how many people just drive away and don't check it. Come on now...the teller is a HUMAN. And humans do make errors! I was taught to recount my money before driving away. Most of my customers do not do that. And some apologize for doing it. NO NO NO...I appreciate it when customers do so! (I shorted someone...as soon as they drove away I glanced at the check and realized my error...recounted my drawer to verify...and called the customer...but still if she would have counted before pulling away it would have been a much easier fix)!
Friday, September 19, 2008
OK...my weight this morning.... 183.2 I was hoping that it would just drop off and be water weight. But not my luck. Oh well......it will come off! :-)
I watched another episode of The Biggest Loser Australia (season 2) this morning while on the exercise bike. They were doing a hike where at certain stops up this huge mountain, the contestants put weight into their backpacks that represented the weight they lost each week. The contestants were then able to reflect and relive their thoughts and emotions from being a 'bigger' person and whatnot. It got me to thinking.
One of the contestants started talking about how the girl that started the show was not a happy person and in her unhappiness, she was actually sabotaging her weight loss efforts. It made me look deeply. I've come to the conclusion lately that I'm not the happy bubbly person that I used to be. I know that there are a lot of issues in my life right now, personal things that are dragging me down. I don't' like it, and I've actually tried to make a real effort in the last week to not let these issues totally encompass my life and my feelings. But that said, it does make me think......is that having an effect on my weight loss?
One of the other contestants then talked about all the years of being teased and made fun of for being overweight. I've laughed and proudly told people that 'I didn't experience any of that'. And I'll admit that when someone did say something I didn't care I am who I am. I've made the comment on many occasions that if someone doesn't like me because I'm fat, then that is their loss and I don't want to be friends with anyone like that anyway. BUT as boldly as I say that, I have come to the realization that my weight has embarrassed me for years. And while I didn't get too much teasing and taunting (remember, I wasn't overweight until my upper teen years and adulthood) I know that especially as an adult, I let my weight define who I am and what I do. I basically put myself in a bubble. I tried to stay as un-obtrusive as possible. Don't draw attention to myself, stay hidden. It was a total defense mechanism. Those comments do hurt, even though I only experienced a few....and I tried to avoid them.....by making myself invisible.
How do you fix this? I mean, yeah, I've lost a lot of weight. A phenomenal amount of weight, but those feelings do not disappear overnight. I realized within the last week that I am still doing it. Ironically enough, it was my camera that showed me this. I was out walking on the battlefield with my husband (I do believe it was last Saturday night). I had my camera with me and I saw some re-enactors. I snapped a picture, the one guy (a re-enactor) was doing something really cute, but when he saw me taking a picture he stopped. I snapped a few more pictures...and I actually liked the pictures. Later that night I was talking to a friend and mentioned it. My friend was like, "why didn't you ask him to do it again". I stammered out a reply. I think I said something like, "that would have required me to walk across the street!" or "I don't' like posed pictures" or something like that. Both of which are true. (and honestly even looking at this objectively I wouldn't have...because of the posing thing). But it got me to thinking, because I KNEW that I wouldn't have gone over there no matter what. I'd rather lose the shoot than go over. Why? Because I didn't want to draw attention to myself. I know he wouldn't have been angry...he was a re-enactor doing a living history on a battlefield for goodness sake! I knew that it was because I wanted to remain un-obtrusive and without a shadow of a doubt it was because of the weight issues in my life.
Heck, I still have problems even accepting the fact that I am no longer morbidly obese!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I try to do a new recipe or new meal at least once a week. Some weeks is just doesn't happen. Other weeks it does.
This picture if of my experimental meal for the week. For lunch today we had Rosemary Chicken with Mediterranean Brown Rice. It was actually quite tasty. When I was dishing it up, I was a bit nervous....but it was really good. Todd loved it!
I've done really well eating wise today. Point wise I actually have a few points left. According to fitday, I'm at 1335 calories for the day. I also did ride the bike for 45 this morning so I feel as if I'm on track for the day!
My weight. I was excited and anxious to step on the scales this morning. I mean, I worked like a dog yesterday. ON fitday.com I have it set up that my base metabolic burn is for a sedentary lifestyle. I figure, lets make it as hard as possible. But then I add in activity. I usually don't add in cooking and general stuff like that unless it's something I do for over 2 hours (like my day canning, etc) They say I burn about 1900 calories a day with a sedentary lifestyle. Well, I added in the digging......and the bike ride....and they say that I burned up near 3500 calories yesterday. I will say that I did eat 5 extra ww points yesterday. I also entered in my food intake into fitday, just for comparisons sake. I ate 1600 calories (actually a few over, but I can't remember the exact off the top of my head). SO my comparison was really good!
So I got on the scales........... 6/10ths of a pound up! Isn't that a hoot? I have no clue what my body is doing! Oh well, I'm just along for the ride. The only thing I can do is stay strong in my motivation and willpower!
I will say that I drank a good deal of water yesterday. I had drained my 64 ounce mug in the morning (well, all except for a little ice that was left). I had drained it a second time by dinner (including the ice that was now melted). I had a 16 oz glass of water while I made dinner and one while I ate dinner. I did drink a diet drink last night while I was on the computer. SO I would think that it SHOULDN'T be a water issue. But what else can it be????
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Well, I could have used this old tractor today! That's for sure. (yes, the tractor actually does still work, but it's not mine!) I had a busy and very productive day. This morning I went over to the farm to deadhead flowers. We've been saving seeds on everything we can every year. Number one it is interesting to see how the colors change a little more each year. Each year it seems as if we get a new color that we didn't have the year before. Just intriguing! Secondly, in the case of the zinnias (which is what I cut and put in the drying racks this morning) the original seeds were given to us in a garden basket gift that someone gave us for our wedding. These are our wedding zinnias. I can't let that seed stock die off now can I? (sentimental I know). After the flower/seed expedition, we came back over here to the house and got to work. I decided to dig up the garden for next year. We moved this past spring and kept the garden at the old place as it had been re-tilled and fertilized before covering it with straw for the winter. The ground was ready and waiting. (Not to mention that we didn't have time to do our garden over here.) I decided that I was going to tackle the garden area today. Get the soil turned, so I can pull out the tiller and till that ground up. That way we will be able to spread fertilizer and our summers worth of compost and get that ground ready and fertile for spring planting! SO that is exactly what I did. I laid out our garden, (paths and walkways are measured exactly to fit the riding lawn mower through! ) and I got to digging. HOURS upon HOURS later, and I was done! WOO HOOOO. Next week I'll work on the tilling!
I do believe that my husband thinks I'm crazy though. After all that digging, I came inside and rode the exercise bike. You see, my upper body was exhausted, but my lower body, while active really wasn't worn out. Soooo I fixed that. I was beat after the exercise bike. FINALLY I showered and then I was off to the kitchen to make dinner. I had my main meal at lunchtime, burritos. They are supper yummy and extremely easy to make! Todd had worked outside all day also, and I wanted to treat him to something special for dinner. SO I baked some fish for him and made some homemade biscuits and that is what he had (plus peas and watermelon). Since I don't eat fish, my plate was full of veggies. All kinds; green beans, cooked carrots, sauerkraut and peas! Watermelon for dessert....oh yes, and I had the last of the strawberries! What a yummy meal!
My weight this morning was up to 183.0. I wasn't totally surprised. I had a good bit of pasta last night and I know that sometimes affects my daily weight. :-) Anxious to see tomorrow. I mean, I can't imagine that it will not be good after eating well today and all the activity!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I'm tickled pink. I was able to hold my weight loss that I showed yesterday. Today I was pretty much the same. Oh I'll be honest...I was 2/10ths of a pound down. (ok, maintained........but technically a loss...lol) SO that made me pretty darn happy! I guess that second bike ride really made the difference for me in keeping that loss on my side! :-)
Not much else to report. Eating is on target for the day. I"ve planned dinner and I should be fine, with 2 points to spare for a little snack while I watch TBL. Yeah, that is terrible that I'll eat a snack while watching THAT show! LOL
Monday, September 15, 2008
Made dinner tonight. One of my favorite meals. I made Maple pecan chicken, green beans and sweet potato pudding. For our dessert/fruit I fried some apples. YUMMY! While we were eating dinner I had a grand thought. We are eating better foods by eating healthy. I used to be a lazy cook. Yeah, I've always liked to cook, but I was lazy. I did prepackaged stuff and took the easy route. I rarely do that anymore and you know what? I do not miss the prepackaged easy route!
This puts me at exactly the weight I started with for my little 'first to lose 10 pounds challenge with my friend who's getting married in October. Whew...now I can actually start losing that 10!!!!
I've laid out my food eating plan for today. I know that because of my little splurge/binge/eat fest that I will have to be super diligent today. I know that two days of overeating (even if it is healthy options) will start to have a negative impact! So I'm set and ready for the day!
The good old sinus' are STILL acting up. Headache is back today. My cheek bones and teeth hurt...and the throat is still just feeling icky. Go away sinus issues!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
My sinus headache is pretty much gone......I can feel the pressure in my head, but it's not a pounding headache, thank goodness. My throat however....not good. And I've picked up a cough. NOOOOO I do not want to be sick!
Got bit/stung by something when I was outside mowing this morning.....my arm hurts like the dickens....but oh well. Nothing I can do! :-)
Well, today's foods are super high in sodium......I know it and I know that there is nothing I can do about it (well other than eat something different...but they are stuff that has been requested by my husband....so I"ll eat them. They are not all that bad for me. I'll be under my points...but for lunch we are having a Chinese style meal.....and for dinner tacos. I'll be doing the taco salad thing again....so I'll be fine point wise...but sodium..eii yiii yiiii. Hey, at least I know about it.
Just for curiosities sake, I'm dual journal ling. I"m still keeping my journal with my weight watchers points. However, I'm entering everything into fitday.com. I've parallelled some days in the past, but I"m trying to do it for a couple weeks. It seems to me that 24 weight watchers points is about 1400 calories for me. The nice thing about this dual journal ling, fitday gives such cool reports, charts and numbers for your figures! :-)
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Woke up today and weighed in at 184.6. I was pretty darn happy with that! I had set the alarm early enough to exercise. So I hopped onto the exercise bike and rode for 45 minutes before getting ready to go to work. I had been planning to go to the grocery store after work and all morning I toyed around with the idea of actually stopping at the gym on the way to the grocery store and getting in another work out. Well, that didnt happen.....Todd decided to go to the store with me...and with his ear infection...makign him a bit dizzy, probably not a good thing to go to the gym. BUT, after dinner tonight I asked him to go for a walk with me. We went over to the battlefield. There were reenactors encamped at the dunker church to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Antietam/Sharpsburg. (later this upcoming week). I snapped a few pictures. I came home and at first wanted to kick myself because I hadn't switched my camera to monochromatic/black and white. But then decided to actually play on photoshop. Above are the results!
Did the normal grocery shopping. I came home and took care of preparing everything that could possibly be prepared in order to make this healthy eating venture as easy as possible! :-) Let me tell you, that takes time. I had to dish up two cartons of ice cream into 1/2 cup containers, cut up a watermelon, clean and cap strawberries, make lemon mousse and watergate salad (for todd), clean the grapes and something else that is escaping my memory. I also made pesto crusted chicken and homemade onion rings tonight. I've made the onion rings, but the pesto crusted chicken was a new recipe. It is definitely a keeper! :-) YUMMY!
Friday, September 12, 2008
Well, this picture about sums up my day thus far. That's why I snapped the shot......thought it would be funny. Now, after having taken those pills and still no relief....it's not so funny. Last night I went to bed with a slight headache. I didn't think anything of it. I rarely get headaches anymore (surprisingly, it's one of the things that kinda dissapeared as I lost weight), but when they do come, I can usually sleep them off. So I went to bed. I woke up this morning to find that I still have a headache. Oh yes, and add a sore throat to the mix. Nothing contagious....I now know why I have a headache...sinus pressure.....and the drainage causes the sore throat. LOVELY! It's a rainy dreary day........which is causing my arthritic knees to kick up a fuss. And if those three things are not enough...the monthly ick has made it's appearance. What wonderful day! (note the sarcasm).
Excuses? Nope! I gave myself a day of rest yesterday because my body just ached and I was suffering lingering exhaustion from my marathon day of apples. But this morning, I drug myself out of bed. I got on that exercise bike and I rode 45 minutes.
My weight, dropped again......185.8. I'll take it.
Last night I never got off my butt to make my menu or do my grocery list. The biggest thing I did was pull out some ground turkey from the freezer for the chili that I plan on making when I get off of work tonight. I did bring my stuff with me today. I've made up the menu for next week. I'm actually very statisfied with what we are having this coming up week. I really do think I'll be able to navigate this week of eating at home fairly well. Some weeks Todd makes requests for certain meals that while they are super tasty....are just soooo hard to navigate.....simply becasue portion control is something that I struggle with. But anyway, grocery list is made, I just have to check a few more things at home to finalize the list and I'll be good to go.
Sitting here at work......twiddling my thumbs, hoping for the day to progess onward in a fast manner. 4 hours and 45 minutes left. I'll pull out my journal here soon. I"ve kept a hard copy of this whole weight loss journal (it actually goes further back than the beginning of this blog). I'm in the process of rereading it. It' been interesting. I forgot about certain events and happenings that are actually pretty big. Things like, if I allow a waitress to rush me, I tend to slip back into old habits and order the first thing that catches my eye, which is not usually the healthy item. And I'm remembering feeling and emotions that I had when I reached certain goals and victories. I am actually somewhat dreading the time when I get to this last year....because what a shame, I've really sat on the fence for the past year and have gone NO-WHERE with this weight loss journey. Wel, wait, that's not true. I have continued to learn little aspects and idiosincracies about myself as I progress onward in this new lifestyle. SO it hasn't all been a loss.......I've learned to 'maintain' and I can sit back and relax a bit knowing that I wil be able to maintain my weight. (not that it's going to be easy...but I can do it....as I've proved this last year).
Ok all deep thoughts and reflections are just not going to happen anymore with this sinus aching head!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I didn't exercise today. This morning I ached something fierce. TOnight I still ache, but I'm also dead tired. BUT, I have done stellar with my eating! :-)
I need to summon the energy to work on our menu and grocery list. Our fridge is bare! :-) There is plenty here to eat...but we are just pretty much out of fresh fruit (not to worry, I have a bit of applesauce..amongst other things) and perishables are running low. :-) But that's typical for the end of the week!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Well, I didn't get any formal exercise in today. But I worked my tail end off from about 9AM until just a few minutes ago (10:30). I made applesauce today. It's been hanging over my head, so when Todd told me this morning that he was going to work on the insulation (we are adding/updating some insulation at our place) I knew that I had a full day to do it. Hard work. But 3 bushels done! :-)
I stayed right within points. At one point, I really struggled. I was so tempted to get a granola bar. (we jokingly call them crack, because once you have a bite, you want more!) But I didn't. I didn't need it. I actually would have ended teh day with a ton of leftover points. But I just had a sandwich...even though it's late. I ate minimally today. I was too busy with my apples. :-)
Who knows what today will hold. Todd and I are both off of work. However the work that we have to do here around the house is stuff that we need everything dry for and since we had a lot of rain yesterday, I"m thinking that we are not going to work around the house. Hmmmmmm what to do?????
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Should I label them...or are they self explanatory? LOL
Nice little update. Day two went well. I did come up with an excuse early this morning as to why I shouldn't exercise first thing. And then it haunted me all day.....I came home and before I even ate dinner I exercised. Yea me! I have kept my eating under control. I did splurge a bit...I did have the daily points....I had a banana, 1/2 cup of 2 point ice cream, and a little chocolate syrup. That was the end of my daily points. And I am still feeling full from that snack! BUT I made it another day!
have been doing much soul searching recently as I have been stuck at the same weight for over a year. This weight loss journey has been a wonderful trip, and I'm grateful for being able to say that I have lost 130 pounds. HOWEVER, I finally faced the fact that I have not been giving it my all. I have used excuses to eat more, excuses to not exercise religiously. I've decided that I do want to continue this journey. I have to continue it for me. I want to prove that I can take it the whole way and I want to see the woman that I become as I finish this exciting journey. SO this morning when I grabbed a tee shirt and realized that THIS is the one that I grabbed, I thought it was very Apropos and I KNEW that it had to be my picture for the day for the envisage 365 project. The tee shirt says, " You could ride off a cliff and die. You could get lost and die. You could hit a tree and die. Of you could stay at home, and fall off the couch and die." No more excuses!
That brings me to my next announcement. I've FINALLY decided to start posting recipes and yummy tips somewhere on the Internet! I had toyed with the idea of doing an actual web page. And while that idea still hasn't gone away, I am not a web-page designer....and I quickly got frustrated! (I'll pick it back up someday and conquer that challenge!). Well, I finally just decided to do it blog style. I've put about 8 entries or so on thus far. Most are recipes...one is just an idea/alternative. I have a few tips and I will not be adverse to putting products on there. Anything that the self proclaimed food junkie that I am, deems good stuff! :-) So feel free to check out my food blog! I've aptly named it Maryfrans Menu! :-) Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm not a genius when it comes to creating names! I am not a fancy gourmet cook. I cook home style with more normal every day ingredients (hey what can I say, I come from a family that owned and operated a diner for YEARS). I have always gotten so disgusted when I open a 'healthy' cookbook and see all these fancy shamncy ingredients. There is a time and place for that......but what if you don't like those things? What if you are just an average every day ordinary person that is cooking for family, and one that has some picky eaters that won't eat tofu and mushrooms just to name a few things that seem to be in TONS of healthy recipes! (yeah, I'm the picky eater...my husband eats all that stuff!). This is my answer!
OK, on to the big issues of recent days. I feel very empowered. I made it through yesterday with flying colors! I did have a bit of a problem this morning. I did not exercise. I do however plan on doing that tonight. Todd won't be home until 8 or 9, so I'm planning on riding the exercise bike when I get home...BEFORE dinner! (which will also push dinner a bit later into the evening, which will mean less time for me to have to resist getting a snack!) I made my plan for lunch, taco's were on the menu. I know that without a plan, I will eat as many as 6 tacos (I would have stopped there today....that's half of the box....my 'portion'.....and by the time you put meat and cheese and all the good stuff on each taco, you're talking about 2-3 points per taco!) I made a taco salad instead....filling up on the lettuce, tomatoes and onions (beware co-workers...it's a good thing I'm working at the drive through window today.....glass between me and my customers!) and putting minimal meat and cheese on top! I am quite satisfied, I got the taste of taco and I didn't blow my points!
My weight......dropped today from 186.6 to 185.4. I was expecting it. Yesterday I started drinking my water religiously again. And round about 4 PM, my body finally decided to get rid of the water that it was holding on to for emergencies sake. Yes, I used the bathroom literally every 15-30 minutes from 4PM until about 9PM. At that point it slowed down....but I still got up to go to the bathroom about 5 times throughout the night (I usually do not have to go at all in the night!) But it's good...my body is being flushed out! :-)Tonight I'll be on my own for dinner. I believe I can do well on my own. I'll eat mostly fruits and veggies, so no problem there.
Monday, September 08, 2008
First of all.....that dessert is sooooo yummy! :-) (healthy too)
I just wanted to say that I made it through today. I ate healthy, I exercised and I was 100% with it. Taking it one day at a time, this was a successful day!
I'm actually even a bit excited about working the program again. I was feeling tenative about writing that...but I think that I needed to write it.
Thanks to everyone that has been there today while I did some soul-searching and self discovery!
For this I will go back and retype soemthing that I wrote back before I even started this blog......
As the new year rolled around, I started looking deeply at my life. The year was 2003. I had just turned 30 years old and I was at my highest weight yet, all 315 pounds of me. I was experiencing weight related problems. Me knees were constantly hurting and making a lot of noise. There were nights when I couldn't sleep due to the pain in my knees. My stomach was starting to literally fal over the top of my pants so badly that my stomach was rubbing agaisnt the button of my pants. This led to a collection of sores and blood blisters on my protuding stomach. They would continue to rub and then bleed. FOr months I bandaged my stomach so that the raw skin wouldn't be irritated further. Bigger pants, the belly still overflowed.....it made no difference. I was noticing that I was panting and struggling when I climbed a set of stairs. All in all, my body was telling me that I was overweight and in dire straights. Uppermost in my mind though, was the fact that I had just turned 30. My husband and I had always talked about having children. Turning 30 really hit me. When I was in my 20's I always thought, "Well, I"m overweight...but I've got youth on my side. But when I hit 30 I worried because I now had two distinct strikes against me. Both of these things would conspire to prevent me from conceiving and carrying a healthy child full term when that special time came in my life. I decided to lose weight.............
I did lose about 50 pounds at that point....and fell off the wagon. Thankfully I was able to maintain most of that weight loss until I got serious again, which was at the very beginning of 2006. Here is an excerpt from this blog from early 2006
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Why is this so important now?
I have been overweight for years. I remember when I was young. I was not overweight. I was actually rather petite and small. My family moved from Pennyslvania to Florida when I was 12 years old. I wore a size 6...and I remember, I was so upset to go to that six. Suddenly; within the first year of moving, I gained weight. They said it was a combination of the 'culture shock' and me hitting those wonderful years that we all have to go through. However, my weight slowly crept up through high school. I went to college and it was probably one of the best times for my weight. I was always on the go.....for a while we exercised religiously at the "Y" (thanks Suzy and Rach....it was actually fun to go with ya'll) True, the Dairy Queen beckoned on the way back to the dorm...but I was so active that I was actually at one of my lowest weights in years. 214. I cringe when I see that......214 pounds was a good weight in my mind??? I left college and the weight started slowly creeping back on. I didn't work on it...I just let it happen. I had one time where I was close to my college weight...but it was due to a stressful job....NOT worth it. AND the downside.....when I left the job and the stress was alleviated....the weight returned with a vengence. When I say with a vengence, I not only returned me to my 'pre-stress job' weight...I added about 40 more pounds extra.I turned thirty and panicked! I wanted to have a baby someday. I had always had one 'strike' against me. I was big...it would make a full term/healthy pregnancy/baby more difficult. BUt I always had 'youth' on my side. All of a sudden I had that "I'm in my thirties, I'm getting old" moment. I started working on my weight...and got myself back down to my 240. I plataued....and I have sat at 240-250 for the last 2-3 years. During those last few years I've made half hearted attempts to kick start this process. However I just couldn't do it. Sadly enough, it is/was watching my mother struggle. She is a few years shy of 60 and she is struggling with her weight. It is terrible to see.....her health and her very life are contingent on her weight. I know that she has been lucky...it has only been in the last few years that these 'weight related' health issues have really surfaced. However, they are here and they are attacking! Typical mother, even as she struggles, she worries about my husband and I. She doesn't want us to go through what she is going through....and she knows it will most likely happen to us if we don't get this excess weight off.Just recently it hit me. This weight is going to kill me. Not tomorrow...or the next day (hopefully). But eventually, it could very easily catch me in it's clutches. I can't let that happen. I have to fight!For the last few years I have said..."well, if I get down to to 175 pounds I think that would be great". Just recently, I decided that was cutting myself short. Honestly, if I get there and just can't get it futher, I'm going to consider myself a sucess. However, I'm aiming more for what they "SAY" I should weigh....SO I am aiming for roughly 150... 100 pounds!
SO, where does that leave me? Todd and I still talk about having a family......even as we get older (I'll be 36 in a few short months). I still know that higher weight and poor habits could kill me. But I've eliminated a lot of the risks that higher weight brings for those issues. Now it is plain and simple something I have to do for me. Two seasons ago on the Biggest Loser Bob Harper (or was it three seasons? Oh whatever) the trainer was flabergasted because one of the pair of contestants gave up half way through a challenge and quit saying "we can't win, we'll be here forever" and they gave up. Bob's face was just absolutely shocked and his words stuck with me. They were, "why start something if you are not going to finish it". THAT is where I'm at....I started this journey, I need to finish it for me. That is the one and only reason! And it's the biggest reason a person could ever have. Honestly, this reason is probably more important that getting pregnant and having a baby or anything. I'm doing it for me!
So I started really thinking deeply about where I am, where I want to be, and what has brought me to this point (long term and this short term situation). I've come up with a couple things.
The first thing is excuses. I use them way too much. If I work outside hard I use it as an excuse, "ohhh I worked hard, that means that I can have a little extra food, even though it's over my daily points". I also use the excuse in the morning. I had been so diligent about exercising first thing in the morning. I've gotten out of that habit. My excuse? "Well, Todd and I are planning on working outside this afternoon when I get off of work, I don't want to over do it". That is an excuse. There is no guarantee that we will work outside, and many times something comes up so that we end up NOT working outside or going for that 'walk' or 'ride' or whatever. I need to simply get my butt moving, do the exercise in the morning and get it over with. If I'm LUCKY, those tentative plans to work outside (manual labor/activity) or a walk, or a ride will materialize and I'll get a double workout that day! Working out twice is NOT going to hurt me!
Secondly, when my daily points are gone, I am done! No ifs ands or buts. I realized a long time ago in this journey with Weight Watchers that unfortunately, my body does not lose weight if I eat those 35 flex points. It just doesn't happen. These last weeks, I've not been bad. I've gone over my daily points by 3-5 a day. That should be perfect.......it's the flex points that I have at my disposal....but I gain! I can not eat them. So I need to eradicate them from my mind. If I DO eat something after that point, it sure as heck better be a zero point food item! Basically, when my dailies are done...I'm done. Period, end of story!
Next, WATER WATER WATER! The last few days I've been TERRIBLE with water! One day last week (Thursday) I was actually thirsty and I couldn't drink enough water! That is not a good position to be in. They say that by the time that you are thirsty, that you are already dehydrated! I tried to drink a lot the next day....but I don't' think I made a dent in the dehydration (just from watching for and knowing what to expect when I do start drinking and when my body does seem to finally agree that I'm giving it enough water). So Friday I did fairly well......and then Saturday came. I don't think I even drank 10 ounces of water. I did drink a can of diet Sunkist and I had a diet Pepsi at dinner....oh and lets not forget the chai latte that I had! What is up with that? Those are TREATS......a treat that I give myself when I've finished my water for the day!!! That is a steadfast rule!!! Sunday I did a little better. I did pretty much get 64 ounces down.....but I'm still watching and waiting for my body to give me the sign that it trusts me to drink enough water......it hasn't happened yet. I'm floating on at least 5 days of dehydration......with one or two days of attempts to end that situation stuck in there. DRINK DRINK DRINK!
I guess when I look at it and if I'm honest with myself I can say that I'm tired. I get tired of being diligent. So I slip up...my weight goes up a bit, it scares me, so I am diligent and get it back down a bit. And then the cycle starts again. I was hoping that my wager with my friend would help.....in the first 4 days, I've gained about 4 pounds! Uhhh what's wrong with that picture???? It's not the weight watcher program that is not working. It's me. I'm not working the program. Weight watchers works! I know what to do. I know what needs to be done and I'm doing it.......somewhat half-heartedly. But to have weight watchers actually work, it takes more than knowing what to do. It takes actually DOING it! Yes, it's been a good thing to see my results from this last year...to realize that I am pretty much maintain my current weight loss. However, I'm tired of sitting on the fence! I've been sitting here way too long. I need to decide which way I'm going to go. Am I going to lose more, or am I done?
I do not want to be done......I just need to get my head totally back in the right place......100% of the time. OK, I'm human 95% of the time!
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Well, the bad thing...my water consumption yesterday.....I'd say I'd be lucky if I got in 10 ounces of water! Heck, I probably didn't even drink that!
Saturday, September 06, 2008
I'm off work this morning. A rare treat on a Saturday morning. I"m happy to say that I'm still lounging around the house in my nightgown. :-) I have always loved those days when I can do NOTHING and just read and relax and not even worry about those basic fundamental things like getting dressed! :-) So yes, even though I woke up at 5:30-6:00 AM, I came out to the living room, and curled up on the couch with my book. I finished that one (I was almost done). I tiptoed around and picked out another book to read....and I flew through that one also! I just finished that a bit ago. I got out my camera and I've played a bit, taking pictures of the cats. Desi poses for the camera. Ethel is way to interested in the camera...she wants to be sniffing it and 'helping' mommy take a picture. Lucy on the other hand HATES to have her picture taken. I can SOMETIMES snap off ONE picture before she glares at me and runs away! Jodi....well if the cat would move, she would probably take a great picture....because she doesn't care about anything....however she rarely moves (ok, she does move somewhat). I plan on relaxing a bit more.....maybe pull out a third book and read some more. But I do have to get a shower here before too long. I'm going into mom and dad's to see a friend and her husband that will be there. They are missionaries to the Philippines, teaching school in a mission school. Their departure to go back has been a bit delayed, but they ALMOST have their complete support from what dad told me last night. So anyway, Rachel is going to be there this afternoon. So I'm going to run up and see her. (she actually changed the time to coincide with a time that they knew that I Could make it). Hopefully she'll have her baby with her! It's so hard to believe that she has an 8 month old baby! I mean, I can remember it like yesterday when she was in 2nd and 3rd grade herself and I was babysitting her. Yeah, I think I should shower before I go up there! :-)
After I see Rachel for a bit, Todd and I are going to go out to eat, and then get groceries. Yep, real exciting day. I think I'm going to run into the camera shop and look for a new tripod for my camera. The one that I've been using I don't like. It's the one that we had purchased a while back for use with a different camera. There is nothing wrong with it......I just don't like it. So I'm going to see about getting a new one. :-)
Nothing else new to talk about.........so I think I'm going to head off to my next book!
Friday, September 05, 2008
Either way...I'm through with the excuses! When my points are gone, I'm done! And that is a difficult statement to make today....we had a BIG breakfast! I'm eating only 4 points while I'm here at work (that's what I packed...that's what I'll eat....I have no problem sticking with that....). That will leave me 6 points for dinner. I can do manage that.....lots of zero pointers coming my way to help round out my meal!!! :-)
All I have to say is Julie (the friend that I have this wager/reward thing going with) ,watch your back...I'm going to stage a comeback! (even though I'm 2.2 pounds HIGHER than I was when we started a mere 2 days ago...all I can do is laugh)
I was super productive this morning. I woke up at my normal time. I immediately hopped onto the exercise bike and rode for 45 minutes. I had just finished that and had settled in at my comptuer to catch up on some emails when I heard Todd a stirring in the bedroom. I went and asked him when he would like breakfast (we had agreed last night that our big meal today would be breakfast). "NOW" was his answer. SO I went out to the kitchen. I made his coffee and went to get the bacon out of the fridge. Well, I saw how DIRTY and crudy the bottom of the fridge was. (I don't notice it as much when the fridge is full of food...but we are a bit bare right now...lol). SOOO I cleaned out the fridge! I cooked the bacon and then made us pancakes. (todd's with pecans...mine nutless) Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed the pancakes and bacon! I cleaned up the kitchen and washed the dishes. At that point I decided to do the last of the laundry. This really gets me...I've done 2 loads of laundry on Wednesday, 2 loads of laundry on Thursday and I did 2 more loads today! This is NUTTY! But when I think about it it does make sense. Already today I've worn a nightgown, workout clothes, shorts and teeshirt after my shower, and now I'm in my clothes for work! ANYWAY, two loads of laundry washed and hanging on the line. I created our menu for meals next week....and started the grocery list of the necessities to complete those meals and some other things that I know we need. I played around and took my picture for envisage365, packed my lunch and got ready for work and I still made it to work by 9:45 :-)
Todd informed that we need to pick green beans again. Don't know when exactly (either tonight or tomorrow) but that means I'll be canning green beans sometime really soon!
Thursday, September 04, 2008
I did NOT exercise yesterday. Todd and I relaxed all afternoon and evening. Nope, I didn't do a single solitary thing other than make dinner. Well, I took a nap and I read a book! Does that count????
This moring, my weight was up to 183.2. 4/10ths up. I've been REALLY thirsty though.....don't know why. I've been drinking well over my normal amount of water. So that probably has a lot to do with that! And if not...no worries. Tis all good. :-)
This morning, I stumbled out of bed. I refused to look at the exercie bike....and didn't even look out onto the back porch to see my outdoor bike. I was NOT exercising. My heart just wasn't in it. I settled in at my computer for a relaxing morning. (I mean, hey, why not continue with the relaxation eh?) It wasn't more than 20 minutes until I heard Todd enter the kitchen. And I heard that voice that I love so much.... "Lets go out an work on some trees this morning". Well, who am I to say no. So out I went. We worked outside for about two and a hafl hours. The picture is of one of the trees as it came crashing down to the ground. For safeties sake, I always move way far out of the way when a big tree is coming down so I grabbed my camera and snapped the whole process. I have about 15 picsof it comign down...quite interesting. I may go onto photoshop soon and see what I can do with that! :-)
Todd and I may go outside tonight and work a bit more. Most of the trees that we are taking down in order to put up the sheds have been taken down. SO I think we are going to do prep work on the ground for the sheds tonight.....and then Saturday and Sunday (we are both off...woo hooo) we are going to put up at least one shed! YIPPEE!!!! My screened in porch will be cleared out of some of the storage stuff! I can't wait!!
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
In talking to a friend today (another friend that is losing weight...not the one that I have the bet/wager with) we were talking about our daily weigh ins and the fluctuations. We are going to set goals for ourselves each week......send them to each other and on the 'goal day' we are going actually evaluate our weekly weights as a whole group instead of 7 individual days. This will also give her accountability as she no longer attends WW meetings. :-)
In other news, it's Wednesday...and here I sit at work. Someone is on vacation so my day off got cancelled. Oh well. Todd had some meetings in town this morning (I'm missing my first Wednesday of the month lunch out with mom). I get off at 3PM. The plan is to get out in the yard and work some more on taking down some trees and clearing some land. If Todd is not feeling up to it (he's got some kind of sinus issue...or ear issue....and no, he's refusing to go to the doctor) I'm going to go out and plot out our garden for next year. This year we left our garden at our old place.....we hope to have it at our new place next year. If I can, I'll start digging and getting the ground ready very soon! That way come spring I'll just have to pull back the straw, it will already have been composted (I'll do that this fall), and I'll just have to do some light tilling and she'll be ready to plant. So that is my exercise for the day!
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Yes, I had off from work yesterday as it was labor day. I actually started my day by heading up to my parents house and mowing their three properties. I beat it home and spent some time doing some things around the house (vacuuming, cleaning, mopping, two loads of laundry on the line, etc etc etc). And then I set up a table next to my desk so that I can work on some scrapbook pages. I'm so utterly far behind and I know me...if I don't have a place set up to work regularly, I'll just keep piling up and every once in a while pull everything out and rush through some pages...and I don't like the results! So I set up a scrapbook area next to my desk. It makes my 'office space' a bit cramped...but I"m actually really happy with it! I'm actually tickled because I know that I am happiest...(I have some type of inner peace or something ) when I"m allowing my creative self to flow. :-)