Friday, December 30, 2011


I don't know what clicked.  But last night we were driving home from dinner and I just knew it was time.  I am ready to get started with this weight loss.  I'm ready to put the time into cooking healthy.  I'm ready to put the time into exercise.  I"m just ready.  

Last night we stopped at Target to return a movie (The Kings Speech...excellent movie, we liked it so much that I bought a copy for Todd for Christmas and he bought a copy for me for Christmas...LOL)   We used that return money AND some Christmas money to actually pick out some games for the Kinect that "santa" gave me.  We finally had time to set it up the other night and played the games that came with it...but I had originally wanted the Kinect for the dancing games.  Todd wanted it for the boxing games.  :-)   So we picked up a few games.  I came home and did a '20 minute zumba workout'.  I worked up a sweat.  :-)  Just like a zumba class...the time FLEW by!

I talked for quite a bit with my brother last night at dinner.  I have left him off the hook (momentarily) about training with me to participate in a triathlon.  I have too many loose ends on my own to clear up and get in line to do that on my own.  BUT, I told him that I would be calling him for a different project.  What is that project?   Well.  On my bucket list one item is to ride another quarter century.  Another item is to ride a half century and then of course the grand-daddy of them ride a century!  Why not complete all three items in one fell swoop?   A century would do it!  SOOOOO  I'm on the lookout for a road bike.  I've been for quite some time looking on Craigslist and keeping my eye out at other online places for a decent road bike.  I had estimated that I would need a 52cm or a 54cm brother also without my saying anything also said the same.  Haven't seen anything out there yet in the times i've really seriously looked over the last year. (admittedly I go through spurts where I look a lot and then spurts where I don't).  SOOOO anyway, when I get get myself a road bike, I'm going to be starting to train for a Century ride.  I also told my cheating.  No Metric Century......I want to do a complete 100 miles!  (yes, he said he would do it with me!  He says I should aim for a 200 mile two day ride on Mothers day weekend....hmmm if I got a bike quickly, that would be fun...pushing it...but fun!)

So it's just a thing of getting that bike.  Yes, I have a really nice bike.  I bought a Trek Navigator about 10-11 years ago.  My Trek is a GREAT bike.  It has treated me well.  It's PERFECT for jaunts on the canal.  And honestly, I do not plan on getting rid of my Trek Nav.........but it's time to add something that will help me acheive my goals.  (Even when I was training religiously on my bike, my top average speed was still only 12-13 mph.....because comfort bikes will not get you the speed...and do do a century...I need to get the speed.....)

So in the meantime, my exercise/fitness plan is to just do SOMETHING active on a daily basis.  I'm not setting some fitness routine at this point.  I'm not in training mode (at this point) which requires me to ride certain times and days and amounts.  That is subject to change at any moment....but i'm just going to MOVE.  I CAN start riding my bike ASAP because riding my comfort bike WILL help get me into riding shape (I need to get a new tube...I've had a flat tire since the end of May early June..).  I CAN religiously go to zumba (when it restarts on Jan 9.)  I CAN walk.  I CAN run. (me running...funny funny sight...but I can do it).  Cold days, I can do an exercise video, or turn on the kinect.  I'm NOT going to sit back and say "I can't because I dont' have what I want".    I'm forging ahead!  And I will get that bike....and I WILL ride a century.  This year, hopefully...but I WILL do it!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

What if I didn't?

Yesterday I wrote about my goals for the first three months.  I decided it was time to put my 2012 goals down on paper.  They are not resolutions.  They are GOALS.  They are something that I can strive toward.   They are the direction that I want to move toward.  Yeah, I'd like to complete those things.  But the they are goals...attainable goals....and ones I will be striving toward!

I've been doing a lot of pondering lately.  Pondering about money and it's affect on living a healthy lifestyle.   I'm not destitute, but money is TIGHT.  I'm not using this as an excuse for how I've been operating and the weight I've gained.  I am the only one responsible....not the amount of money in my pocket, not someone Else's behavior toward's all me.  But back to the money...  Because it is possible to be healthy and to thin if you have no money.  But it's come to my mind that it's much easier if money is a flowing a bit more 'happily'.

Let me start at the beginning.  For the longest time I've had on my bucket list to complete a triathlon. A few things have held me back.  1.  I've been scared to take the first step.  2.  I have no clue how to go about doing it.  but 3.  I don't have the money needed to outfit myself. (I need a road bike....and some coaching...because I highly doubt the doggie paddle would be I would need to have a place TO swim).  So when I saw the blurb on CNN that talked about trying to be one of the contestants I jumped at it.....because they were going to give a bike and supply the coaches and eyes lit up!   I could kill two birds with one stone and of course since I would be doing it in front of the world....I'd have to face my fears and just do it!

I've been advised to not wait for some random person to decide my train for a triathlon myself.  My brother also offered to train with me (from a distance...I'd be training in MD he would be training in IN) and do a tri with me.  But the same problem comes up.  I need a road bike......I don't have the money to buy a decent on.  Decent ones START at $700.  I don't have the money to .......  You get the drift.   But that started my current state of pondering the correlation between obesity and economic status.

Food.  I know that they say that it's just as easy to eat healthy as it is to eat junk food.  But seriously?   Who came up with that.  I go to the grocery store and I spend around 5 bucks for a bag of grapes.  I could go as cheap as a buck for a bag of chips (OK OK OK, at an Aldi's or other discount store...and maybe it's a buck fifty or two bucks....but STILL).   Those two items last about the same....yet the grapes were double the price!   (Yes, I in season...but 'in season' in the middle of the winter isn't the summer yeah, I can pick up in season stuff and it puts it a BIT closer to being even...but still not quite).

The grocery store example not enough?  Fast cheap cheap.  Honestly, it is cheaper than most other options! 

Weight watchers?   The program works!  But it costs money.  How many other programs are out there that do work...but they cost money.  Yes, the concept is free.  Calories in versus calories out...have a deficit and you lose.  But those programs assist.   Are they necessary?  NO   Are the beneficial?  Yes, many times yes.

Lets look at exercise.  I've already talked about purchasing a decent road bike.....starting at $700.  Todd and I had for years been members at various gyms.  To the tune of sixty bucks a month! (for the two of us).  We did pare back for a few years and did the ultra cheap gym and that took us to an average (including yearly fees of about $30 a month for the two of us.   Better but still it adds up and hurts the wallet when you are really tight on money.    YES, walking is cheap.  And yes, I do have a bike that is a great bike....for it's purpose...but for the direction I want to go, it's not going to suffice.  And I'll be OK...I have those things, I have videos in my arsenal and such (thank goodness I have a stockpile of videos and stuff  from when we did have more money)  But what if I didn't?  

What if I didn't?  I know that I dont' like the economic constraints put upon me with the healthy lifestyle that i want to live.  I'm not pushing forward toward things that i really want to do because of them.  I'm constantly searching for ways to circumvent the financial issues....but I'm still forced to reconcile myself to them and put certain dreams on hold.   How many other people are in the same boat?  How many other people have dreams of healthy lifestyles but are hamstrung by their finances.  I'm lucky...I have those videos sitting at my house. I'm lucky......we are not destitute, we may have to scrap it together some months, but we both consider it important enough to pay for the healthy foods.    I'm lucky, I have a bike that i CAN ride, even if it's not what I need for my future goals.   I have that.  But what if I didn't?  

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Spring Chick Challenge

I'm joining the Spring Chick Challenge....It basically has 5 points that we are focusing on....

1. Commit to a NSV (non scale victory) to be assessed at the start and the conclusion of the challenge.

My NSV for this challenge is to drop a clothing size (and thus be able to get into more of my work clothes...I'm getting tired of my limited wardrobe!)

2. Commit to a set of nutrition parameters and track via MyFitnessPal or Sparkpeople or WW. Whatever tracking works for you. IF you are on maintenance and do not really track. What nutrition goals do your have?

My Nutrition plan is to basically track my food intake and my calorie expenditure and to have a deficit, to burn more than I eat! Right now i am tracking on I have been toying with getting a bodybugg which would mean I'd be switching to that tracking system.

3. Commit to a set of exercise parameters. These can be as loose or as flexible as you feel work for your personality, schedule, etc.

My only exercise parameter is that I exercise for at LEAST 60 minutes 4times a week. I want to aim for more. HOWEVER, I know that I'm just getting started and I need to set a realistic goal! As for what I'll be doing? That's the question of the day. My zumba classes will restart on January 8th.....I want to start walking and whatnot. I am also toying with starting a training regime.......

4. Commit to blogging at least twice weekly and 1 of those times must be you check in with a complete up date on your progress. All other blogs could include new insights, results of weekly challenges, or just letting others know how you are doing.

Not a problem. :-) As I know that I am more focused when I'm I'm trying to blog numerous times throughout the week (while I'm at usually monday through Friday)

5. Commit to support... both giving and receiving. Check others blogs and comment as you feel motivated to do.

Once again....not a problem....

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The wrong way

Long weekend and honestly...I'm exhausted!  My days started early, my evenings ended late....and I was on the go from the first moment until the last.  My eating hasn't been the greatest.....the only good thing is that I was moving.  Although I have almost entirely stopped the binges....I'm eating at my meals and nothing in between (just chosing bad...I had french fries twice  Not exactly exercise but MOVING. (ie yesterday we walked ALL around DC and I was on my feet the whole time!)

Christmas was good.  But it's over and now I'm starting to get my mind game on losing this weight.  I want it GONE....and I'm ready to work for it.

I've been thinking a lot about the weight recently.  I had great success.  I lost over 130 pounds. I was on top of the world.  So why did I gain it back?   That is the question of the hour.  Because I don't want to go through this again.  I want to lose it and KEEP it off.  SOOO thinking a lot......   The first time around I lost for a variety of reasons.  Yes, I lost becuase I wanted to LIVE...I wanted to be healthy so that when the time came to have a baby I'd be ready and healthy...but I'm gonna be really honest here.  I lost to show up someone in my life.  I had visions of seeing this person walking down the street and me so very proud of how svelte I looked.  Prideful?   Absolutely!    Did it work well to motivate me?  Yeah. And yes, I did have that aha moment when that person saw me and I was thin.....but after that initial rush of pride....I was left with nothing...the motivation was done.     Prideful.....absolutely.  Am I proud of it?  No.    

The biggest motivator for me though?   I somehow convinced myself that someone in my life would love me if I lost the weight. I worked tirelessly.  I was so focused and motivated.  I lost that weight.  I was on top of the world.  I was ready to claim the prize.  Only the prize wasn't waiting there for me.  This person didn't miraculously begin to love me more.  This person didn't just look at me one day and say "WOW, you are the greatest thing!"  It didn't work.  I was a failure.   My mission was not a success.  Yeah, I lost the weight, but it didn't solve the woes of my world.  It didn't make my world the happy place that I thought it was going to.   And I started to fall back on the addiction that I had pushed to the back of my mind.  I started to self medicate myself with food.   I ate to drown my failure.  I ate to feel better.  I ate to forget about the love that I so desperately wanted....and I regained the weight.  After all, in the back of my mind I'm thinking...why not be fat again....being thin didn't bring me what i so desperately wanted.

Only, it's NOT my failure.  I just was looking to claim a prize that was not mine to claim.  Oh yeah, I still want that love.....and I am sure that the struggle to NOT self medicate myself with food will be a real and continuing problem in my future.  I'm going to have to deal with the fact that I was a success...but I turned that success into a failure......(but it's gonna be a TEMPORARY failure. )  But the big difference?  This time I'm going to do it because:
 I DESERVE to be thin.
 I DESERVE to feel on top of the world.
 I DESERVE to have men look at me and whistle.
 I DESERVE to be a healthy.
I DESERVE to have a smokin' hot body should any major un-named changes occur in my life.

I am worth it!!!!!!!  I am doing it this time for ME!   ONLY me.  Why?   Because I AM WORTH IT!!!!

Gonna have to remind myself of that daily.....because it's so easy to forget!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Productive progress

Soooo...this morning woke up and after breakfast with Todd I was most productive.  I straightened the living room and bedroom, vaccumed and shampooed the carpets, emptied the dishwasher, loaded the dishwasher, cleaned the kitchen, swept and scrubbed (on hands and knees) the kitchen floor, made muffins for Todd, peeled and chopped my potatoes for tonights dinner, carted the compost down tot he bins, cleaned out my car and made the bed.   I love productivity. 

Interesting.  I feel more alive and part of the world when I've been productive.  How interesting is taht.  The days I"m a sluggard and just laze around the house I feel kinda useless.  But today I feel alive.  Very interesting.  :-)

Yesterday I kept my between meal binges to a nil....non existent binging between meals.  That's good.  I overate a bit at one meal and I didn't eat exactly healthy at another....but at least I didn't binge between meals (which has been a problem the last few weeks......PROGRESS!)

Today I'm working on water and the between meal binging.  :-)  I knew that it woudl be difficult because we ate a late breakfast and then it's a long haul until I brought something for a mid afternoon snack.  I knew that if I dind't, I'd raid teh cookies, the candies and all the other goodies that have been dropped off here at work.     Progress. 

So yes, although my steps are baby steps, I'm making progress. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The plan begins to formulate in my head

I'm losing this weight.....I haven't started, but I'm GOING to lose. My plan right now. I'm not even going to ATTEMPT to try to lose over the holidays. No way, now how. BUT, from now until the new year, I'm going to focus on trying to STOP the binges! If I can stop the binges, then when the new year comes...I'll be in MUCH better shape to really get the eating under control. I'm also thinking that yes I need to get my food under control but I'm going to focus on getting into religious/regular exercise. I know that if I work out in the morning, that I'm more apt to say "heck no I'm not going to negate that workout by eating this cupcake....or inhaling that chocolate!" Sometimes it is worth it to eat something...but for the most part it's actually a deterrent for me.
I'm looking at ways I can motivate myself with exercise. I work best with a goal. A clear cut that is verbalized and put out there for the world to see and know. I've been thinking. I've been pondering. On my own it's got to be something that doesn't require me to spend much money on outfitting myself or money for special training. (running? hmmmm)   I have a bike, it's not a road works, but it's not conducive to doing long bike events.   Swimming, that would require me to have access to a pool (drat....)   You sucks trying to be healthy and switch to an active lifestyle when you are tight on money!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Binging madness

I didn't make it long before I feel off the band wagon.  I totally binged the whole weekend.  Ok, so it wasn't constant...but it was too was not the best options.  It just wasn't what it should be.  I know that a lot of it is stress.....loneliness....all that jazz.  But was a binge.

SOoooo what am I doing about it?   I'm refusing to even START eating the Christmas cookies taht are sitting on the tray over on the counter.  They are hard cookies...I don't like hard cookies.  I like soft chewy cookies.  So that is my route...dont' like that kind of thusly I don't need to eat them.  I KNOW that if I cave and have even will start the avalanche of cookie madness.  Ohhh I don't want cookie madness!

Ate a little much for breakfast. (why did I need a second bowl of cereal...and yeah, I admit it...I ate Apple Jacks...they sounded SOOOOO I had some).   But ok, so that wasn't the greatest...lets just END the binge...that is my focus right now.

My last class of zumba is tonight. The new session will start in January (I think January 9)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Another day of tracking what I ate.  My calories are higher than I want them to be.  I've been at roughly 1800-2000 calories.  But you know what....I'm cognizant of what I'm doing and I'm tracking.  This is the first step.  (and even through the office christmas party I tracked and didn't blow the whole day...kept it right in that same range)

Fitness and finances.  Do they go hand in hand?  Is there a direct correlation to a healthy lifestyle and a healthy wallet?   (No, I'm not saying that if you are poor you can't be healthy.  I'm not saying that at all. I'm just proposing that it is EASIER if money issues are not involved)

Heck, I just had a really long entry written, laying out how expensive it is.....but it depressed me!    Lets just say, yes, you can lose weight on a can walk, you can run on your roads.  But to add variety into your lifestyle you really do need to have some more fundage.  Eating healthier is costlier.  That's just the way I see it. 

So am I saying that I should just throw up my hands and give up becuase I dont' have much extra money?   Absolutely not.  I will scrimp and save and do what I can to do everything that I need to do in order to lose.  I will substitute when I don't have enough money and I will do it.

BUT, it burns me up that it's more difficult for someone of limited means.  It just burns me up!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A year not wasted

Day two...still not a total success...but I'm cognizant of what I'm doing.  Easing back into this!  I'm gonna persevere!   I've made this journey before.  I said in this blog that I honestly don't look forward to this journey of weight LOSS again (maybe I'll feel differently when the numbers on the scale start diminishing) but this time I'm going to do something different.  This time around, I'm fixing ME inside and out!

Is the year wasted?  No, because I spent a lot of my year in introspection.  I have discovered things about myself.  And in that discovery, I've tried to fix those things that i find lacking and celebrate those things that are strong.

So what have I learned?

1.   Somewhere, somehow in the last years I lost who I am.  I lost the essence of MaryFran.  I have my suspicions on how.  And I'm taking steps to keep it from happening any more. But I am trying to rediscover who in the world MaryFran really is?  This is actually harder than it seems.  Because I've stifled (for various reasons) who i am.  Stepping out and being exactly who you are.  Not worrying about what people thing...just being you is extremely difficult.  (I've done some of it in the face of adversary and disinterest ...but I'm persevering).  Who am I?
      ~~~  I'm rediscovering my long ago hidden sense of humor.   I think in weird ways....very outside of the box and in doing so, it's funny as heck.  Letting those thoughts out have really released a part of me.  I'm not to the point of doing it around everyone...there are still some people in my life that want the 'toned down' robotic Maryfran.  But I'm me.....and toned down robotic is no longer acceptable.
    ~~~~~I'm discovering a passion for photography. I dabble.  I admit I dabble.  Sometimes I just mash the shutter button and hope for the best.  And sometimes, I see the pics I take and I am awed at what I did.  I discovered a while back that I feel more free when I have a camera in my hand.  But it wasn't until I was taking pictures of a co-worker that I realized how different I WAS.  My co-worker looked at me in the middle of our second photo shoot and she said "Wow, you are so different when you have a camera, just so much more fun and's like you are a different person."    It was an ah ha moment......another facet of Maryfran
  ~~~~I'm also embracing other parts of me that have been rejected by others...and I'm LOVING it.

2.  Somewhere, probably in the midst of losing ME, I went from being a somewhat confident young being an approaching middle age fraidy cat!   An example of this.....I've flown before.  Flying did not scare me.  So in late October I booked a flight to go visit my brother.  And for the month preceeding the flight I was in a perpetual state of panic.  Why?  Was I afraid of flying?  NO  Was I afraid of checking in?  NO  Was I afraid I wasn't going to be picked up on the arrival end?  NO  Are you ready?  I was afraid of the connection. if I would have been able to book a straight flight, I would have been peachy, no fear.  But I had a layover....(a very short layover which added to my fear) and would have to deplane and find my way across a large airport , through different terminals and to another gate.  Oh my word. I was flipping out.  I tried to hide my fear. Very few people were privy to my fear.  I knew it was irrational.  I mean, seriously...what's the worse that would happen?  Something out of my control would cause me to miss my I get re booked and have to wait at a hotel by the airport or in the airport.  That's not earth shattering.  But regardless, it was my fear.  I knew I had to face it.  SO face it I did.  I managed.  Was it a flawless layover (the first was...the return trip was nightmarish.....first plane delayed, no gate to deplane first plane...finally off first plane literally 10 minutes before second plane was set to take off.......deplaned ON THE TARMAC, WILD run across the tarmac, through concourse C....through underground tunnels.....down past gate after gate....until I got to concourse A.....gate A 19 (Concourse A had 78 gates...we are talking HUGE.).......all in 10 minutes, with carry on baggage flying behind a dead run.  Yes, Fat girl RAN...and fat girl made it....and yes, I thought I was going to have a lung explode!  But you know what.  I did it...I made it.  And even if I wouldn't have...nothing BAD would have happened.  Totally irrational fear.  

I still have irrational fears....but I'm looking them in the face (or trying to...some make me cower and curl up in a corner still) and conquering them.  I want the confident young lady back (well...ok, I want to be a confident middle age lady!)

3.  I feel into the trap when I got married that I should be waiting at home for my his beck and call.  This is not a bad thing. But it is a bad thing when you do so to the extreme, I turned down opportunities to do stuff with friends.  It deterred me from doing things with myself.  My husband didn't demand it or even expect it from me.  I did it to myself.  (once again, I had my reasons...but we won't go into that here).  I'm trying to break that mold.   I'm not ignoring my husband, but if he's working...I'm NOT sitting at home.  I'm getting out.  I'm walking with friends (Hi Sherry). I'm going to dinner with friends (Hi Karen).  I'm going to zumba.  I'm going out by myself. I'm rediscovering LIFE!

Soooo these are some of the basic things I'm doing to fix ME on the inside.  I've got a LOT more to fix.  But now that I'm fixing that and finding that I really do like me......I know that the weight will drop!!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day one

Ok, so day one was not the greatest.  No.....we are not going to look at the negatives.  Wea re going to focus on the positives. 

Postive things from day one.

I tracked my food!  Yes, I tracked my food intake!

I exercised!  I did my hour of zumba!  Sooo wanted to ditch it and go home after work, but I drove right by my house and went straight to zumba! 

The negative...I will own up to it, but refuse to dwell on it.  My negative is that I made a tactical error.  I ate my lunch at work, but forgot to pack a quick I ate lunch at 12 or so and then didn't eat again...went to zumba and was sooo freakin' hungry when I got home at 8:15 that I pretty much gnawed the cabinet doors off in order to get to the food.  Yeah, I overate last night.  Tactical I will not be making again!  :-)   Lesson learned, time to move on.

Today is a new day.  Tracking....moving onward......workin' it!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

On the road again

I've been here time and time again.   I honestly do not look forward to the journey ahead.  Let me just get this out there.  I am not looking forward to it at all.  I KNOW what to do.  I have the know how.  I KNOW what needs to be done.  The thought of doing it just bores me to tears. 

Will it be worth it though?   Yeah, I know it will.  I want the end result more than anything, so that means that I have to make the sacrifices necessary to get there.

Sooo I gave up my weight watcher membership a while back.  I was a weight watcher from 2006 onward.  The plan REALLY does work.....but you have to work the plan.  I haven't been working the plan for a while.  I know me...I need something different.  I logged onto this morning.  Before weight watchers I had some success using that website.  So I'll start there. The only bad thing...don't think they have an app for my phone. (update...they DO have an app!)  But you know worked before, I'll make it work again!  :-)

The time has come to do it.  Maybe I should be totally excited about this journey...but it's just such a long that I feel like I've been doing for YEARS now.  I know that this is a rest of my life thing.....but this journey of losing is the one I dread!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Nothing Ventured Nothing gained!

Saw a blurb on CNN a few weeks ago.  In it they mentioned that they will be picking 6 average viewers (ireporters) to train for a triathlon.  It struck a chord with me (bucket list item complete in a triathlon).  So I started thinking about it.  I mentioned it to a few people so that they would hold me accountable.  I did the video yesterday and posted it today......for better or worse, I've done everything I can do.  :-)