I Feel Sad

I’m feeling sad tonight.  Don’t get me wrong….my transformation is moving along nicely.  My eating plan is going well, my tiny efforts at exercising are progressing slowly but surely, I’m losing weight.  But I must admit that, even though I’m a Professional Photographer, I avoid being in front of a camera like the plague!

I’m extremely self-conscious about the way I look.  I avoid mirrors and photos.  My arms are enormous.  My belly hangs down over the front of my legs.  I try not to do it, but I stress about not having the money once I reach my goal weight to surgically repair a lifetime of body abuse via food.  The road looks insanely long from where I stand.

This afternoon I attended a baby shower.  I had a good time.  I counted every bite that I put in my mouth.  And then I stayed away from the food table.  I was SO good!  I got home and found that my daughter had taken a few photos of me during the party.  I looked at them and just sobbed.  Like I said, I never look at myself.  Ever.  I’m going to share them with you…..(I promised I’d be totally transparent….)

Me_1 Me

I must be totally honest…..I don’t know what to do with these feelings.  I feel like I’m choking.  And now I can’t stop looking.  I’m really out of words right now.  I just can’t believe I’ve done this to myself.

My life has to change.  Inside.  Outside.  I am convinced more than ever that I’m on the right track.  This is beyond hard.  It really is.  But I’ve been through a lot, I’m a strong woman, I can change!!

Thank you if you muddled through my bawling…I’ll be ok.  Just felt the need to vent.   Til later…Charlene

It’s been one month

New haircut and color

New haircut and color

Well, it’s been a month on this transformation journey.  I’ve had some ups and downs, but I think I’m finally getting the hang of this!  So this is a report of how it’s going.

So being the addictive personality that I am, I started out spending too much time on the scales.  Which translated into daily ups and downs.  Not good for morale!  So I backed off the scales.  My one month weight loss total was minus 16 pounds, so I’m now at 442.  Yay!  I’ve set my first small goal at 50 pounds lost by November 5, 2014.  If I hit 408, I will have reached goal #1……

I’ve mentioned in a previous post that my first promise to myself was to drink one gallon of water a day.  I have done that (plus some!)!!  Pat on the back!!  One week ago, I added the promise of at least 5 minutes of exercise every day.  So far, so good!  I’ve done 5 minutes walking inside a store, riding my recumbent bike for a minimum of 5 minutes, or 15 minute yoga videos.  I can do this!

I CAN DO THIS!!

I know, your biggest question involves food.  I’m still learning with that.  Overall, I’ve been awesome.  Eating every 3 hours was weird at first, and although I still have to set my alarm on my phone to remember, I think it’s really helped me to never feel hungry.  I’ve learned the value of having plenty of quick-to-grab healthy foods so I don’t have to spend a lot of time thinking about what to eat.  I can honestly do better with putting meals and snacks together in the right combos and proportions, but I’m definitely on the right track.  I seem to do best with simple foods and light preparation.  And I just got rid of all the crap food in the house….and when I had my 1 treat meal a week, I either got single servings or gave away (or threw away!) the leftovers.

My biggest issue has been, and still is, my blood sugar levels and insulin use.  I have cut my 5 insulin doses in half at this point.  Because of issues with blood sugar crashes (I have hit as low as 36 a few times), I have to really pay attention to how many and what type of carbs I eat.  Which calls for some counting (YUCK!!).  I have ended up going on www.sparkpeople.com  to keep track.  I’ve been entering my food intake, and it counts the carbs for each meal.  That tells me about insulin dosing.  But it really is a pretty cool site anyhow….I can keep track of my water intake, exercise, etc.  There are lots of great articles, too.  And a nice community of message boards.  And free.  Can’t forget free!

I’ve also gotten involved with a great group of folks on Facebook who are also carb cycling.  And made a few friends on the road!  (Hi Barb!! )

Not a bad first month!  I will check in again soon!  Peace out!  Charlene

What to do with a Rough Day

Now that I’ve survived it, I need to talk about yesterday.  A rough day in so many ways.  And it left me realizing that I have a LOT to learn, a LOT to work my way through, and a very long road ahead of me.  This is not to beat myself up, but it IS an effort to get a picture of why yesterday was what it was and how to avoid it in the future.

My day started at 12:45 am with my blood sugar diving down to 40 and me passing out.  Yes, I was in bed.  Got up for the bathroom in a cold sweat (hot flashes, I thought), then almost passed out in there.  Made my way to the bedroom, woke my husband, said “sugar”, and passed out.  He had the presence of mind to do a blood glucose reading, and managed to get me awake enough to feed me sips of some real cola.  Had he not been there, I don’t want to consider.  I have to be honest here that although I knew losing weight would affect my insulin shots, it NEVER occurred to me that it would slam me on Day Three.

I ended up spending a great deal of time yesterday trying to figure out what happened.  What I learned was that taking insulin (and especially taking TWO kinds like I do) is a complicated thing, and I had basically no knowledge of how they work, how the carbs I eat affect their effectiveness, or how my body does (or does not) process sugar.  Thanks to a good friend, who is a pharmacist and a patient man, I am now armed with knowledge.  And knowledge is power, right?  I’ve taken his chart he sent me and the info about all the dosing and such, and made a chart in Excel to keep track of my glucose readings (the bazillion that my friend recommended), my carb intake, and the doses of insulin I take.  The plan is to watch the numbers and slowly adjust.  I promise to keep you posted!

Which brings up my next issue from yesterday: promises.  (See, I’m trying to tie it all together!)  Chris Powell was correct about starting small and slow with my promises to myself.  He prescribed the 3 small promises in 3 areas that you will find in a previous post, but he also said to pick ONE and start with it, then add others one at a time.  Of course, I glossed right over that one…I figured I was the supreme multi-tasker, so I could handle more.  Bad idea!!  In the stress of trying to cope with the whole diabetes/insulin/coma idea, the promises hid someplace afraid to stick their heads out!  So I’m going to follow directions and pick ONE promise that I can absolutely do no matter what.  I will drink one gallon of water a day.  (For more info on the details, check out www.chrispowell.com )

Ending this on a happy note or two:  I weighed yesterday and have lost 12 pounds the first 3 days of this program.  And I had a visit yesterday from one of my grandchildren, 8 month old Serenity, and she was kind enough to bring along her mommy and daddy.  This sweet little face makes me look forward to the future!

Grandkids make me happy!

Grandkids make me happy!

 

An Ironclad Promise to Me

So I’ve now come to understand that while I break my neck to keep promises I make to other people, keeping promises to myself hasn’t been a priority.  I REALLY have to make myself my priority if I’m going to achieve real, permanent transformation in my life.  The theory here is to start making a few tiny, simple promises to myself, that I will not break for any reason….this is supposed to make me believe in my ability to transform my “body and my life”, and “psych myself up to do this!”  www.chrispowell.com 

I am going to set 3 promises in each of 3 categories.  This is going to be tiny, so try not to giggle at me too much.  (Thank you!!)

My Food Promises:

1. I will eat 1 veggie a day.

2. I will choose 1% milk over whole milk.

3. I will set an alarm to remind me to eat every 3 hours.

My Body Promises:

1. Exercise for 5 minutes a day.

2. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier at night.

3. Take a multivitamin every day.

My Mind Promises:

1. Look in the mirror every day and say “I am worth it.”

2. Get dressed every day.

3. Pay attention to the way I feel.

I’m shuffling on my way here.  In time I hope to be running and skipping.  So far the eating is going fine.  I will get there this time.  I have no doubt.  I believe in me!!  I appreciate all of the support I’m getting for this!  You guys rock!

Til later, Charlene

Today Is the Day

I’m officially “On Program” effective this morning.  Today is a Low Carb day…..and grocery store day.  I have my menus for the week and the grocery list ready.  I’ve decided to not purchase my “reward day” food until that day is here, so I won’t be tempted to scoot that day up in the week.

I do have bunches more worksheets and inner searches to do, but today will be about the food.  If anyone has great hints about making it simpler, or amazing yummy veggie recipes, please-oh-please add them in the comments!!

For a short closing today, here’s a link that my daughter Jaimie sent me, knowing that I have serious body image issues.  I hope it moves you as much as it moved me!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3f1zii5skA

Till later!  Charlene

Why Do I Break the Promises to Myself?

Today my assignment is to see if I can figure out why I constantly break the promises I make to myself.  I bend over backwards to keep promises I make to other people.  Why don’t I extend the same courtesy to me?  Good question!

Again I have to answer some personal questions here.  Yay…..not.  This isn’t fun.  But I can see the value.  Before I get started, I’m going to throw in my current measurements.

Bust…56″               Chest…52.5″             Neck…17″            Waist…63.25″            Lower-Belly…73″              Hips…63″               Thigh…34.5″          Calf…24″            Upper-Arm…27.25″          Lower-Arm…17″            Wrist…8.75″

Here we go again!  (This is from Chris Powell’s Choose More, Lose More for Life http://www.chrispowell.com )

LAST YEAR’S NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS?  OTHER PROMISES RECENTLY MADE TO MYSELF?

1. Lose 50 pounds    2. Get blood sugar under control     3. Walk 5 days a week, minimum     4. Do some sort of photo training every week.   5. Read the Bible for 5 minutes a day, minimum.   6. Take at least 1 quality photo every week.   7. Keep hair colored.   8. Take more pride in personal hygiene.   9. Wear makeup at least 1 day a week.   10. Contact kids once a week.   11. Contact grandkids once a month.   12. Do a random act of kindness every day.   13. Save $10 a month minimum.

DID I KEEP ANY OF THEM?  WHY OR WHY NOT?

Mostly, no.  Some of them, yes.  I think there were too many of them.  There are just so many areas of my life that need attention, and I don’t think i’ve set any priorities there.  It’s pretty overwhelming.

DID I MAKE ANY PROGRESS ON THEM?  WHY OR WHY NOT?

Yes.  I’ve gotten pretty regular with the insulin shots, so my blood sugar is MUCH better…not perfect, but better.  Contacting the kids I did.  The rest, no real progress.  Again there are too many of them.  I have a tendency to get overwhelmed by the “Big Picture” and throw up my hands and say it’s impossible because it’s too big.

DID I ABANDON THEM?  WHY OR WHY NOT?

For the most part, I abandoned them.  See previous answer.

WHEN I MAKE A PROMISE TO MYSELF, DO I KEEP IT?

Not really, because I expect too much and don’t set priorities.

WHEN I MAKE A PROMISE, DO I WRITE IT DOWN?  POST REMINDERS EVERYWHERE?

Not previously.  🙂  That’s getting ready to change, I believe.

DO I SHARE MY PROMISES WITH ANYONE ELSE?  ARE THEY SUPPORTIVE?

Mostly I’m pretty open about most personal promises….I have a tendency to be an open book.  That being said, there are certain parts of me that I have never shared with another living soul, and probably won’t.  Some of the people in my life are supportive, and others are not so much.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST OBSTACLE TO KEEPING MY PROMISES TO MYSELF?

Money is a big one.  Lack of energy, lack of motivation, lack of organization and planning, laziness.  My husband.  Me not appearing on any priority list.

HOW CAN I PLAN AHEAD AND WORK AROUND THESE OBSTACLES?

I guess the most obvious answer here is actually make a plan.  I’m great with a calendar, so putting some things in there as in an appointment for myself that is unbreakable is a good possibility.  I could get around some money issues by planning more tightly, because there are plenty of free/cheap ideas out there.  Starting slow would be good so I don’t freak out….I think I do better looking at small goals vs the big picture.  Frankly, losing right at 300 pounds makes me choke if I think about it too long!!  The bottom line, however, is this affects every area of my life.  My husband…..well, I really need to stop waiting for him to get on board with my weight loss efforts, my church efforts, my goals for my life.  I understand he is probably subconsciously afraid that if I’m successful with my efforts, i will leave.  But waiting for him is affecting my health and my frame of mind, so I just need to get on with it and do it on my own.

WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO MAKE MY PROMISES TO MYSELF THE NUMBER ONE PRIORITY IN MY LIFE?

I have got to understand that I have to take care of me and my little corner of life, before I can really have anything to give to all the people I love.  Unless I make myself the number one priority, I can’t be successful in anything I try.

Wow.  I have a lot to consider, don’t I?  Wish me luck!

Charlene   7/6/2014

I Believe That I Can!

So, my first assignment has to do with developing a belief that if other people can do this, I can too.  It’s hard to believe in myself….I’ve spent 54 years of screwing up, quitting, and generally making awful choices.  But like my daughter, Desiree, told me, I have actually lost over 100 pounds twice in my life.  So I am capable of this.  I’m hoping that “transformation” in my heart and mind will end up being the key to sticking with it to the end, and maintaining a much more productive and happier life, and NOT JUST MY WEIGHT!!

So here we go…..  (DISCLAIMER:  not trying hurt feelings, leave anyone out, etc etc…just working on me!  Limited space! )

SEVEN GREAT THINGS THAT HAPPENED TO ME IN THE PAST YEAR:

1.  We added 2 gorgeous granddaughters to our family.

2.  I got to spend an enormous amount of time with my Dad in his last year on this earth.  I’ve always been a Daddy’s Girl.

3.  I got to sit by Daddy’s side when he took his last breath.

4.  I finally found a medical clinic with a sliding scale so I could get medical help again with no insurance.

5.  I got to be present for my great nephew’s birth.

6.  I got to see all 6 of my kids and all of my grandkids together at one time.

7.  I’ve had a lot of sewing and photography jobs (but could use more!).

THREE PEOPLE WHOSE LIVES I’VE MADE SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER (in any year):

1.  My husband, Kevin

2.  My daughter Jaimie

3.  ~this is just very hard….I need to think more~

THREE PEOPLE WHO HAVE MADE MY LIFE SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER (in any year):

1.  Anna Carbone, my best friend

2.  Amanda Schultz, one of my granddaughters

3.  Kevin Thomas, my husband

WHAT WAS MY BEST DAY EVER?  WHY?:

I think when my first child was born had to be my best day ever.  I had no idea what I was doing, but I loved that little girlie.  Rebecca made me feel depth of love that I had no idea was possible, and she loved me totally and unconditionally.  She still does!  It changed my life!

WHAT WAS THE BEST DAY EVER OF MY CAREER?  WHY?:

The day I got up the nerve to walk away from Walgreens and into my photography was my best career day.  Scary as hell!!  But it was walking into something I love.  And it’s been hard, but awesome!

WHAT AM I MOST HAPPY ABOUT ACHIEVING IN THE PAST YEAR?  IN MY LIFE?:

This year I’ve watched ALL of my kids blossom into amazing people, parents, employees, spouses….and I’d like to think that’s the thing that has not only this year, but every year, been my best achievement.

WHAT WAS THE SMARTEST DECISION I MADE IN THE PAST 24 MONTHS?:

The smartest thing was leaving Walgreens.  It was a dead-end for me.  I have real fulfilling possibilities now!

WHO IS MY BEST FRIEND?:

Anna Carbone.  She loves me no matter what I say or do.  She knows how to listen.  She keeps up with me.  She trusts me to listen to her.  She trusts my advice.  She’s not afraid to tell me the truth if I’m wrong or being an ass.  She can almost always make me laugh.  She is the most genuine person I know.  She has a heart the size of Texas.  I really love this chicka!!

WHO’S MY BIGGEST CHEERLEADER WHEN I SET A GOAL?

It’s a tie between my 4 daughters, Stephanie, Desiree, Jaimie, & Rebecca, and Anna.

WHAT’S THE BEST COMPLIMENT I EVER RECEIVED?

When my daughter told me that she knew how hard I had worked over the years to make up for my years as a crappy mom, and that I’m a good mom now.

WHAT’S THE MOST DARING THING I’VE EVER DONE?

I started Art College at age 50, reinvented myself, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Photography Degree.

WHAT ARE MY PASSIONS?

My grandchildren, my children, photography, tech stuff, creating beauty.

WHAT ARE MY SKILLS AND TALENTS?

Photography, Photoshop, most things tech, English skills, I can sew anything, cooking, reading, writing, patience and tolerance, communication, and I love (most) people.

WHAT DO I LOVE ABOUT MY LIFE RIGHT NOW?

My husband, my kids and having a better relationship with them, my grandchildren who I absolutely adore.  I love my bestie Anna, and I love that I have so many real friends who have loved me through some rough times (especially the last year).

WHAT AM I MOST GRATEFUL FOR?

Second chances.

Well, Here We Are

It’s time to get on it.  My life has become a very crappy, depressing place.  I’ve had a year of sadness, loneliness, exhaustion,  frustration, illness, and despair, just to mention a few.  My physical self has fallen into a big muddy pit, and I must admit that I really have no idea how to crawl out.  I actually have gotten to the point that I applied for disability….which is taking forever.

My weight is at a lifetime high.  <gulp> 458 pounds.  At 5’9″ (I’ve shrunk a bit), that translates into needing to lose 293 pounds.  OMG, gotta take a minute to catch my breath……

I have stuffed all of my awful feelings down by eating.  Not just overeating.  Bingeing.  I’ve done this all of my teen and adult life.  So I’m getting on top of this blog to work my way through this.  This is a long haul type of thing, for sure!  If anyone wants to hang with me, I guarantee I’ll need lots of encouragement.  And maybe some smacking me back on track!  I promise that I will be brutally honest with myself and any brave souls who follow me.  Hang on, it’s gonna be a wild ride!!

So as my guidance, I bought Chris Powell’s new book, “Choose More, Lose More for Life”.  He’s the guy that works with super-obese people on Extreme Weight Loss on tv.  Anyhow, he uses this thing called carb cycling with those people.  And he’s very big on figuring out WHY you overeat.  He calls it all transformation.  Sounds like what I need to get a grip on my health.  Or to GET some health!!  Anyhow, I will be slowly going through his book, and there are all sorts of worksheets throughout.  I will be putting those on here and answering the questions HONESTLY.  Not for the faint of heart!

I also plan on keeping up with my progress, and working out my issues on the way.  On this blog.  My plan is to be completely transparent, really only for my benefit.  But if anyone else gets encouragement from my little journey, so much the better!

So, here we go!!  Charlene  7/3/2014

My highest weight ever....458 pounds.

My highest weight ever….458 pounds.