Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Week 5

Today is weigh-in day. Excited to announce that I am down 20 lbs. Technically, I maintained this week because I didn't blog about last weeks weigh-in, but I am gonna count this week as a success. I was discouraged because the weight doesn't seem to be coming off as quickly as I would like but while I was shopping with my mom this weekend I picked up a five pound bag of flour, then I picked up four of them. When you have an absolute to measure the amount, it seems like a much bigger triumph. Another indicator is the fact that I have never felt better. I didn't even realize that I felt terrible. Being tired and sluggish was just something that I was so used to, it became the norm. It wasn't until I started feeling good that I understood just how bad it has become.

I feel as if my soul is lighter, as well. I am becoming more at peace with, not only my body, but with myself. I am stripping away the armor that I put in place years ago for self-preservation, because if I wouldn't let you in, there was no way you could hurt me. Thank the Lord, there are many people who saw right through my facade and showed me that there was much more to me than I gave myself credit. They didn't just see Laura the fat girl, they saw all components of who I am. They were able to see who I truly was even when I couldn't. There are many words that would describe me: funny, crazy, smart, witty, quirky, compassionate, adventurous....unfortunately the word I chose to define myself was Fat. Not anymore.

This journey continues to be one of the most difficult things that I have ever done. Every single day is a struggle. Every day I have to make the conscious decision to make healthy food choices and incorporate exercise because it does not just come naturally. I wonder if it ever will? It's about taking one day at a time. I work towards existing goals and I continue to add new goals each day. Side note: Nichole and my quest to conquer that awful hill in Red Cloud continues. I still get winded and am unable to talk/breath during  that portion of our walk and my brain can't process complex thoughts for at least 42 minutes after, but it is getting a little easier each time.

I am still enjoying the Nutri-system. I love the simplicity of the program. A few nights a week, I try to cook some meals because it isn't realistic to remain on the program for the rest of my life. I am eventually going to have to cook healthy meals all the time. Tonight, I made a low-fat cheeseburger pie. I got the idea from a meal that was served at work and tweaked it to make it so I could eat it. It was also filling. I am a "more bang for your buck" type of girl and if you can get a lot of food for not a lot of calories or fat, I am all about that. Plus that fact that it was pretty damn delicious didn't hurt either.

Here is the recipe I came up with:
1 # ground turkey ( I got the 97% fat-free kind)
9" frozen pie crust
 (I used baby dills and chopped them but any kind will work)
roma tomato
fat-free shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven according to temperature directions on pie crust (350 degrees). Brown ground turkey, drain. Put ketchup and mustard in bottom of pie crust (approx. 2 tbsp each), place browned turkey over ketchup and mustard mix. Add 2 cups, FF cheese. Onions, pickles, and tomatoes. I put ketchup on the top of this as well before baking. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.
Next time I make this, I think I am going to try to make a Swiss Mushroom Burger Pie. I think the ingredients can easily be rearranged to meet anyone's favorite burger preferences.

I am enjoying researching different recipes. You can basically make any recipe healthy with just a few slight changes. I think the challenge of this is what is keeping me intrigued. I like learning new things and this helps me to feel more in control of this process.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fancy Meeting You Here....

It's been awhile since my last post. Continuing to take things day-by-day which seems to be the only thing that any of us can do. I wish I could sit here and baffle you with tales of how I am cured. That wouldn't you know it, if given the choice (with no repercussions, of course) I would always choose the celery over the french fries without even batting an eyelash. I wish I could tell you that this is not one of the hardest things that I have ever done. Don't get me wrong, I thank my lucky stars every single day because it could always be worse, however this life change has proved to be a worthy adversary. However, on a brighter note, for those of you who know me well know that someone just has to tell me one time that I won't be able to do someone and by golly, I'm gonna do it. Although, I can honestly say it is getting easier................sometimes.......

This week will be the ultimate test. I have been at a conference all week and didn't bring any of my Nutrisystem meals, for two reasons. 1) Who wants to be the nerd at conference who brings a sack lunch, I would get eaten alive in the health care world (as if my severe awkwardness wouldn't be cause enough)?  2) I know that Nutrisystem is not going to be my long-term eating plan. Eventually, I will have to make healthy choices on my own. For the most part, this week has been a success, with the exception of this evening..........

Confession Time:

I went to Cheddar's tonight with the girls from work and Savannah. I had every intention of ordering a very nice salad- no cheese, dressing on the side. Driving over there I was just sure that I was some kind of Weight-Loss Ghandi. So noble, so diplomatic........apparently so full of it. It was as if I had full-blown Tourette's when the waiter approached. I had this rehearsed in my head. Salad-no cheese, dressing on the side. Salad-no cheese, dressing on the side (in your head sing this to the tune of We Are The Champions). Finally it was my turn, remember I had this all planned out, I go to say, "salad-no cheese, dressing on the side" but instead I blurt out,  " Give me the tenders and shrimp," before my brain had time to comprehend what had clearly word-vomited out of my mouth. After I did realize what I did,  I in no way, shape, or form attempted to retract that order, I went with it....and felt extremely guilty. I did remind myself of something, though, I can't deprive myself or I will make          hair-brained decisions on a whim. I can also gladly say that even though the tenders were fried, (and on a side note, abso-frickin-lutely delicious) the shrimp was not, and my side was green beans. So, essential the only damage done was with the chicken tenders. I have to allow my body the things it craves. If I avoid everything I will eventually break and possibly open myself up to go straight back to old binge habits. Moderation, friends, moderation. In the end, it all evens out.

Today one of my sessions was about dealing with conflicts and difficult people. It was geared towards the professional world, but some of the insight rang very true to my personal life. The speaker discussed how our society thinks that anger can only result in negative reactions but in all actuality, anger ultimately sets the stage for change, be it positive or negative. I think back to four short weeks ago, finding out about the damage I was doing to my body by being so unhealthy, quite frankly pissed me off, but the only person I had to be mad at was myself. I made those bad choices. I decided to not exercise. It was my choice and my choice alone. I was mad at myself for letting my health get so out of hand and I was mad at the universe for being born with the metabolism of a yak. Now, I am grateful for that anger. Anger pushed me to make changes. Anger opened the door for acceptance. I know what I need to do and know that I am gonna do it, come hell or high water.

The speaker also discussed how our society accepts mediocre as the "gold standard". Now, I know what those of you who went to high school with me are thinking, "Laura Whitesel, may have started this mediocracy standard" and not long ago I would have been in total agreement with you. It is true, though. We accept mediocre in many aspects-customer service, job performance, etc. For many, many years, I accepted mediocre in regards to my health....thank heavens for the wake-up call. Who knows how long mediocre would have gotten me by.......

Monday, September 10, 2012

Eating Your Emotions and Other Bits of Random

My name is Laura and I am an emotional eater........

 Happy, sad, mad, stressed, bored, to celebrate an accomplishment, to celebrate a break-up ( trust me, with the clowns that I have dated, the end of the relationship was always cause for celebration), or to fill a void....the list can go on and on. If any of the above listed occurred in my life, it was usually followed by some snackage (Spell check just told me that snackage was not a word, I beg to differ, Mr. Webster, I beg to differ.)  Anyways, today during a particularly stressful time, when I would have eaten a rug if it would have had the right kind of dipping sauce, I had to find some strategies to keep myself from stress-eating. I drank about three glasses of water and chewed gum like it was going out of style. I removed myself from the situation.  After a while, the feeling of wanting to go to Taco John's and order two of everything subsided. Turns out, problems can be resolved without food. In order to improve my health, I must also work on improving my mind. This battle is just as much a  mental struggle, as it is physical.

The bike riding continues......
 Tonight Jenny and I made it to 2.5 miles. This may be the lack of oxygen to my brain speaking, but I am really, really liking exercising or maybe I like the way I feel after. I cannot believe how bad I felt before I started this journey and I didn't even realize it. I probably wouldn't have let things get this out of hand had I simply realized this sooner. Live and learn, I guess.
I have found that I am kinda a chicken when it comes to riding my bike. I like even, non-graveled roads. When I was younger and my bike was my main source of transportation, I was fearless. Now, I have this deep fear of crashing. Really, it's not even the soaring through the air that frightens me, it's 100 percent the dismount that causes me so much anxiety. I'm a lot of girl and cement does not have a whole bunch of give.


I found the above quote particularly fitting. Regardless of how hard you work and how hard your struggles, there are always gonna be people who are assholes. Three things in this life that are inevitable: death, taxes, and assholes.  People make fun of fat people for just being fat. Then they make fun of fat people while they're excercising. We can't win. How about you don't point out my short-comings and I won't point out yours?
 There are going to be people who put you down, who question your intellect, your abilities, and even your value because of how you look. Remember, there is nothing wrong with you, the problem lies with them. If I could offer you any words of wisdom it would be: Don't worry about what anyone else thinks. You are beautful. Love yourself first and the rest will fall into place but love yourself enough to live healthy.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I can't figure out why I am fat

A Vanderbilt University study found that the average adult burns 1.3 calories per minute while laughing. I will be the first to shout from the roof top that I come from a long line of crazies. Serious, we are all nuts, not in a creepy way, but in a 'not afraid to get down with our bad self's', kinda way. The majority of the time I spend with my family I am usually laughing at someone's shenanigans. Over the years, this has paved the way for quite a few entertaining stories. You will hear a lot of these stories through this blog. Although, I can't help but wondering, if laughing burns calories, how in the hell did I end up fat? Apparently you can't out-laugh a bad diet and sedentary lifestyle. Who knew?

Anyways, speaking of stories, I believe now is the time to dispense a goody from last night....


Who needs the fair when you are a direct descendant of a 3-ring circus?

Yesterday we went out to the farm to help my parents load their goats into the stock trailer.  I should mention that these "pet" goats are about as tame as wild zebras. I should have known that things were not going well when we arrived because Mom zipped by us on the 4-wheeler, shouting something along the lines of Dad losing his mind and wanting to shoot the goats. (Oh, good, something different for a change)

Turns out, catching these goats was no small feat. It involved three ropes and about 750 variations of the "F" word, from my father. We finally got them caught and all seemed to be well. (Hang on children, this is where the story gets good.) Dad was leading the roped goats to the coral when one of them decided he had, had enough of Kendall's B.S. and rammed his horns into the back of Dad's knee, knocking him to the ground. It was then that I witnessed all rationality leave that man. He put that goat in some sort of head-lock (Whitesel Farm meets W.W.F, real classy) declaring that he was gonna break the goat's neck using his legs. This whole time he had the craziest look in his eyes.  I am also gonna have to leave out the direct quotes of that series of events, as this blog must remain PG-13. Long story short, Mom intervened, the goat lived, Dad's blood pressure has finally returned to normal.................Just another day in paradise.

 I think the thing that is most amusing to me is that from the outside looking in, my Dad appears to be the only one in our immediate family who has it together. Always the calm one. Always the one to think things through. Always the mediator. Truth be told, he is just as bat-shit crazy as the rest of us he just USUALLY camaflauges it better than we do.

On a side note, today was my two week weigh-in. Down 11 pounds since starting Nutrisystem. Overall, the food is still really good. There are a few meals that have been a little less than delicious but that it to be expected. I had a meatloaf platter last Friday that tasted exactly like tequila and stomach acid, which left a little but to be desired. 

I was worried that there would be little to no flexibility with this program, but the exact opposite is true.  I can still go out to eat. I am rarely hungry and if I want something, I eat it. Funny thing is, the healtier that you eat, the more you crave those healthy foods. I never thought I would say this but I like vegetables and kinda get excited for my afternoon fruit. Much different than my 3 o'clock trip to the vending machine. Glad to say that those days are over, forever.

Each and every day I feel a little bit better. I continue to walk every week day and bike several evenings a week. I know deep in my heart that this time is/will be different. I am still having trouble putting into words how I feel about it. It's difficult to describe, it's like each and every pound I lose off of my body lifts this gigantic weight that I've been carrying around off of my shoulders.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Disclaimer: The below opinions and/or statements are said only in jest. I do not mean to intentionally degrade, berate, or disrespect anyone. It takes all kinds to make this crazy world go round and I am all for free self-expression, but sometimes, it would just feel unnatural not to make some comments....Please proceed with caution.

What an amazing weekend this has been! Last night I got to spend time with some of the greatest family and friends that a girl could ask for. Today, I went to the State Fair with Papa Bear, Mama Whitesel, Aunt Kendene, and Jenny. Both of these situations could have been potentially dangerous considering there were lots of foods around that could have spelled disaster for me and my new healthy habits. However, I am pretty proud to report that I made good choices in both settings. Social situations can occur without focusing on food. I think that was where I always went wrong. Food is not what I should look forward to, it's all about enjoying the time spent with those that I love. It's also about enjoying the scenery, whatever it may be...................................................................

I have always loved the fair (or any type of carnival, for that matter). I guess there is a part of me that still believes that I am going to fall madly in love with a nice "carnie", get him some new teeth, have a  shot-gun wedding, and drive off into the sunset in his 1976 Winnebago..........A girl can dream can't she. Fairs also are a prime opportunity for people watching. Nothing like a good old fashioned carnival to really bring people, "outta the wood work".

Here is a list of  my four favorite things from this years trip to the fair:

Neck Tattoos

If I would have saw one more neck tattoo, I probably would have went apeshit. Nothing screams, "I've gone as far as I possibly can in life" like a neck tattoo. I am not against tattoos, by any means, but........ really? If you really think about it, people think different things about those who sport that kind of inking. I don't know about you, but I'm not entirely sure I would want my brain surgeon to have a marijuana leaf tattoo'd on his/her neck nor would I want my accountant to have "Wasted" permanently stamped below his/her ear. Not acceptable. Placement, people, placement. It's all about location.

Questionable Hair Colorings and/or Costumes:

I also want to pose this questions, how old must one be before solid pink and purple hair is not acceptable? I have to admit, some people can pull it off in the highlight form, but not now nor ever will a 50 year old with purple hair be taken seriously.

On a side note,  if you are male over the age of 30, hell, let's back pedal, if you are a male over the age of 19, Affliction shirts are NEVER okay. You are a grown-ass man, your shirt should not be bejeweled. I wanted to go up to every middle-aged man in those ridiculous shirts and say, "How's that midlife crisis treating ya?" I refrained, reminding myself that as a lady, this sort of question was frowned upon.

Misperception of Oneself

I'm all about any and every person having self-confidence-Owning your looks and your body. I also am a firm believer of those living in glass houses not throwing stones and am fully aware that my house is ALL GLASS...... That being said, I love a person with a completely delusional sense of self, so imagine my utter delight when I hit the clown-show jackpot when woman in a " Hot Girls Have More Fun" shirt sashayed past me in the Exhibition building. Not only had this woman apparently never even so much as glanced in a mirror but obviously was having waaaaay to much fun to purchase herself a toothbrush.

Hybrid Psuedo-Celebrity Look-a-likes

I had the pleasure of meeting the perfect combination of Elvira and Tammy Faye Baker. She worked at the janky bracelet shop that guranteed the cure-all for whatever ails ya. Elvira + Tammy Faye Baker+ Russian accent = Perfect Combination. Throw in her rambling about the  importance of the universe being completely aligned and it was then decided that she was my new write-in candidate for the upcoming election.

Coming in at a close fifth place:

My Family's Perception of Diversity

For those of you who know my dad, know that the closest experience he has had with any type of alternative lifestyle is wearing shorts (serious). He is the greatest man that has ever walked this earth but he has about as much tolerance for differences that I do for stupid people. Anyways, I was so excited to point out to him the very stylish lad in the western shop who has wearing flip-flops, a cowboy hat, and had one of the prettiest bedazzled purses that I had ever seen. Unfortately, this fellow will always be the 'one that got away' because he pranced away before I got a chance to point him out  to Mr. Whitesel and witness his facial expressions but the reaction I got when I told him all about it will definately do for me.

Moral of the Story:

All joking aside, every person that I spoke about above, had the balls to do, say, or wear whatever they wanted. They obviously didn't care what anyone else thought of them.They all also had two things in common, every single one of them was happy and every single one of them loved who they were. I have to admit, as I am poking fun of them, I am also jealous of them. Now is the time to start loving myself, warts and all.....