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Monday, March 14, 2016

Weight Loss - Before and After Pictures

The top picture, taken in August of 2014, is the picture that made me realize that I really, really, really had to do something about my weight, and it was shortly after it was taken that I started to get serious about taking care of my health. At my heaviest I weighed 240 pounds, and always felt that I only needed to lose twenty-five or so pounds to feel good. Well I lost twenty-five or so pounds and realized I still needed to lose to get to a healthy weight, then I was down fifty pounds and still was thirty pounds over the top ideal weight for my height. Then I lost seventy-five pounds, I was feeling much better, and had become very active, but still had weight to lose. By October of 2015, fourteen months after starting my journey to better health, I had lost 110 pounds, and have maintained that weight loss for the past five months. Maintenance is the longest part of the journey as it is a journey that has no end, it is a way of life! A good way of life, and one that keeps me disciplined in my eating and exercising habits.

There are no magic pills, secret tricks, special foods, fad diets, the way to lose weight is to not over eat, so track your calories every day, and add exercise to strengthen and tone your body. That is it, limit calories, add some exercise, and you will lose weight at a healthy pace, 1 - 2 lbs per week, and you will keep it off.  My Fitness Pal is a wonderful phone app to assist in tracking calories and exercise.

So here are my before and after pictures:

Taken in August of 2014 - heaviest weight 240 lbs, sedentary lifestyle

Taken in March of 2016 - ending weight - 130 lbs, active lifestyle

A Super Busy Week

Yesterday I needed a nap! I had a very busy week. Last Tuesday I left work a little early and drove across town to meet my sister Marika at her house. Marika and I then hopped into her Mini and headed up to Chicago to meet my sister Michelle who was in the US on business. We arrived in Chicago around five-thirty in the evening, hung out for a bit and then headed to dinner at Ralph Laurens. We had a good dinner together and then headed back to the hotel to hang out and visit. After breakfast the next morning Marika and I headed back home. It was a wonderful visit, we hadn't seen Michelle in nearly sixteen months, it was good to catch up.
From left to right, me, Marika, Michelle

On Thursday it was my birthday, after a full day at work we met all the kids and grand kids for dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant, Kaysans, it was wonderful to have everyone there, our family now numbers seventeen, it was quite a party.

Our wonderful family

On Friday and Saturday I spend my time cleaning, and I mean deep cleaning, my house, boy did it need done. I am now enjoying a clean, and tidy house, and it is very satisfying. I had to clean as I was hosting book club on Saturday evening and grandson George's baptism party on Sunday.

Book club was Saturday evening, I served chicken tortilla soup and salad for dinner followed by coffee and cookies for dessert. We read Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut, the book spurred good discussion, it was hated by one person, loved by two of us, liked by one, and deemed okay by another. Next time Cyndi will host, we are now going to read, The Ocean At The End Of The Lane.

On Sunday we headed off to Mass, then immediately afterward baby George was baptized along with another baby boy. We returned home for a little celebration party, we had lasagna, salad, garlic bread and cake for dessert. It was good to celebrate together. But I was feeling tired, it seemed that the entire week of celebrations, get togethers, travel etc. had caught up with me. After everyone left yesterday I took a two hour nap! I rarely need a nap.

Me with grandson George

So here we are Monday morning, I am getting ready to go out for a run, then will head to the YMCA for some weight lifting, then on to work. Later I will meet my Mom and sister Marika, as Mom is in town this week for a few days.

Blessings to you,


Sunday, March 6, 2016

A Post - Finally

I haven't posted since last July, how crazy is that? In December our eighth grand baby was born, little George arrived on December 18, he is the fifth child and fifth boy for my daughter Amber and son in law Brad. We now have six grandsons and two granddaughters. All these little ones are so special to us and we have them over all the time, it is noisy, chaotic, crazy, and an endless stream of snacks and drinks to provide and we love it!

I have continued on my weight loss journey and have maintained my weight for the past five months after losing 110 pounds. I started out at 240 pounds and now weigh 130. I am on the very low side of weight for my height, 5'10", but have lots of energy and am able to maintain. I had a body composition done at the YMCA and found out that my body fat percentage is 8.4%. I continue to exercise for an hour a day five to six times a week, usually running two days, walking two days, and doing the elliptical machine two days a week.  I joined the YMCA a while back, I have run and walked the indoor track a lot through the winter, and I use the elliptical machine and take advantage of the weight machines. I do yoga once or twice a week as the classes are fee as part of the YMCA membership. My diet remains healthy, and I continue to use My Fitness Pal app to track my food and exercise and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. To maintain weight loss you have to be in control, and have a plan and remain vigilant. The weight loss is the first part of the journey in a life style change, the maintenance is the second part of the journey and it needs to last to your final day on this wonderful earth.

Last fall my friend and I resurrected book club, this month I am hosting, I chose the book Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut. I enjoyed the book, K V has such a dead pan delivery, he strips the emotion from everything and the facts just lay bare and this points out the idiocy and futility of so much that has happened in the world to cause death, destruction and misery. But his books are not depressing reads, they are quirky, darkly humorous, thought provoking, entertaining, well written, and I am slowly collecting more and more of his books and enjoying them to no end. So far I have read, Slaughter House Five, Cats Cradle, Hocus Pocus, and am now REALLY enjoying Breakfast of Champions, up next is Deadeye Dick.

I was listening to A Good Read on BBC Radio 4 last week and they talked about a book from the 1950's called Mr. Pye by Mervyn Peake, the panel discussed the story and it really appealed to me so I went to Amazon and ordered a copy, it cost one cent, then $3.99 for shipping. Four dollars seems a small price to pay for good entertainment.

Today is a running day, so I am now going to head out for an hour and get those good endorphins pumping and then head off to Mass.

Have a good day,