Saturday, January 24, 2009

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back ...

I'm still here, I'm still working on getting rid of the fat, I'm still struggling to make it stick. I'm still frustrated because I can't seem to string enough good days together to make the losses permanent and avoid the gains. I continue to lose at least 2 pounds a week but also continue to gain them right back by slipping up and eating things I shouldn't be eating. It's so hard for me to lose those 2 pounds and so easy for them to find their way back to my *ss.

I refuse to give up because that is just not an option. I'm determined to get rid of my fat for good no matter how long it takes me to get there.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yes We Can!

We can and we did. There are some that didn't believe they would see the day when a young black senator would win the election to become of 44th President of the United States. I believed; I knew we could do better. We've suffered for 8 long years and we are ready for change. I have faith. I believe Obama will make a difference.

Millions will be able to say "I was there," "I voted," "I made a difference," "I remember when ...." It was such a historic day in our nation with inspiring words. There was energy and optimism in the air.

We have such high expectations that this new President will be able to turn the country around, to get us out of wars, to repair our reputation with the world, fix the economic crisis, repair the health care system and an exhaustive list of other vitally important tasks but we have to remember it will take time and he isn't going to be able to perform magic tricks. I'm proud to once again have a President who is able to speak eloquently and coherently. I believe this man will work to get things done without worrying about party lines and "playing politics."

It is a new day to get inspired. Barack Obama and his speech writers get an A+ for this one. Moments after taking the oath of office, President Obama spoke these words to the nation:

"My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because we the people have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears, and true to our founding documents.S o it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet. These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land — a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America — they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics. We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life. For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth. For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sanh. Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America. For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act — not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. All this we will do. Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them — that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. Those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account — to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day — because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control — and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers ... our found fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all the other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort — even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment — a moment that will define a generation — it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship. This is the source of our confidence — the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny. This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed — why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent Mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world ... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet (it)."

America, in the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America."

Congratulations to President Obama!

Yes We Can! At Last ...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Amazing Adventures of DIETGIRL

I had been anxiously awaiting The Amazing Adventures of DIETGIRL to hit the states so I dropped the book I was reading and rushed right out, through ice and snow, to get myself a copy. It was worth the shoveling, ice scraping and wait. I'm a bit jealous we didn't get the version with the foxy Aussie lass flying in her superhero garb on the cover (we got the pretty pink tape measure) but we all know you can't judge a book by its cover; it's the inside that counts.

DIETGIRL a/k/a Shauna Reid is currently on a whirlwind virtual book tour where you can read interviews, listen to podcasts and even win a copy of the book. I'm not ready to give my copy up yet, I plan on reading it few more times, so you'll have to buy it yourself or win it somewhere else (sorry).

DIETGIRL started Operation Lard Bust after watching her big knickers blowing in the breeze when she weighed in at over 350 pounds. She knew there was no fat loss fairy, she wasn't going to be rescued, she would have to be her own superhero. She had Fat Girl Freak-Outs, she battled her kryptonite and Nutella obsession, moved to another country and completely changed her lifestyle instead of hiding in the house using her fat as an excuse not to LIVE her life.

Shauna has been making me laugh and inspiring me (and every other weight loss blogger) for years on her blog so I already knew I loved her style and knew there would be a happy ending but that didn't stop me from cheering her on. Shauna Reid is a real life superhero of weight loss and now she is a successful published author in numerous countries and lives a happy and healthy life with her adorable, supportive Scottish husband. She is my hero. Way to go Shauna!

Like MizFit, I dogeared so many pages of my favorite passages that they outnumbered the pages that were not marked. I felt the pain of every Fat Girl Freak-Out and the joy of every pound she lost. Even after losing a substantial amount of lard she had to get it through her head that she wasn't that Fat Girl anymore. She learned something funny about losing a stack of weight "Nothing really changes. All that happens is that you lose the thing upon which you used to hang all your neuroses. It's a scapegoat and a handy excuse."

Even after losing more than 100 pounds she still struggled stating "I wish I could get over this 'Quick! Eat! While No One's Looking!' mentality. The world is not going to run out of ice cream. It's always going to be there, so I'm not going to be deprived of some wild pleasure if I leave it alone for a while."

Shauna gives the best advice when she says "Weight loss isn't about willpower or motivation; it's just the cumulative effect of tiny actions over time. Putting down the chocolate bars, putting on the running shoes. You just have to keep picking yourself up when you fall, over and over again, for however long it takes."

This Aussie weight loss superhero is adorable, witty, charming and fun to read. The book chronicles over 333 weeks of lard busting adventures and if you flip the pages fast enough you can watch DIETGIRL shrink and FLY.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Everyday Resolutions ...

I've stopped making New Year Resolutions. Over the years I've vowed to do better, do more of this, do less of that, or give up those vices that are holding me down but I've learned that whatever resolutions I put on the list on January 1st were just as important last June. Nothing has changed except the date, nothing magical happened when the clock struck midnight and the big shiny ball dropped in Times Square; I'm just a little bit older now. Life is right NOW. I'm younger today than I will be for the rest of my life. What am I waiting for?

Goals don't know what the date is so a random Tuesday is the right time to make the decision to have salad instead of pizza, to eat an orange instead of chocolate cake, take the stairs instead of the elevator, use that treadmill instead of hanging clothes on it, or workout while watching the Biggest Loser instead of sitting on my *ss wishing I could shrink as quickly as the contestants.

Successful dieters have learned that they're not perfect, there will be indulgences and lazy days but they don't use that as an excuse to throw their hands in the air and give up, falling face first into a bowl of ice cream. We have to take those small steps every single day to eat healthy foods the majority of the time, really enjoy those special indulgences, stop the emotional eating and binging, put down the fork when we're full, eat when we're hungry, stop the mindless emotional eating and stay active enough to keep the blood flowing, the heart strong and the body and mind healthy.

People love to start diets on Mondays, the first of the month or, the mother of all firsts, the first of the year. In my case this year, the first Monday of the first month of the first of the year. I was still on vacation on New Year so the parties continued, there was overeating, over drinking and lazy inactive holiday sugar haze days but I never forgot about my goals.

I understand the allure of making those New Year Resolutions. There's something about a brand new calendar that makes us hopeful and giddy imagining the possibilities. Imagining what we accomplish over these clean pages. It is a clean slate to start fresh. We tell ourselves this will be the year to do things better, give things up that are bad, get away from people that make us unhappy, get closer to the people we love, go to the gym or workout regularly, lift more, run faster, work harder, eat right and become this perfect version of ourselves.

There is so much hope and optimism when we longingly look at those empty spaces on the pages of the months ahead and know if we are determined we can change completely, make substantial progress or reach those elusive goals before buying the next calendar. We've seen it happen to others, we read about their success, we may have done it before, we know it is possible. I can be that success story (again), I can learn how to maintain a healthy weight. Unfortunately, by the third week of January most people have burnt out, realize they are not perfect and revert back to their old ways. They'll just do what they've always done, wait for next Monday, next month or next January to start over. Don't wait - start right now.

I've decided to work on my daily goals, take those baby steps, make each decision the best I can at the time and forgive myself when I don't make the best choices because that is really all I can ever do. I'll never be perfect. I know I'll give into the bread basket on occasion and I'll make mistakes but I have to accept that and move on.

I have goals to reach but I'm not counting the days, weeks, or months where I'll be if I lose "x" pounds a week, for "x" weeks, by this time next ______, I'll be able to fit into "x" size pants or see "x" number on the scale. My goal today is to do the best I can and remember I really want to lose weight so I need to do all those things TODAY that will make that happen, not wait until next Monday.

I'm going to make my resolutions every day. I'm not perfect, I will make mistakes but if I do the things I know will give me the results I want, I can make it happen.

I hope you are enjoying filling in the new calendar, keeping those resolutions and remembering your ultimate goal(s). Don't ever give up and you'll get there.

Happy 2009.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year ...

The Month After Christmas
Twas the month after Christmas, and all through the house
Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.
The cookies I’d nibbled, the eggnog I’d taste
All the holiday parties had gone to my waist.
When I got on the scales there arose such a number!
When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber).
I’d remember the marvelous meals I’d prepared;
The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rare,
The wine and the rum balls, the bread and the cheese
And the way I’d never said, “No thank you, please.”
As I dressed myself in my husband’s old shirt
And prepared once again to do battle with dirt---
I said to myself, as I only can “You can’t spend a winter disguised as a man!”
So-- away with the last of the sour cream dip,
Get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip
Every last bit of food that I like must be banished
‘Til all the additional pounds have vanished.
I won’t have a cookie-- not even a lick.
I’ll want only to chew on a long celery stick.
I won’t have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie,
I’ll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.
I’m hungry, I’m lonesome, and life is a bore--
But isn’t that what January is for?
Unable to giggle, not long a riot.
Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!
- Author Unknown