Sunday, March 8, 2009

Weight Loss: End of Week 9

Good news to report. Down 3 lbs. from last week to 237. No idea why though. I'm still not on track. I need to get focused!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Goals for March

It's time to get re-focused on losing weight. I'm putting off dealing with some of the clothes issues, like cleaning out my closet, until I get things back under control with my diet. So here's what's up for the month:

  1. Lose 8 pounds, getting to 232.
  2. Write the "Dear Me" letter outlined in the Structure House plan.
  3. Read through the Structure House book again.
  4. 30 minutes on the exercise bike every day.

Weight Loss: End of Week 8

Ugh! I hate to even post this. I put two pounds back on. Shouldn't be surprised as I've been very lazy, not exercising and not watching what I eat. So I end February only one pound lighter than I started. Let's just wipe this month away and start fresh for March.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Weight Loss: End of Week 7

No change from last Sunday's weigh-in--still at 238. I had a cold this week and even though I didn't eat a lot, I did indulge in a lot of prepped foods and comfort foods so it should be no surprise that I didn't lose more. I also felt too crappy to move much. I'm giving myself one more day to be lazy and slow, then tomorrow it's back to it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

BMI Progress

Just out of curiosity, I ran new calculations today on my BMI. When I started this blog and my weight loss journey on Jan. 1, my BMI was 42.9. Using today's weight of 237, my BMI has gone down to 40.7, a reduction of more than two points. I'm still a looooong way from a healthy BMI of 24.9 or less, and almost 11 points away from getting out of the "obese" category, but at least there's progress!

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Weight Loss: End of Week 6

I'm shocked! Another two pounds gone! And I still haven't really gotten my act together again to eat the way I should and get as much exercise as I should. But obviously, something is working. I'm at 238 now. Five more pounds to reach my goal for the month! Yeah!

Monday, February 9, 2009

First Rewards!

Yesterday I went shopping for my reward to mark my first 10-lb. loss. I checked out a new jewelry store in town that I'd noticed advertising great prices on handmade earrings and other jewelry. I found these two pairs for just $11.

This photo doesn't really do them justice. The ones on the left have really beautiful blue stones and the ones on the right have hand-blown black-and-white glass beads. It's been ages since I treated myself to any new jewelry so I'm very pleased with these.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Weight Loss: End of Week 5

I did nothing to deserve it, but nevertheless I lost another pound this week. I'm down to 240 and have officially earned my first reward! My waist measurement is sticking at 46". I guess I'm going to have to get moving in order to get that to budge.

I feel a bit more motivated now, so maybe I can get back on track and get going on losing those additional 7 pounds to meet my February goal.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Weight Loss: End of Week 4

Well, the official weigh-in this morning was the same as yesterday's unofficial one. I'm at 241, down 9 pounds from when I started 4 weeks ago. So I've fallen one pound short of my January goal, but I still have to be pleased with the 9-pound loss. This is a good start.

As for my other January goals, results were mixed. I've fallen off the exercising bandwagon in the last couple weeks--need to get back on track with that without delay! And I didn't get into cleaning out my closet and taking inventory at all. I did sort through all my jewelry last night, weed out a few things to give away, toss some broken things, and polish up some other things before putting it back neatly in my jewelry box and on my earring rack. So at least that's some progress.

My goals for February are as follows:

  1. Lose 8 pounds, bringing me to 233.
  2. Once again, 30 minutes a day of exercise!
  3. Clean out my closet.
  4. Whiten my teeth.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

We Have Winners!

The two winners of the Avenue Sweater Giveaway are Natalija and Cherry Pal. I've notified both via e-mail and will send out the sweaters as soon as I receive their mailing addresses.

Thanks to all who left comments to enter the giveaway. I hope you'll continue to visit!

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The Unpredictability of Losing Weight

Losing weight is an interesting thing (read: frustrating, maddening, unreliable). For three weeks I stayed on track, being ever so careful to keep my calorie count between 1200 and 1300 per day. For two of those three weeks, I lost weight. The third week, not at all. Then this past week--I went a little crazy. I've eaten pepperoni pizza (a lot of it), fast-food burritos, chocolate, a milkshake even! I didn't exercise at all. wAnd when this morning I did an unofficial weigh-in, I was stunned to see that I was down another two pounds. How is that possible????

OK, so now I have to get a grip. I am one pound away from meeting my January goal and I've got one more day to do it in. So the plan for today is to go back to 1200 calories, do two 30-minute sessions on the exercise bike, and drink lots of water. I'm not sure that will be enough to kill that pound, but it's the best (reasonable) way to go.

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Last Chance to Enter Sweater Giveaway

Today is your last chance to enter (or enter again) the Avenue Sweater Giveaway. I'll be picking the two random winners tonight at 11:00 pm PST. Contest rules are here.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weight Loss: End of Week 3

Well, the word for the day is "zero." I didn't lose anything this week and I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. Although I stayed on the food plan most of the week, I did go off of it on Tuesday and for dinners on Friday and Saturday. I also exercised only about two days this week. Lazy, lazy, lazy! I've only got one more week to get to my 10-lb. goal for the week so I better crank it up this week and get it right!

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Don't Miss Out on the Giveaway!

The Great Avenue Sweater Giveaway is still going on. You have until January 31 to enter. Don't miss out!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Day After

OK, I did some celebrating yesterday. I decided the day before that the diet was going to go on a one-day hiatus for the Inauguration because I was invited to a party and I wanted to feel free to partake. And I did. I had a great time, ate a small slice or two of pizza (I can't remember which!), two helpings of salad with dressing, a piece of cake, one glass of champagne, and coffee with half-and-half. I enjoyed it all. And thankfully, when I weighed myself this morning, I found that I was still down at least a pound from where I was on Sunday morning. So no damage done!

And speaking of the Inauguration, I think Michelle Obama and Jill Biden looked fantastic in both their daytime and nightime outfits. These women have style! They will be a great inspiration in that way, as well as in many other ways.

What a great day! I'm still feeling a little buzzed by it all, but I'm ready to get back on track and back to work.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Weight Loss: End of Week 2

I'm down another 2 pounds, to 243. I only exercised three days this week, and I think I could have done better if I'd gotten in my 30 minutes all seven days. I'm still doing well with the eating plan, however. So the plan for this week is to get back to exercising every day. I really want to hit my 10-lb. milestone and get a reward!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Back to Tracking

Although I'm continuing to stay on my diet and I'm sure I've lost more weight so far this week, I have slacked off of tracking my eating and activities over the last few days. Part of the reason is that my eating has gotten kind of repetitive so I know how many calories are involved and I can pretty much track it in my head. Part of it is also that the work has gotten busy and there's some family stress going on that's taking a lot of time and attention. I've gotten lazier about measuring things, and I know that can lead to bigger and bigger portions without noticing. I've also failed to get my 30 minute of exercise for the last three days.

So this morning I decided I needed to get back on track. I measured things and wrote them down for breakfast. I'm tracking my activities and I'm going straight to my exercise back when I finish this post.

The tracking is always something I struggle with on any diet. But I'm doing so well so far that I really don't want to blow it. I think I could hit my first 10-lb. milestone within a week or so. So I'll track it if it kills me! This time I will not fail!

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Great Avenue Sweater Giveaway!

In celebration of the start of my makeover journey, I'm giving away two brand new Avenue sweaters in the size I'm leaving behind (22/24). Both sweaters are in the style shown here, but one is olive green and the other is a medium grey. These sweaters are soft and lightweight and will carry you nicely through winter into the spring.

I'll award one sweater to each of two winners, chosen at random on January 31. To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment. You can enter multiple times by commenting on more than one post (only on posts dated 1/13 through 1/31), but your first comment must be on this post. Be sure to leave your e-mail address in each comment so I can contact you if you win to get your mailing address.

Enter often! I hope to read lots of great comments from you, and hopefully you'll soon have a lovely new sweater to begin your makeover with!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Jewelry and Purses and Shoes, Oh My!

I think now that I've actually moved a few steps along my weight loss path, it's time to set up some rewards for myself. Here's what I'm planning on treating myself to for every weight loss milestone I reach:

  • Every 10 lbs. lost: A new pair of earrings or other piece of jewelry
  • Every 25 lbs. lost: A new purse
  • Every 40 lbs. lost: A new pair of shoes
Of course, "new" may just mean "new to me," since I'm trying to keep my budget in check. But I want my rewards to reflect that I'm trying to re-do more than just my weight--I'd like to change my whole style. New clothes will have to be purchased along the way anyway, but accessories are an easy thing to forget about. Making them my rewards will help ensure I pay attention to the whole picture.

And as for the ultimate reward, when I reach my goal weight of 130? I think I'll just think on that one for a while, 'cause it's going to have to be something really fabulous. Any suggestions?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Weight Loss: End of Week 1

Great results this week! I'm down a total of 5 pounds for the week and 1.5 inches from my original waist measurement (end of December). There were two days that I got busy and forgot to exercise, and a couple nights that I felt a little hungry/bored and restless and had a small, healthy snack. But overall, I found the Structure House plan pretty easy to manage. And I'm very happy with my progress so far. On to Week 2!

I've added a weight loss slider at the bottom of the page to track my weight loss progress. Can't wait to see those little hearts move!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

What I'm Reading

I won a copy of The Budget Fashionista recently in a contest on their web site. It really seems to be loaded with tips for putting together a good wardrobe on a tight budget.

I haven't gotten very far into it so far, so I'll put off doing a full review until later. But I like the way it starts--with information on putting together a budget. It seems like a book that really helps you to avoid those impulse purchases that never work out and end up just taking up space in the closet. I think this is just the kind of guide to building a wardrobe that I've been needing!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Can Someone Please Explain This to Me?

The Budget Fashionista has a post noting the layoff of fashion writer Lynn Yaeger from the Village Voice, where she's worked for some thirty years. The post includes a photo of Yaeger, who is apparently one of the best-known writers in the fashion business. I ask you: should I really be taking fashion advice from this woman?

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Comments Enabled

A reader from my other blog let me know that she had a problem leaving a comment here. I think I've fixed the settings so that comments are enabled, but if you're still having a problem with comments, please e-mail me to let me know (mymakeoveryear at gmail dot com).

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Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Down 2 Pounds and 1 Inch!

I intended to only weigh myself once a week but curiosity got the better of me this morning and I got on the scale. Down 2 pounds! Then I followed up by measuring my waist. I was down 1 inch from where I was on 12/28. I'm very pleased. Both the exercise bike and the diet are working!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Day One: Yes!

I stayed on the Structure House program all day yesterday! My total calorie count for the day was 1138. I had actually planned on eating slightly over 1200 calories but at the end of dinner, I just wasn't hungry enough to eat the pineapple I'd planned on. I got in my 30 minutes of exercise too. The only thing that I could have improved on was drinking water. That's always a hard one for me. But I feel really good about what I ate, and about the fact that when I was getting hungry in the afternoon and was tempted to snack, I did other things instead (gardening, went out to a bookstore). In the evening, when I'm usually most tempted to snack, I just read the paper, clipped coupons, and organized my coupon holder (while watching TV, of course). Because I didn't eat dinner until around 7 pm I wasn't really even thinking about snacking in the evening.

I think this plan may be really good for me. So many diets now emphasize healthy snacking, but I think for me the whole snacking process may be a bad idea. I think it may feel really freeing to break that habit.

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Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Diet Starts Today

I spent quite a while yesterday checking into different diet plans. I thought about Weight Watchers Online (done that before), the Sonoma Diet (I like the Mediterranean diet but I wasn't sure that I would lose enough weight fast enough to keep me motivated), and the Curves diet (done that before too--good initial weight loss, but it's hard to stay on because of the carb restrictions and eating 5-6 times per day). Then I read an article on with the 10 healthiest diets, as rated by nutritionists and weight loss experts and their number one choice was the Structure House Weight Loss Plan. I'd never heard of it but it sounded like it was very focused on behavior changes as well as eating balanced meals, so I decided to give it a try. I downloaded the e-book and started reading.

At first I got discouraged because it seemed like it had some of the same issues that have tripped me up in the past: too much tracking, weighing, and measuring, too few menu suggestions. But then I realized this plan may be exactly what I need. It's simple in that there are no forbidden foods and you only eat three meals a day with no snacks. Anything you eat beyond those planned meals (structured eating) is considered unstructured eating. You need to not only track your structured and unstructured eating, but you need to track your activities throughout the day so you know what triggers your unstructured eating. It boils down to three things that lead to unstructured eating: habit, boredom and stress. I know this is true for me and I know that conquering that is the only way I'll ever lose weight and keep it off.

As I was struggling with my resistance to the tracking, I thought of a couple things. The first is something that I heard in a Weight Watchers meeting years ago that was a light bulb moment for me and I have often thought of in many different contexts in my life: "Nothing changes if nothing changes." Essentially, I'm not going to find change without doing things differently. I'm going to have to change my habits and patterns and learn new ones if I want a different body. The second thing is that my current habits and patterns aren't making me happy, and by changing them I can not only change my body but find a more satisfying way to spend my time. That was a bit of light bulb moment too.

So today I started the Structure House Weight Loss Plan. The first couple weeks will probably be the toughest. I'm going to try 1200 calories a day, but if that doesn't feel like enough, I may go up another hundred calories.

Today was my fourth day of exercise (30 minutes on the exercise bike). I feel like I'm getting off to a good start.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Goals for January

I learned from my experience of trying to get my finances in order that it really helps to set goals for each month. It provides much better accountability and keeps those big goals from seeming too overwhelming. The idea of losing 120 lbs. certainly seems overwhelming to me. But if I just attack it 10 lbs. at a time, I know I can do better. So here are the first month's goals:

  1. Lose 10 lbs. The first step to doing this is to pick a weight loss plan to follow. I'm torn between Weight Watchers online, The Sonoma Diet, and the Structure House Weight Loss Plan. Each has its pros and cons. But I need to make a decision and start the plan by Sunday.
  2. Exercise 30 minutes per day. I expect I'll mostly be using my exercise bike for this month's exercise. (Anything to avoid going outside in the cold!)
  3. Inventory everything! I plan to clean out my clothes closet and dresser drawers, as well as my jewelry and my make-up stash in the bathroom and create inventory lists of all clothes, shoes, purses, hats, jewelry, make-up and hair accessories. This includes making lists of anything that needs mending.
  4. Create a needs assessment/wish list. Then I can take the list shopping with me throughout the year and watch for sales. Hopefully, this well help me avoid buying individual items that don't go with anything else in my closet.
That should be enough to keep me busy. Maybe doing all that cleaning, organizing and inventorying will help keep me from snacking!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Today It Begins

It may seem cliche to start a blog about a makeover on New Year's Day, but cliches have their place in life. The first day of the year is all about fresh starts and that's what I'm looking for. Here's why: I'm a single woman in my 40s and I am not looking good. That would be bad enough in itself, but I've come to realize how much my appearance is holding me back in life. I'd like to be in a relationship but I have no confidence to pursue one as I am right now. I'm considering changing jobs, but I hate the idea of going on an interview at the weight I am and with no good clothes to wear. I just don't think that the way I look reflects who I really am--someone smart, funny, warm and still sexy (not that I'm looking for that kind of job, but you know what I mean).

So these are the horrible details: I'm 5'4", 250 lbs. with a BMI of 43. My hair is mostly gray, but I have it professionally colored (my hair is probably my best feature right now). My skin is going through the usual mid-life changes and has gotten drier, blotchier, and more lackluster. My joints have gotten stiffer and I'm so out of shape that things just hurt way too often. My wardrobe is beyond sad. Most days I wear jeans and some kind of top and if I'm called on to dress up for some occasion, it's a major dilemma. My make-up is not too awful, but could probably use some tweaking. My teeth are healthy and more or less straight, but could use a little bit of brightening. Eyebrows: a bit out of control. I'm not very good about keeping my nails up and I've never in my life had a pedicure so you can just imagine. Have I scared you off yet?

But here is the plan: This year I am devoting myself to a year-long makeover of my appearance. The goal ultimately is to address the various problems and make the appropriate changes so that I can finally be comfortable with myself. I'm going to set monthly goals and make a plan for reaching each one.

These are my targets:

  1. My ultimate goal weight is 130 lbs., but my goal for this year is to lose 75 lbs, bringing me to 175 lbs. by December 31.
  2. I will review and update my make-up.
  3. I will revamp my wardrobe, putting togther outfits that are stylish and comfortable for work, being at home, going out with friends, and dressier occasions.
Losing weight will, of course, be the hardest part, but I didn't want to wait until I've lost weight to address the other issues. The point of this is less about being a certain weight, and much more about feeling good and looking good. In the coming days I'll go into more detail about how I hope to achieve these goals.


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