Tag: winning

Month 1 Wk2 Yr2 – Organic vs Non Organic

“Once upon a time all food was organic” – Unknown

There is a huge debate about organic versus non organic fruits and vegetables. I have to admit that I had not given it much thought until I decided I was going to eat an apple everyday. Of course Google was stalking me and I started seeing a lot of articles about the pesticides on my apples. I decided I would do a little research.

I found out that my love for Granny Smith apples came with a price. Turns out for me to get that glossy green color I would be ingesting a high amount of pesticides every time I bit my apple. The apples are sprayed to preserve the color and work as pest control. The pesticides adheres to the skin and then leaks into the core. Not only am I getting all the outside pesticides, but now they are inside my apple as well so washing the apple is not very effective. Research shows that these pesticides are harmful to the brain, nervous system, and due to toxicity may cause cancer, hormone disruption, as well as skin/eye/lung irritations. This is just the tip of the iceberg for apples.

So in a nutshell I bought organic apples for my second week.

I’m going to be honest, the color threw me off. Not only were they not glossy green, but some were even a yellowish color. I also had to ignore that some had brown spots. What organic was translating to me was funny colored apples. I figured if I was giving up on color I would get it back in taste. I wish I could lie to you and tell you the apple was amazing. They were not. They were not worse than other apples but it was not better. I’m going to chalk that up to apples being out of season.

When I grow stuff in the garden it’s amazing. The flavors are some of the best things I’ve ever tasted. I thought organic would translate to be the same. Nope. Now for transparency I got these apples at Walmart and they were only $1 more than non organic apples. Next week I’m going to try apples at Whole Foods and Kroger and give you an update. I need to give a fair assessment.

So what is my verdict? I’m going organic for the apples. That $1 more is not worth the risk of the pesticides for me. I also might go organic for other fruits and veggies as well. If I’m making one change I might as well make some more. With all my other issues I can’t worry about pesticides.

Now I am not telling you all to make the switch and I’m not saying your apples are bad. What I’m saying is if you can’t grow it yourself make sure you are eating the best foods possible. I am also saying eat what you can afford. Don’t feel bad for eating a regular apple instead of organic. That’s better than eating that candy bar you’ve been eyeing in the checkouts. We are all still learning how to navigate this world. Don’t beat yourself up about an apple.m

Stock pictures to show the color difference. My apples were not even this green.

Month 1 Week 1 Year 2

“We are born to belief a man bears beliefs as a tree bears apples” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I never thought I would blog for a whole year, yet here we are. This year will come with some changes, changes I hope are for the good. Along with weight loss I want to continue to spotlight my passions. Those include gardening, cooking, and combatting depression along with a host of other things.

I thought this year I would be traveling and spending time with family and friends yet I find myself still trapped. Trapped by a new variant of Covid. I know we all thought this thing would be gone yet it just keep fighting and fighting. So many loved ones have been affected and with no light in sight our new normal is now just our normal.

I took a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to do in year two as I continue to make positive changes in my life. When I reflected I realized how much I had grown and how much better I feel. Depression did not get the best of me last year. That alone made the journey worth it. I could have dwelled on the weight I didn’t lose instead I focused on what I learned.

For transparency I started the journey at 290. Today I weigh 268. I lost a total of 22 pounds last year. Nothing to write home about, but guess what I’M WRITING HOME. Normally I gain 20 pounds a year and this year I lost 20 pounds. Yea I’m winning.

Last year I told you all about a weight loss drug that promised 10% weight loss in one year. I’m 7 pounds away from that goal. So what’s my plan to accomplish that?

For January I plan to focus on eating fruits and veggies. Specifically to start I plan on eating an apple a day. Let’s see if it keeps the doctor away.

So why apples? First off their delicious. They range from super sweet to so tart you pucker when eating them. They are packed with fiber which we all know makes us feel full. They have anti-inflammatory properties, Vitamin C, lower risk of cardio vascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. Not convinced, visit Google. Apples are going to be my January superfood.

Gardening In January

As I sit here and watch my backyard flood in the beginning of January I immediately think how good this rain would be for gardening. In Ohio we haven’t been getting much snow until late January into February. Last year it was so warm in December my garlic began the sprout and when the winter finally came and killed it I couldn’t get it to grow back. This is the main reason I decided I’m just going to plant my garlic in early spring next year. The rain also reminded me that it’s time to grab a warm drink and start ordering seeds.

I’ve learned that with some planning I can garden all year round. I might not be able to be outside in the garden, but I can do something garden related. Today I’m going to go through all the seed catalogs and place some orders.

I’m so happy to report that while almost everything has gone digital seed catalog still come in the mail. This gives me the ability to see all the wonderful things I can grow and then I’m able to recycle the paper in the compost pile. Call me old fashioned but I still love the feel of turning pages.

Below are a few of my favorite seed catalogs. Each year Gurneys gets a good chunk of my seed money. I also got some seeds from Seed Savers and Seeds and Such. I will do another post after I place some orders. I will also give you a glimpse of my favorites and seeds I wasn’t so impressed with. If you are sitting around wondering how to get in the garden spirit order yourself some catalogs.

FYI- in case you are wondering I did start by getting seeds from big box stores and those seeds are great. The reason I switched to catalogs is because of the varieties. They are endless with catalogs. You also can get heirloom seeds as well. I just love options, and the catalogs give you endless options. I mean just look at the picture, there is a whole catalog about tomatoes. Eighty eight pages of tomato varieties. You will not find that at big box.

Month 12 Week 4- End Of A Year – Shoes

“We will begin by learning how to tie our shoes” – John Wooden

There is nothing a fat person hates worse than tying their shoes. If you look closely at really over weight people you will notice they have opted for either Velcro or slip ons to make their lives easier. FYI this post is not to shame them, it’s about me.

The other day my shoe lace came loose while in a store and I bent down to tie my shoe. As I was doing that I realized that I had not tied my shoe in public in years. What I would typically do if my shoe lace came loose would be to tuck the lace in my shoe until I got home. Why?

It took everything in me to bend over and tie my shoe. Even while home I didn’t dare bend over and tie my shoe. While sitting I would prop my leg on my other leg and then tie my shoe off to the side. When I got home that day I wondered if all my shoes had been tied this way.

Clearly they had. This was the mate to the shoe I was wearing that day. Now follow me as I try to explain why this is important.

When you are large you make adjustments. Adjustments you don’t even realize you’re making. First you don’t tie shoes, then all your pants have elastic, next you’re searching for a home with no stairs. I also realize things I normally did changed. I’m not walking miles shopping, I’m not doing activities that require a lot of movement, and I’m blaming the weather on everything so I never have to go outside.

The worst part about what I noticed is right now I’m no longer in pain. My back is not hurting constantly and my knee has not hurt in months. Why is this bad? I now realize I had these ailments due to weight and weight alone. Yes my doctor had given me this information but honestly I always thought there was something more. It could not be that I and I alone had caused these issues. Um yea, it’s me.

As I end this year and go into the next I’ve decided to do one thing, stop and tie my shoes. I don’t do New Years Resolutions because I’m always evolving not just on January 1. For me today I’ve decided that I’m no longer making excuses, no longer tucking the laces in the sides. I’m simply going to bend down and tie my shoes.

Month 12 Week 2 – It’s Ok To Not Be Perfect

“There is no perfection, only beautiful versions of brokenness” – Shannon L Alder

Have you ever wanted to try something new? Skiing, roller blading, or a kale? What has stopped you from trying those things? If you said broken bones has stopped you from skiing I’m going to agree with you right there. If you said fear well then you should keep reading.

Years ago I decided I wanted to low carb. I knew I needed some support so I actually started an online group called “Queen Newbies.” It was a group of women who all followed a low carb plan and encouraged others. The group was a descent size and I have to admit I found one of my closest friends from that group.

The main reason I started the group was to prevent me from messing up. If I was going to low carb I was going to do it right. I was going to avoid all bread, place complicated fast food orders, and pee on sticks to see if I was in ketosis. I was going to do it right. FYI- I really did all those things.

Full disclosure- I did it right and I lost 60+ pounds. The girls and I did two retreats to St. Louis (this was our midway point) and really bonded over our anti carb stance.

Again you know my story so obviously I didn’t keep doing this. I also stopped running the site and fled back to bread at the first sign of stress. I went strong for two years, but when I moved back to my hometown my whole world changed. A series of events sent me into what I now know as depression and since I couldn’t be perfect at low carbing I decided to just stop.

Fast forward and to now and what I’ve learned is you can cut back carbs without cutting them out. I can avoid toast for breakfast and skip all the biscuits and rolls with dinner. It’s ok to find out what works for me, yet not be crazy. It’s ok to not be perfect at avoiding carbs yet reap the benefits of simply being better.

If you want to do something but your scared because you won’t be perfect, guess what? You won’t be perfect so just do it. You don’t have to tell anyone, and you don’t have to announce it. You can dip your toe in the water and see if this is something you want to do.

Do you want to try a cleanse, try it. Do you want to start fasting, try it. Do you want to attempt yoga, try it. Do you want to start running, try it. Try, try, try, try, try it.

Tip- I am not saying to stop following the slow weight loss plan we have been doing so far. What I am saying it’s it’s ok to try something new without blowing everything up. If you find you like how you feel after a one day cleanse maybe you can do it once a month. If you find fasting works for you, or your church is recommending it I say try it. Again I am not saying jump on the newest bandwagon and throw everything out the window that you’ve done this far. I’m saying look to see if you can incorporate this into what you are already doing. A great tip of what to avoid is simple. If you can’t work it into what your current plan avoid it. Too many restrictions will mean failure in the end.

Moving right along…..So following the plan of only using what you have I want you to try something new that you haven’t done. Does your app have a boot camp? Try it. Do you have a book that talks about fasting and cleanses? Try it. Do you have a cookbook with some fantastic recipes? Try it. Do you have scrapbooking stuff laying around? Try it.

Something that might bring you joy is probably already in your home yet you’ve just been too scared to try.

So for week two you will either continue doing something you’ve already started or ADD something new. DONT stop doing the first thing you’ve started. You don’t get off that easy. You’re also going to keep it to yourself. Don’t even tell me. That way you eliminate that fear of trying.

Remember the first step is always the hardest. After that it’s just one foot in front of the other. Let’s take some baby steps towards change.

Month 12 Week 1 – Use What You’ve Got

“You have everything you need to get to where you want to be” – M. Ross

As I was watching television a weight loss ad came on. I had to admit I haven’t seen one in a long time so I was actually surprised. We switched to a new service so I haven’t seen the Weight Watchers or Nurisystem ads that normally played fifty times a day. The crazy part is I know that over the next month tv, internet, magazines, and social media sites will be flooded with programs or products that will help you lose weight.

I want you to notice that I said they will help you lose weight, because they will. I’ve been on Weight Watchers and it works. Like I’ve said before, programs work, I did not. This journey over the year was to help me realize that I had everything I needed to lose the weight I wanted.

I have to admit that I was doubting my success. As of this blog I’ve lost 21 pounds. I was thinking that I should have done better. My goal was to lose 52 pounds and as usual I was beating myself up, then I saw the ad. There is a new weight loss plan called Calibrate. The program promises you weight loss, coaching, and medication. The program is one year which I loved, because I have kept saying quick weight loss is not going to happen. Everything about this program sounded great until I saw that they had financing. Why does a weight loss program need financing? The program needed financing because it cost $1620. I know you don’t believe me. I will pause while you go search Google for yourself. I will also wait for you to notice that you can finance the weight loss for $135 a month.

If you are thinking “You know what Machon I really want to lose weight and $135 is not a lot of money.” I’m going to tell you that you are 100% correct that is not a lot of money. I now want you to read the fine print. At the end of one year they are promising you a 10% weight loss that you will maintain. Guess what? For zero dollars I am 8 pounds away from reaching that goal.

Just when I thought I hadn’t done well I’m reminded I’m exactly where I need to be. The best part is I’m here for zero dollars. I should smack myself for even thinking about financing weight loss. Now I know thousands, if not millions of people will sign up for this program. I wish all of them well. I want you to know that if you’ve followed my plan this year you’ve probably lost 10% of your body weight and didn’t even know it. Look at us being all successful.

With all the above madness I’m sure you’re asking what the challenge is for this month. The challenge is to use what you have. If you are like me you have at least one app, one weight loss machine, one blender, one scale, or one book. I want you to use that one thing you have for seven days and evaluate how you feel. For once in your life don’t spend money. Don’t buy the next best thing or the next gimmick. Look on your phone and see what you have.

For seven days I’m going to use that Peloton App. I got mad at myself because Calm and Headspace were running 50% off sales and I wanted to purchase the app. I’ve had the free versions on my phone for years. My point is I was going to buy them for meditation. I was going to buy an app to meditate when I already had two apps for meditation. Apple has the Breathe app and Peloton has more meditation classes than I know what to do with. I told myself I wanted the app for the sleep stories. Then I found out Spotify has sleep stories and guess what? I already pay for that.

My point is I’m not going to buy any new stuff for weight loss for 30 days. Hopefully I don’t buy anything past this 30 day mark.

Disclaimer- if you decide you want to use that fancy blender or you need to get special food for the next seven days I’m also going to caution you against that. Buy just 2-3 days worth. Eat it all, then buy more. Yes you have to make extra trips to the store. What I discover when I try to do this is I get all this food and after three days its still in the fridge. You don’t know how many cucumbers or bags of lettuce I’ve wasted with my high hopes. I’m sure if you look really hard you have some healthy foods to throw in that blender.

Let’s lose this 10% and then let’s go on a fancy trip with that $1600 we just saved. For fun I’m going to to try to stash away money I would have spent on fancy stuff. For December I’m going to add the $40 I did not spend on the app. I am also going to hide all the apps I’m not using so I’m not tempted.

Let me know what you are going to try for 30 days?

Let’s Calibrate for free.

Month 11 Week 4 – Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving

“Remember why you started”

Let the eating begin!

Isn’t that what it feels like. Once you hit Halloween it feels like an all out food fest. Starting October 31st it becomes ok to eat all the chocolate and candy you want as long as it’s Halloween themed. After most of your can’t is gone you blink and you are baking pies for Thanksgiving. When you finally get your waist to fit into your pants again it’s time to eat every treat you can as long as (you guessed it) it’s Christmas themed.

This time of year becomes a literal food fest for me. I actually have two bonus holidays that others may not have. I cook more food for the Ohio State vs. Xichigan game than I do for Thanksgiving. Then if I have not eaten enough by birthday comes after Christmas which brings another reason to eat cake. YES I still love cake.

I’m writing all this as I’m telling you I’m ending my no snacking month. In my warped mind I did not snack I just replaced meals with snacks. Not good advice at all, but I’m being honest. For lunch today I had fried apples and vanilla ice cream. I will eat dinner tonight and no snacks after that. Clearly this month has been a struggle for me. For some reason I simply could not stop eating crap unless I removed it from my house. I didn’t buy chips at the grocery store last week because I couldn’t stop eating them. My family is not very happy about this.

So what’s my plan. My plan for this last week is to lose back the weight I’ve gained from Thanksgiving. I don’t think I’m going to lose anything in December so the only goal I have is to not gain weight. This year has been so up and down I’m surprised I’m still at it. Accountability sucks when you don’t want to so something :).

As a recap for those following the my current weight is 269. This does not include the Thanksgiving pounds. My goal is to end next week at 269 pounds. For me that is a total of 21 pounds lost for the year. Not one pound a week but much better than the 20 pound gain I have with other years.

For me this year I’m thankful. I’m thankful that I kept this blog going for a full year. I’m thankful that I did in fact lose some weight. I’m thankful that I’m working diligently on my mental health and I now 100% understand how it impacts everything I do. I am thankful with how I’ve grown over the past year and really focused on improving myself.

I encourage you to reflect on how much you have improved over the year now. Don’t wait until New Years and make resolutions. Don’t wait until December and then purchase crap you don’t need. Hint- next months focus will be using what you have.

We are better than we were 11 months ago. You might not realize it now but hopefully you have been keeping a journal and you can reflect on how you have changed. We may not be where we want to be, but we are much closer than we were before. Keep pushing forward.

Month 10 Week 1 – Walk It Off

“All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking” – Friedrich Nietzsche

This month I was having a hard time deciding what I wanted to do for a challenge. While usually something pops in my head this month I had nothing. What actually happened was I was at work and the day went from 0 to 100 and I needed to breathe. I hopped up from my chair, threw on my walking shoes and headed outside. I had previously tried to walk though issues by hopping on the treadmill but this time I needed to get out of my house I was so heated.

As usual I threw on some AirPods and started moving. Before I knew what happened the stress was starting to go away. I was at ease and thought how great this felt and how I needed to do this more often. In the midst of my excitement guess what? My phone rang. It was my job. I was immediately mad again and thought I had to figure something out. I needed to make this a challenge and figure out how to pull it off. I was going to have a heart attack at this rate.

I decided that I would walk at least 10,000 steps a day. I normally say something like I will walk a mile, or I will walk a 5K and while that has great results I can pull that off in one block of time. I knew if I was going to do 10,000 steps it was going to take some work. Now let me fill you in on something. This challenge for the first time was not about the 10,000 steps. This was about me knowing I would have to get my butt up several times per day and walk. It was about taking myself out of stressful situations and just moving. I was right.

First day I had to do two walks and got 8569 steps. Second day I walked three times and got 9042 steps. I told myself that I would just focus on walking more than the day before if I didn’t reach the 10K. I also made a promise that if I got 10K I would not decide 11K was the new goal. I’m crazy like that. Day 3 – 9823. Day 4 -11251. Day 5 – 7704.

What I liked about this challenge was that I felt good. It was hard, but I felt good afterwards. I started going to the park to walk for different scenery. Instead of being upset I had to take my son to school so early I decided since I was up I might as well walk and get it out of the way. After dinner I would think “its still light outside” and go for a walk. Walking didn’t require me to stress about anything except good socks and shoes. I love my Asics, yes this is a plug.

I want to tell you I’m not some walking pro. My whole body hurts which is still annoying me. I came home one day and whined to my husband how hard walking was. My feet were hurting so bad I didn’t think I could keep walking. He told me to just change my route. That morning I had decided to try some hills that I apparently was not ready for. I’m glad he gave me that piece of advice because I kept walking. I just took a flat path.

So this month I challenge you to walk. Yep just walk. Can you get 10,000 steps a day? Can you get more steps than you did the day before? I think you can. Throw on some shoes and enjoy this fall weather. I’m enjoying this so much I can see myself walking through the winter. Truth is I just can’t do the heat. I am miserable in the summer. Oh and I lost a pound. All that walking had me so tired I kept going to bed early. If I’m sleep I can’t eat. If you haven’t figured it out I will take my wins anyway I can get them.

Here are my last few days of walking. Today is Oct 2 and I have four more walkable hours so I’m killing it. I left a good chunk of info so you can see I really wasn’t moving at all. Yea not even trying. September 20th and 23rd I don’t know what was going on but I didn’t move at all. I wish I could tell you I was sick, but that would be a lie. Clearly a challenge I needed. Show me your numbers?

Gardening #14 Playing In Dirt

“Play in dirt because life is too short to always have clean fingernails” – Unknown

My job has been a little stressful. Hell my life has been a little stressful. This year I decided to not do fall crops and begin prepping the garden for the winter. I have too much going on. This weeks tasks was to simply begin to take out all the old plants and start to prep the soil for winter.

After I got on my gardening gloves and grabbed my fancy garden tools I headed to the garden. When I started on my journey outside I had fifty thousand thoughts in my head regarding how my week has been going and what I needed to do. Even though I was listening to music to try to drown out my thoughts it wasn’t working and I will still running though check lists.

When I got in the garden and began tearing out plants and sifting dirt something odd happened. My mind went blank. I got in this rhythm. Take out the plant, sift the dirt, compost or don’t compost, make a trip to the trash can. It was such an easy flow to get into and I realized then how much I missed it. While dealing with all my stuff I didn’t go into the garden. When you make the decision to let the plants die there is no reason to go out there. No watering, no fertilizing or picking. I just watched the plants die from my office window.

What I was now doing was playing in dirt and letting all my issues fade. My husband jokes and asks me each time I come in the house if I’m done playing in dirt. I usually say yes and keep moving. Today something hit me. I am never upset when I’m in the garden. Even when things don’t go the way I want them to I’m never upset. If I need a break from reality I go to the garden. Being stressed and not gardening was a horrible plan.

I also thought about small children. Have you ever seen small children upset while playing in dirt? It’s impossible. Kids literally get to do something we always tell them not to do, get dirty. I think as adults we place too many negative images on playing in dirt. We think about pulling out weeds, cutting the grass, or trimming bushes. Chores instead of fun. I’ve decided I’m going to play in dirt a little more often and simply let it be what it is, fun.

If I’m pulling weeds, let’s get dirty and pull them. All yard work going forward as well as gardening just needs to be thought of as fun time with dirt. I always get amazed at what pops in my head when I simply just pause and stop making things more complicated than they are.

Month 9 Week 4

“Find time to love yourself, just the way you are” – M. Ross

I have started watching Fantasy Island. I know it’s crazy. I never watched the original but somehow I’ve gotten hooked on the remake. The episode this past week was about a heavyset woman who’s goal was to be thin. There was much more involved with the story but I don’t want to ruin it for anyone who watches the show. Fast forward, she is able to get her fantasy of being thin but with consequences.

What I want to talk about this week is the back story. The woman was successful, wasn’t married, but otherwise had her shit together. She appeared by the words of her friends to really have her life in order. With all of that going for her she wanted to be thin (I promise you I’m leaving parts out). She was not as shallow as I’m making her sound.

Ironically, this made me think about myself. I’m married to a man that loves me, I have two amazing boys who are doing well in school, play sports, and have so many friends I can’t keep up. There is no talk of drugs, crazy girls, cyber bullying, and they appear to love their lives. I have a job I love and work with a team of people who love their job. I am able to travel and enjoy spur of the moment football games and family outings without worrying about what we can afford. My major stresses in life involve being able to get the world enough food. Remember I buy meat. We have money in the bank and my son is on a path to becoming the richest man in the world (his ambition is contagious). Looking at my life from the outside in looks fantastic. Guess what? Looking at my life from the inside it looks fantastic. This is my real life.

There is no show going on. My life is really this fantastic. And then there is that elephant in the room. I am unhappy with my weight. I’m not unhappy enough to get crazy about it, but I’m unhappy enough where I keep talking about it and keep trying to lose weight and change my outward appearance. I’m unhappy enough to build a gym and start a blog. I’m unhappy enough to feel like I’ve failed at this one thing. Why?

I have great skin, great hair, tiny wrists and ankles, great nails, and overall I’m healthy. I get my blood work done every six months and make sure I see my doctor often. Now I do have some issues that I’ve talked to you all about. Back pain, knee pain, and just some overall body aches from carrying this weight. This is why I want to lose the weight, but in the process I don’t want to lose myself. I don’t want to stop loving the person I am and the life I lead.

I believe as people try to lose weight they fear they may lose a little bit of themselves. I know I struggle with this. I struggle with balancing the great life I have and not feeling ungrateful that I want some things to change. I struggle knowing people would kill for what I have yet I’m looking to change myself. That fine line between gratitude and being selfish is one that for me gets thinner and thinner daily.

Who would have thought watching an episode of Fantasy Island would have me questioning so many things about my life. Kudos to the writers.

This is what I want to end the month with. I need to learn to love myself. I need to love the fat or the thin. I need to want to lose weight so I can spend more days with these kids and not to look some type of way. I speak a lot about healthy but I think a heathy mindset is what I need more than anything.

This month I lost four pounds. I lost those four pounds simply by trying to be better than yesterday. It was easy making a “To Don’t ” list since I’m always stressing about what I need to do. As I begin to enter the next phase on this journey I want everyone reading to know that today I realize I have to do this for myself. I have to find my thin line.

My thin line will not be your thin line. You have to find the strength within yourself to do what’s best for you. Ask yourself as you end the month what were you constantly telling yourself to not do? Did you build some better habits? I can’t eat after 7pm. I know it seems silly but for me I was struggling with that daily. My hunger is never ending and most likely all in my mind. Everything is always swirling in my mind.

I so hope this week was a winner for you. I hope this month was eye opening. I hope as always to see you next week. Remember, we’ve got this. One pound at a time.