Brunch:  Mexican Omelet (Fajita filling), home fried potatoes

Snack: Banana

Dinner: Pork Chop, Rice (cooked in chicken broth), peas (Yes I realize that rice isn’t necessesarily paleo, but for now I’m taking baby steps.  Step one, cutting all wheat, gluten, etc.   Rice and potatoes are still on the menu for me right now.)

Today was a good day. I weighed in this morning at 296! Thats down 12 pounds from last Friday.  Of course, this is also keeping in mind that I’m on a different scale (on that one I weighed 305 on later in the day on Friday… so 9 lbs) Either way, that is alot for 3 days.  But I always lose quickly the first week or two when I cut grains from my diet.  Plus I’m back on my meds (including a diuretic which I just restarted)  I won’t worry that I’m losing too fast until after the initial couple of weeks have passed.  Ten I’ll reevaluate.

My doctor’s nurse called today to let me know that I’m still very anemic, and wants me to see an OB/GYN.  For the last couple years my cycles have been extremely heavy, which could be contributing to my anemia.  So Thursday I’ll be back in the stirrups again lol.  (I guess it’s about time. It’s only been a couple of years since my last appointment.)

The work day was productive and I had more mental clarity than I’ve had in a while.  It felt good to be getting things accomplished.

Then evening came around, Usually on Tuesdays we have ‘Music Night’  Some friends come over for dinner and bring their instruments .  But since I’m photographing Wrestling homecoming tonight, we moved it back to Monday night for this week.  A great time was had by all.



Breakfast: Banana

Lunch: Skipped (wasn’t hungry)

Dinner:  Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, cauliflower with cheese sauce, salad.

As you may know, I went to the doctor this week to get a good start on my weight loss journey.  Because it has worked so well for me in the past, both in weight loss and general well being, I have decided to do paleo again.  My ultimate goal is to lose all the weight (about 160 lbs) just by changing my lifestyle and eating habits.  BUT… at this point in my life I am ready to jump through whatever hoops it takes to make sure I succeed this time.

While visiting with my doctor we discussed all of my options.  I have been struggling to lose weight for 20 years, but have only succeeded in gaining a little more each time.  Among the options is weight loss surgery.  We discussed it and I told him Im ready to jump through whatever hoops it takes to lose this weight. One problem with this option is that my insurance, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, is notorious for refusing to approve it.  They can pay millions to lobbyists to ensure that I am required to purchase a product I do not want, but once I’ve purchased it, they get to make decisions about my treatment plan, and deny me much needed medical care.  Sure I can conceivably pay for it myself…. Yeah, right. I’m a single mom, raising two teenagers on minimal income.  I do not consider myself poor by any means, but I definately have my limitations.

Anyway, we discussed what it would take to get it approved. 1.  multiple severe weight related health issues.  2. Proof that you’ve tried  other methods and were unsuccessful.  As I’ve said before, I’ve struggled with losing weight for 20 years, and only a few of those were under a doctors care, but there are a few documented attempts in recent years.  To add to the list, he prescribed phentermine.  I know what you’re thinking.  And a small voice inside me is still screaming “Don’t do it!”  But as I said before, I’m ready to jump through hoops to get where I need to go.  This is a hoop.

In addition to the meds, he is making a referral to a weight loss center to begin the ball rolling.  Not necessarily for surgery,but for success.  If it requires surgery then so be it.  But If I can lose the weight without an invasive procedure that is obviously my first choice.  And while I attempt to do it ‘the right way’, my progress will be documented so that I can build the case for surgery should I not be successful without it.

Now all of that was just to say that I have been taking the med for two days, and I am feeling so much better than I expected.  No jitters, no cravings, no ravenous hunger.   But I HAVE had more energy.  Now mind you, my normal energy level is about as low as it could be.  Today I felt like a NORMAL person.  I cleaned some, cooked some, played a game with my kids, processed some pictures., and visited with some friends.  Normally I’d have done ONE of those things, MAYBE two,  and that would be all I could handle in one day.  So while I hate the idea of taking meds for weight loss, I hate being unable to function even more.  And if this helps me regain my life and have the energy to manage daily life so that I can be successful in losing weight and increasing my natural energy level, I say GREAT!  But we’ll see how I’m feeling as time progresses.

On Your Mark… Get Set… Go!

DSC_0123-2Picture 140


        Taken Today: 1/17/15  (Age 42)                                                      August 1991 (Age 18)

Starting Weight:  308.2 lbs

Starting Measurements:

Neck:17 1/2 inches

Bust: 51″

 Waist 52 1/2″

 Hips 60″

Thigh 30″

Calf: 21″”

Sometimes I’m a bit of a slow starter.  I have an obsessive compulsive need to wait to start things until I’m organized.  And then I procrastinate getting things organized.  It’s a horrible habit, and it routinely undermines me.  It’s also the reason so much of my life has been wasted waiting for the ‘right time’.  Ironically, there never seems to be a ‘right time’.  So here I am leaping in.

Yesterday I went to the doctor and we talked about my health issues, fears, and goals.  I am blessed to have a wonderful doctor who takes the time to sit and listen to me, empathizes with me, laughs with me, and encourages me, never condemns my failures, never treats any question as a stupid one, and doesn’t dismiss every symptom as a weight related one.

But the truth is, nearly all of my health conditions ARE weight related, and even if they aren’t due solely to my weight, they are exacerbated by it.  And they continue to get worse.

At yesterdays appointment, I weighed in at 308.2.  Still down from the 325 lbs I weighed in July, but up from the 299 I weighed in August after a month of paleo eating.  I hadn’t even added exercise yet.  But I was feeling so much better!

11-28-14  Cushing v Liberty Christian 1592Then things went crazy at work, I picked up very time consuming hobby (sports photography) right at the start of the school year and what turned out to be a State Championship Football Season for our Cushing Tigers! (insert cheering here!)

As exciting as it is chasing a dream, I would be so much better at it without this fluffy outer shell!

At 18, I was 150 lbs.  I was fit, energetic, and extremely depressed.  I felt completely unloveable. I didn’t feel I had anything to offer anyone outside of what I had to offer physically.  There were alot of factors that led to those feelings that I have since dealt with and overcome. Now, at age 42, I love myself.  I realize what I have to offer,.  Ironically, many others now only see my weight, and are blind to the rest.  Some days I’m able to easily dismiss it.  Others, it’s not so easy.  Not once in my life have I felt like I wasn’t hiding behind one wall or another.  Now it’s time to emerge, and become the woman I know I was born to be!

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
Maya Angelou

Happy New Year! Another New Beginning Awaits.

Another year has come and gone. It’s been a year of big changes for me.  New career paths are opening up for me, New opportunites, new friends.  But the one thing that hasn’t changed (and needs to more than anything else) is my health.

As a teenager, 5’7″ and 150 lbs, I was slender, athletic, and energetic.  I never dreamed that 25 years later I would be over 300 lbs with health issues that are a direct result of my weight: High blood pressure, severe sleep apnea, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, severe anemia, and borderline diabetic.  I’ve tried time and again to lose it the ‘right’ way.  Exercise, Weight watchers, Atkins, Primal, calorie restriction, diet pills, diet drinks, skipping meals, and the list goes on.  I wish I could say it was the methods that failed me, but it wasn’t. The methods did what they were supposed to do while I stuck with them.   It is my desire to be loved, my need for immediate gratification, and my tendency to procrastinate that tend to undermined me. Simply put, I failed me.

Now, here I am, having just celebrated my 42nd birthday, in worse health than I was at this time last year. But! I do not consider myself a failure.  In order to fail, one must quit trying.  And I have only begun (again) to fight for my life.

This blog will help me on my journey by keeping me accountable, allowing me to share and let go of my frustrations and failures, and to celebrate my triumphs.  It will act as my therapist and my coach.  And a way to connect with some who share the same struggles, those who have made it through to the other side, and those that might find inspiration from my journey at some point in the future. More than anything it is a point of reference to remind me of how far I have come. So the journey begins today.

There are so many things that have to happen to make this journey a success. Diet changes are only one aspect. I also must change my activity levels, my mindset, my traditions… in truth, every aspect of my life is affected.  And I realize that I can’t change everything at once.    I DO, however, have to eat properly, and that takes preparation. As I look forward, my biggest challenges will be jumping out at me immediately in the form of limited time. I am a nurse by day and a sports photographer by night.  Many days, I go straight from my day job to local sporting events. The key to conquering this challenge is advance planning.

Goal for January: This  month I will return to my paleo/lowcarb lifestyle. No more grains,and processed foods.  I will plan meals and cook in advance so that I can eat healthy even when I’m on the run from the time me feet hit the floor, til the time I crawl back into bed.

Rather than trying to find the time to meal plan weekly, I’ve decided to try doing it a month at a time. My favorite source for inspiration and new recipes is Chowstalker.  As I write this, this months meal plan is halfway finished.  Thankfully I already have a wealth of tried and true recipes to start with, and I’ll be sharing them, along with reviews of and links to others recipes that I try. I feel great changes looming in the coming year. Improved health is only one, but I anticipate the most rewarding.  Happy and Healthy New Years to you all!