About Me

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Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Six years ago I decided (age) 42 would be my magic number. I stepped on the scale for the first time in a LONG time. It was a BIG number, it was a SCARY number, but mostly I knew I had to own that number. I lost 40 pounds, leaving the obese category behind. In 2014 I committed myself to working out HARD and a low sugar diet, losing more weight and gaining nice definition. Then life happened, and I lost momentum, gaining some weight back. My goals now are different, and include completing my first ever marathon at age 48. GULP! You can read about the next part of my journey here.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Final Hot 100

I have neglected posting lately, but like everyone, I have had a very busy, yet fun filled, holiday.
So I will make time for a quickie post.

Hot 100 Goals:
1. Reach 40 lbs lost by Dec 31. Did not quite make this goal. I reached 36.5 lbs lost, and broke into the 170's though, and I am satisified with that. For now!
2. Lose body fat. This is where I feel I slacked off the most. Of course I did lose body fat, but my efforts on working out in December were abyssmal.
3. Eat clean. I have totally changed the way I eat. Yes, I have improvements to make, but compared to 6 months ago, I have moved 100% in a better direction.

2010 was a great year for me in many ways, and I fully expect 2011 to be even better.

Happy New Year to all my blog friends!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

170's, here I am

Today I woke up to 179 on the scale. I am very excited by that. After I had my first son, I was appalled to weigh in at 175 (this was the year 2000). I lost a little weight but then gained it back, plus more.

Now the only way is down! And because of working out, I think I look better on the way down, than I did on the way up, at the same weight. Either way it is a good way to end 2010. 36.5 pounds lost.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New Low, and mini goal

I woke up to a new low today -- 180 lbs. It is just by .5 lbs, but at this time of year, I will take it.
Thursday is my birthday. I am pushing to get below 180 by that day. That would be pretty sweet -- on my 43rd birthday to be in the 170's for the first time since the year 2000.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Holding Steady

I am not setting the world on fire with weight loss, but I am holding steady at 35 pounds lost. Christmas shopping has put a more serious hurt on my broken toe. That plus holiday stressful schedule has led me to put exercise on hold for the most part.
I have had several good eating days though, I will be ready to refocus on losing in a couple of weeks.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

On the Road Again

Driving to Hazleton today to get my mom for the holidays. I have to pack my cooler. While I am willing to indulge over the holidays, I don't want to waste calories on rest stop junk.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Real Life, and Hot 100

I believe I could have reached a new low today, but instead last night I celebrated with co workers at a dinner at a hibachi restaurant. I had spicy tuna rolls, hibachi shrimp with some of the rice, miso soup and the salad with ginger dressing.
And 3 -- count them, 3! -- Manhattans.

We had so much fun, a lot of laughs, and yes, although celebrating is not all about food, it is a normal part of the human experience to celebrate with food. That is Real Life. I would count a once yearly dinner with friends as a true celebration. If you find yourself celebrating finishing grocery shopping with food, celebrating Friday with food, then you have lost the meaning of celebration, and in all honestly, as a society I feel that we are losing our grip on that concept.

Driving home (this was quite a while after the Manhattans!), I thought about how I was not going to reach my goal of 40 lbs lost by Dec 31, and I honestly felt very satisfied. Will not reaching that goal disrupt my long term weight loss? No way! The only real impact is that I cannot get on my high horse on my blog about losing a pound or two. I am now 20 lbs overweight (technically) and I know I will get into the healthy range sometime in the spring. How much further I go than that is up to me.

So here is my update:
1. Lose 40 lbs by Dec 31. It is looking like 35, although I cannot rule out a bit more.
2. Lose body fat. This is an area where I want to still make the most of 2010, and get more exercise in. December is terribly busy where I work, so I am feeling the time crunch.
3. Eat clean. I did a good job with this this week, albeit with a little more alcohol thrown in than is usual.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

On the Menu

I usually do not post what I eat, but yesterday was so bad, I will post just for laughs.
I met my calorie goal, but what a way to do it.

Meal 1 : oatmeal, fruit, wheat germ, nuts, mini babybel (good start!)
Meal 2 : cottage cheese, nuts, sunflower seeds (still good)
Meal 3: nuts and green beans (not a meal)
Meal 4 : 2 pints beer (wtf?!?)
Meal 5 : protein bar

I went out with a friend, and by the time we got to the bar the kitchen was closed.

I think there is room for improvement today :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A dancer, I ain't

At karate today, I stepped on my own foot, and severely injured my 4th toe! I don't think it is broken, but it is bruised and black and blue, and hurts like hell. It turns out that 4th toe does come in handy for walking! If I had gotten injured sparring, it would have been a badge of honor. Stepping on yourself? Not so much.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The kindness of strangers ....

I have found a fantastic community of supporters out in blogland. Now I have invited my facebook friends to view my blog, if they so wish. Conversely, if you would like to friend my on facebook, you can find me at http://www.facebook.com/birchgirl.

Obsessive compulsive? A little.

Ok, after coffee, and a lovely bathroom moment, I am 180.5.
35 pounds lost, and I call it official!

Hot 100 Update

I am not quite where I wanted to be ...
I was hoping for 35 lbs lost, but I am at 34.5. I know, I know! Just 1/2 a pound. I will probably be at 180.5 tomorrow, for 35 lbs.

1. Lose 40 lbs by Dec 31st. This now seems a little more unlikely, but I should be very close, and I will be in the 170's for sure, where I have not been since the year 2000.
2. Eat clean. I had a good week with eating. I could tell by the fact that I was sick of food last night. Calorie-wise, I did great.
3. Lose body fat. I worked out with the trainer on Wednesday, and had a good session. I have been slacking on exercising on my own, but I am packing my bag right now so I can easily head to the gym right after work.

I will finish up 2010 as strong as I can!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Spotlight on me?!?

While I was working out with my trainer tonight, he told me they would like to establish a bulletin board at the gym, and have "spotlights" on different members. And they would like the first one to be me! Am I a show off? Do I like making a spectacle of myself? Hell yeah!
A super cool NSV!

New low, low stress holiday, the final stretch

I woke up to 181.5 today, which is a new low for me. 1 more pound will get me to 35 lbs lost. Yes, I like the 5 lb increments!

Every year, I simplify the holidays. I have given up a lot of stuff I used to do, including sending Christmas cards. The number of gifts I buy is minimal, as I no longer exchange with friends, or extended family. I still enjoy decorating, and cookie baking. No, I won't eat the cookies, I will bring them to work. The praise for my homemade cookies builds my ego. They are pretty! Also, we have a holiday party in between Christmas and New Year's.

I plan to make the most of the last 3 weeks of 2010 to get as close to 40 lbs lost as possible.

While I know it is important to not medicate stress with food, I also know it is essential to determine what is important to you to reduce stress. I need more "downtime" than most people. I have always been happy just hanging out, reading, thinking. I am a true introvert. With 2 kids and a high stress job, I get very little downtime. But I need to carve out as much as possible for myself. I need it. It is pointless for me to say to myself, "suck it up". If I don't get what I need I cannot achieve my goals, weight loss or other. Sure, there are some things you cannot change, but more things that you can.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Failure to Plan

Is planning to fail, as they say.
I have been diligent about tracking my food through myfitnesspal, but not so diligent about planning ahead for the day, and therefore going over the calorie limit I need to hit to lose weight at my goal rate. I will still probably lose weight, even with what I am eating, but too slow for my tastes.

This problem is easy enough to address, and I will, and I am!

I took the day off to spend some time by myself ... I don't get much of that, and boy oh boy. I love it!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


I have been lax with adding pictures.
Someone tagged me in a photo on facebook, and I thought A-HA. Perfect "before" picture, as I look ginormous. More to come.


Regrouping is what I am doing.
I am not starting fresh, because I don't believe in that. Sure every day is a new day, but there are no clean slates, in my experience.
I have been holding steady at 182 for the past week, but losing mojo. I don't want to fizzle out in this last month of 2010. I have lost 33 lbs in 5 months, and am fairly pleased with that, but will not be satisfied to just be in a hold pattern until 2011. If I do not reach my goal of 40 lbs lost by Dec 31, I can live with it, but I KNOW I can at least get to the 170's.

My malaise has really nothing to do with the holidays (except maybe that the holidays bum me out a little lately). I think it is just boredom, winter weather, and so on.

Last night, I went to the gym and worked out on the treadmill, in a pretty intense session. That was a good move, because it energized me. And although I went over calories for the day, I ate a lot of raw veggies last night, with very low cal eggplant dip, and that refreshed me, because I have been lacking in the veggie department lately. My brother in law is visiting and we had a lot of laughs with him, and that was fun.

Today I woke up and had a whey protein shake. I am committing myself to make progress in December. Commitment is a process.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Fighting Vainly the Old Ennui

Feeling kind of down today. I won't go into the reasons why, they really are not earth shattering. Just life I guess.
I need to fight inertia and get to the gym tonight, as that is one of the few things that tends to lift my spirits.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hot 100

Well my low this week was 182, just .5 lb less than last week.

I am a little disappointed, but no choice except to keep plugging away.

1. Lose 40 lbs by Dec 31. Still possible.
2. Lose body fat. Trainer will measure me next Wednesday.
3. Eat clean. Have done way better with this the past few days. Still need to incorporate more veggies.

Happy Friday everyone! So ready for the weekend this go round.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Slippy Slide

Several times in my weight loss journey over the past 6 months, I have reached a point where I feel like I could backslide, in a big way, at any time. This is one of those moments.

I ate pretty generously on Thanksgiving, which I planned for. I did not eat leftovers, however, I got sloppy for several days. Going over on calorie counts, and not balancing my meals and foods properly. Really, I have not had an ideal day since last week.

Time to dig deep, as they say. I have gotten past these moments before.