The Courage to Lose

This blog is a journey into the daily struggles, fears, failures, successes, hopes and dreams of a woman who has had a life-long food addiction and weight problem. Follow along with Micki and be encouraged as she shares her life with a commitment to openness and transparency. Find 'The Courage to Lose' on: Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Mission Almost Impossible

Day 317 & 318  - I'm losing weight again!  (Click HERE to read from the beginning.)

Well, I'm a day behind again.  After my crazy, busy day which ended at midnight (yes... midnight!) I didn't have the energy to sit at the computer.   It was a long day but boy did I pack a lot in!  I wanted the house to be all decorated and 'perfect' when my husband got home from his job in Regina (he's been away 2 weeks).  I had all the outside and inside lights up.  But I still hadn't picked up a tree.  So yesterday I found a beautiful one from a local tree farm, loaded up my Jeep and then I was off to town to do my Christmas food shopping.  Then I drove home, dragged the tree into the house and put all my groceries away.  Then I had to go to Qualicum to pick up some paperwork, then off to the other side of Parksville to go to our 'Biggest Loser' group.  Right after that, I drove back to Qualicum to go to the gym and our weight loss support group.  Did I plan that well?  Not so much.  I may not be so great at travel plans, but I am very happy to say that I lost 4.6 pounds this week!!  I was hoping for 3 so I was ecstatic!  I am back on track!  And funny enough, I have so many yummy things to eat in the house in preparation for Christmas.  But I am not tempted so far.  I think it probably helps that I am so frugal and don't want to have to buy all that food over again!  Anyhow, I am feeling very happy that I am finally on my way down again.  And it felt good to move that marker down the wall again at the gym.  Moving it up the wall was not easy for me because it brought home the reality of my weight gain, and it's there for everyone to see.  So this time, I couldn't help but smile when I was able to move it in the right direction.

So why was I up to midnight, you might ask?  Well, I discovered that putting up a tree is, most assuredly, a two-person job.  Do you think I could get that confounded tree to stand up straight?!  Next year I need to invest in a better tree stand that accommodates skinny tree trunks.  So there I am, in the middle of the night, flashlight in hand, searching the yard for something to help hold the tree up.  I found a block of cement, but it was too thick. Finally, I tried three blocks of wood which I slipped in beside the trunk and hammered in.  It still wasn't perfect but I just pushed the tree against the wall and that did it.  I'm not really sure if the wood even helped but there you have it.  So when it was all said and done (with sweat dripping off my brow), I mustered up what little energy I had and decorated the tree.  And, of course, I tried making two sets of lights work with no luck.  Why the heck had I kept them?  So after a half hour of wasted effort, I threw those suckers out.  Fortunately I had bought a large set from the Sally Ann the other day.  What I didn't know was that they play Christmas carols!  Aren't those ever so annoying?  Luckily there is a silent setting.  Whew.
(Now, I just have to see how my cats are going to be with so many things to play with.  Hopefully, my tree stays up!) 

Anyhow, I guess I got in two workouts last night, after all that.  But I went to bed a happy, content, exhausted woman.  I had accomplished my mission. The house looks wonderful and I am excited that my dear, wonderful man will be home soon to see it.  I love Christmas.  And I also love that I'm down 4.6 pounds.  A great day, all in all.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Reflecting On What Is Important

Day 315 & 316  -  Christmas - a time for connection.  (Click HERE to read from the beginning.)

There are far more interesting things to write about than what I did and didn't eat or whether I worked out or not.  But it is important for me to write about such things as it helps me stay on track.  And it may help someone else, too.  So I will begin by mentioning that I am still eating really well and staying on track (much to my surprise seeing as I have started buying our Christmas goodies for when our families come to visit.)  But I am not craving any of that stuff and, my hope is that even when Christmas comes, I won't overindulge.  Today I will be back at the gym and tomorrow evening, I will see how well I did when I weigh in at the 'Biggest Loser' meeting.  Wish me luck!  As for my 'experiment' with eating only half of my dinner and then finishing it later when I get hungry, well it didn't quite work out that way, but very close.  I simply had a smaller dinner and then my usual apple with peanut butter later on.  It was enough for me.  I did start getting hungry earlier but I got up and started wrapping presents instead and that helped immensely.  Maybe, eventually, I will be able to get through the evening without eating anything.   

I still need to become more active, however.  I don't know about anyone else, but I sure find it difficult when it's cold outside - I just want to hunker down where it's nice and warm.  I have severe 'wimp disease'.  But with Christmas coming, I am definitely moving around more than usual, getting the house all tickety-boo for the big day. I have all my shopping done and several of the presents wrapped. 

With all the things to do to get ready, I have been  making more time for visiting people this year.  So often, I get so focused in the preparations that I tend to forget what Christmas is really about - celebrating the birth of Jesus and making time for others.  So, as hard as it is for me to pull away from my tasks, I have been enjoying those precious moments spent with dear friends.  I was reminded of the more important things when I was at church yesterday.  An all-male choir came to sing for us.  They sang some of the more traditional carols as well as a beautiful Christmas song that a local man had written before he passed away.  I started to tear up and tried desperately to hold back the tears.  Why do I do that?  Just pride, I suppose.  Anyhow, I didn't pull it off because, the next thing I know, a lady passed me some kleenex.  Rats!  So much for trying to be discreet.  Anyhow, the choir director led the service and read stories, poems and scripture in between the songs, that depicted the true meaning of Christmas.  It put me right into the spirit of the season and reminded me of the importance of slowing down to connect with others.  Afterall, Jesus came to earth to connect with us.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

If It Doesn't Work, Try Something New

Day 314 - Books, Snacks and Life Lessons  (Click HERE to read from the beginning.)

So I am happy to say that my eating has improved about 90% I'd say.  More veggies, very little sugar or fat and way less carbs.  And I am back to drinking lots of water again.  I am so relieved that I am back on track!  My only downfall is in the evening - I get so terribly hungry.  My evening snacks consist of carrots and hummus or an apple and natural peanut butter (with all the oil drained out of it.)  And a few nuts.  So not too bad, right?  But eating at night is still not a great idea.  So what to do, I ask myself?  I think I might have a solution.  I thought that I would try eating my dinner in stages.  Afterall, I usually tend to shovel more into my face than I need to because I don't eat slow enough for my stomach to tell me I'm full.  So I will stop halfway through and, when I start to feel hungry again, I will finish the rest.   I'm going to give it a try and see what happens.  I'll let you know.  I would still be eating in the evening but at least I wouldn't be eating any extra calories...

Today I had to go to work and the gym is not open after noon.  But for some reason, I always forget they are open at an ungodly hour in the mornings.  So what I could have done was go to the gym before work.  So the next time, I will do just that.  Funny how I have such a selective memory.

Well, that's about all I can write as I am pooped right out tonight.  I had a good day working in the Sally Ann bookstore and enjoyed meeting some very interesting people.  And I am very thankful to work in such a cozy atmosphere, surrounded by all those wonderful books.  The only trouble is, I always end up buying a few - who can resist?

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”  Charles William Eliot

Friday, December 6, 2013

Finally Back At It

Day 284 - 313 - Giving in to fear is non-productive.   (Click HERE to read from the beginning.)

It's been a long time - I know.  I imagine that after seeing my last blog post, you will know that I have been having a hard time with my weight loss endeavours.  Frankly, I haven't been winning - the weight has.  But a friend told me about a 'Biggest Loser' competition and support group on Facebook.  I decided that it might be just the motivation I need to get back on track.  So I joined up.  We had our first meeting on Tuesday at 5:00 and it was pretty scary for me weighing in because I hadn't faced the scales in a very long time.  I wasn't too shocked as I had suspected I may have gained another ten pounds, which I had.  Sigh......  So disheartening, especially after all my hard work.  But at least I am finally back at it and not doing it alone.  Immediately after the meeting, I drove straight to the gym for a long-awaited workout.  Everyone was glad to see me and I even received some hugs.  I don't know what took me so long to go back - partly shame, I suppose.  Anyhow, I should have gone a lot sooner because no one judged me or made me feel bad for being away. Silly Micki.

I have found it much easier, since the meeting, to get back on track.  I am eating the way I know I need to, to lose weight - no bread, potatoes or rice, mostly veggies and some lean meat or fish, fruit, very little fat or sugar.  I can eat the carbs a little later on, but only in small portions.  And I was back in the gym again yesterday.  Boy was I sore after that first day!  But I am already feeling better.  I even mustered up the courage to move my weight marker on the wall back another ten pounds.  That was hard for me  - I was tempted just to leave it where it was.  Who would know, afterall?  But I felt it was important for me to own up to the truth.  My problems happen when I avoid the truth.  Ignorance is not always bliss.

So today, I am choosing to remain positive and not allow myself to get discouraged.  Afterall, at least I have not gained all of my weight back.  Maybe I will even learn something from this setback.  One thing I know I have learned is not to avoid what I am afraid of - it only prolongs the inevitable and makes things worse.  Sometimes "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Day 280 to 283  Needing motivation.  (Click HERE to read from the beginning.)

Well it is, once again, honesty time for this old gal.  Yikes.  It would seem that I have almost completely given up on my weight loss journey.  I find it very difficult to get back into the swing of things.  Being really busy with my sites has not helped as so much of what I do is online, which means I am on my derriere for a major part of the time.  I am not complaining - I am excited that my businesses are so busy.  It has been fun and very rewarding.   However, the physical part of my life has gone down the crapper.  Is that honest enough for you? 

What I am hoping is that when my hubby goes out for a town for work soon, for about a week or so, that will help me get focused again and motivated.  Something has got to kick in.  If I don't have to cook any meals, I could just live on salads and some protein - just to kick start my weight loss again.  If I don't pull up my socks, this weight loss blog is going to end up being a 'weight gain blog'!  And that will never do!

The good news is that I am enjoying my life as never before... I love that I am actually making some money as an artist and a musician because, you know what they say about starving artists.  It's true!  So this has been exciting for me to see some income coming in.  That said, I am still not at the point where I could 'quit my day job'.  But at least, now, I feel like I am contributing to the household finances a little more.  And it's a good feeling.  There is probably no better feeling than doing what you love to do, while making money at the same time.  So that part of my life is great.  Now, for the rest of the story... sigh.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Big Halloween Boo Boo

Day 278 and 279 - The trap of addiction.  (Click HERE to read from the beginning.)

So I made the mistake of buying little chocolate bars for the kids for Halloween.  What was I thinking?  I thought that if I bought ones that have wheat in them, I would not be tempted to eat them, in case I would get terrible cramps.  I was wrong.  I had a huge lapse in judgment - forgetting how addicted I am to chocolate.  And, to make matters worse, hardly any children came to the door, as usual.  Why did I think it would be any different?  Sigh.  Originally I was being smart - I had only bought red licorice because I don't like it.  But I always love to make up goody bags for all the little kids and just handing out licorice seemed boring to me.  I also bought those popcorn twist things, which I also love.  So, needless to say, I have been eating junk for three days straight.  Brother!  I did one thing right - I donated all the leftover goody bags to the SPCA flea market to sell.  I should have brought all the extras, too! I can't believe that I took a chance having pain by eating those little bars!  I am humbly reminded of the power of addiction and that I am not immune.  Lesson learned, I hope.  I have felt so tired and yucky after eating all that crap.  Back to a crapless eating regime, now that it's finally all gone!

Yesterday was a big surprise.  I showed up to work at the Sally Ann and it was closed - after all the rain, the roof had leaked like crazy and there was water everywhere!  What a mess.  At one part, it looked like the roof had actually caved in!  I asked if there was anything I could do but the restoration crew had it under control.  It was ironic, actually, because I had driven by a craft sale sign and thought to myself, "I wish I didn't have to miss those all the time because of work."  So you can guess what I did - I used the opportunity to do some Christmas shopping and enjoy some much needed 'me time'.   Along my journeys, I stumbled upon an amazing artisan here in little Errington.   Her business name it  'Keeping Afloat'.  I bought a few gorgeous little ornaments from her.  Her work is exquisite and so unique.  I am always so amazed at how many resources we have out here for such an out-of-the-way backwoods kind of place! Besides this artisan, we have the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre, Tiger Lily Farm, Glass Wing Recording Studio, Silver Meadows Organic Farm, Englishman River Falls, Errington Farmer's Market, Errington Coffee House and, of course yours truly - Tickleberry Telegrams, A2Sea Creations and The Singing Photographer.   We really have a lot going on out here.  

It is time for me to start losing weight again.  Will I ever get back to it?  I sure hope so.  I know I will.  No one can do it for me.  It is up to me.  Time to move forward, learn from my mistakes and get down to business.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloweeeeeeeeeeeeeeennnnnnnnnnnn!

Day 277 - Making progress  (Click HERE to read from the beginning.)

Well, I have decided to start writing my blog in the morning because I just seem to run out of energy in the evening these days.  Could it be old age setting in?  Hmmmm.....  I hope it's just that my life is fuller these days and I am getting more exercise.  Maybe it's a little of both.  Regardless, my blog posts are not going to be very interesting if I have to lift my head off the keyboard to type.

Yesterday was recording day at the studio for the wedding song I wrote for a customer in Australia.  It really went well and the recording engineer said that both my voice and the song was really good.  (He probably says that to everyone.  Ha ha!)  Anyhow, I tried to relax and just enjoy the process instead of getting all uptight when plunked in front of his massive, ten thousand dollar mic that loomed in front of me.  Fortunately I was well prepared, so it all went fairly quickly and painlessly.  When I first saw the man, I immediately thought of ZZ Top, with his long hair and massive beard.  He was very personable and he managed to put me at ease right away.  I remember thinking to myself that he must have so many interesting stories and experiences to share, as he has recorded some well known names, and has been at it for many years.  As I walked into his studio, I was blown away by the massive display of electronics - more than I had ever seen in my lifetime and pretty impressive for a small, rural community in the woods.  And I was also quite awestruck by his collection of acoustic and electric guitars adorning the walls.  I set up my rather archaic, funny little keyboard, which he didn't even laugh at, bless his heart.  And he managed to even make it sound decent.  All in all it was a great experience.  So now comes the tweaking, which is a team collaborative effort.

I am happy to say that my 'life coach' was very excited and impressed by how I followed through with my commitments and goals I had set with him last week.  He is taking the life coach class in university and I am his 'project', so to speak.  In return, I will be helping him set up a facebook page and perhaps some other computer-related work.  So it's a win-win situation.  He encouraged me to write a paragraph on why I want to make some changes in my life, which I did, and then record it so I can listen to it from time to time, like when I go for a walk, for instance.  I included some bible verses for inspiration, as well as some great quotes.  Here are a couple of them...

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11

 "Today was the day she made herself the promise to live more from intention and less from habit."  Amy Rubin Flett

I also added some music to the background of my speech;  an instrumental piece I had written several years ago.  Now, I just need to remember to listen to it so it gets into my psyche, so to speak.  It's so easy to set goals but it is also easy to forget them.  So this should be a helpful exercise for me.

Tonight, we are going to have our Halloween campfire and hopefully, a few people will show up and join us.  So, if you know us and you're in the neighbourhood, stop by and have a hot dog, roast a few marshmallows, and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa or coffee with us!  And Happy Halloweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeennnnnn!!!!!!!!