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

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Can You Lose Weight Laughing?

(If you like, click HERE to read from the beginning.)

Last night I joined some friends, from work, at our local Legion for music trivia.  I discovered that I am dreadful at it, which I had strongly suspected I would be.  (I am great at remembering tunes, but not who sang them and when.)  However, I really had a ton of fun and ended up laughing until I was sore.  And, regardless of my pitiful lack of assistance, our team managed to win first prize!  I think I was more effective at entertaining my friends than being of any real help.  But it seemed as though everyone had fun, which was what really mattered anyhow.  Next Friday night I am planning to join my crazy friends for a night of karaoke, which I haven't done in such a long time and am looking forward to.  How it will go is anyone's guess... could be scary...

So back to my weight loss battle and health regime... I can't say that dinner was the best choice for me - being that it was a big, juicy hamburger with all the trimmings and french fries. The food at the Legion is delicious!  But if I can limit those kinds of meals to one day a week, then I will not feel deprived and will have something to look forward to... the trick is limiting myself to one day.  Can I do it?  I hope so.

As for the morning, I almost bowed out of my gym session again.  I was feeling apprehensive at how long and busy my day was going to be - the gym first, work next, then off to the Legion.  And what was I going to do between the gym and work?  Interestingly enough, I felt compelled to reread my own words in my blog post from the previous day.  I am not sure why.  When I read the part that said, "Something is always going to come up or get in the way....  if I do not make this a priority, it is never going to work."  I knew I had to go.  So instead of cancelling, I decided to ask my gym buddy if we could go a little later and she was okay with that.  So that was a prime example of how keeping up with my blog is so important - not to mention taking my own advice.  So not only am I learning about prioritizing but also, finding ways to follow through with my goals when things get difficult, instead of just saying, "Forget it."  Life will always throw us curve balls so it is a constant balancing act of shifting and re-shifting priorities to find ways to succeed.

I am so glad I went to the gym yesterday.  There is a piece of equipment that I tried out on my second day at the gym, after watching my friend do it.  I thought I would see if I could do it, too.  As I hung there in mid-air, I began laughing because I could not move my legs.  Not one iota.  (I find I do a lot of laughing at the gym.  As I get stronger, it will become less hilarious.)

So anyhow, yesterday morning I thought I would give it another go.  Why not?  Afterall, laughter is also good for you.  But I did not end up laughing.  In fact, I watched my legs go up not once, but six times!  My friend's jaw dropped, as did mine.  We could not believe how quickly I had progressed in only two weeks. What a great feeling!  I am very encouraged.  If I had not gone that day, I would  not have experienced the exhilaration of that proud moment.

Here is a photo of the kind of equipment I was on  (unfortunately, this is not me... one day though!)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Shift in Priorities

Wow... how time flies these days!  I had intended to blog every day, but clearly that isn't happening.  It certainly takes quite a high level of commitment to do so, especially with my busy lifestyle and being that it's summertime.  (I know... excuses excuses.)  But I would like to try harder because it helps me to stay on track.

I haven't lost any weight, but I didn't really expect to.  I am being committed to my gym sessions, yes, but now I need to get my eating back under control.  Evenings are my worst time for overeating.  I become quite ravenous and, instead of eating fruit and veggies, I tend to grab things like granola bars with cheese, nuts and sometimes toast with cinnamon sugar.  Yikes!  So it's time to make a change.  I asked my gym buddy if she would be willing to weigh me once a week, as I know the accountability is so important to my success.

Today I almost reneged on my gym session - I have been so busy that my house is starting to show neglect and I hate that.  Plus, I was asked to lead a campfire sing-along on July 1st which I still need to get ready for.  So I called my friend to cancel today but she didn't answer.  So, not wanting to let her down, I decided to get dressed and go, afterall.  She called me back just before I left so I told her that I had planned not to go, but had changed my mind.  I told her the reason for my about-turn...

 "Something is always going to come up or get in the way.  If I do not make this a priority, it is never going to work."
  She said, "Good for you Micki!  I am so proud of you!"

As it turned out, I enjoyed myself at the gym today (I still can't figure out why, as this is not normal for me) and let's face it.... if I had been home, I probably would have wasted time on the computer anyway.  I felt really encouraged that I was able to do one exercise, that my friend was doing, which looked very difficult.  Ok sure, I could only do six reps, but I did it!  My friend was visibly surprised, as was I.   She is a wonderful encouragement to me... when I was done, she clapped and cheered.  That is the kind of support I need.

I feel like there is a shift in me... that there is hope and that I can do this.  It feels good to believe in myself again.  And it makes such a difference having someone in my corner, as we work together, laugh with each other and support one another in making our goals attainable. 

By the way, I did get caught up on my house today - the inside at least.  Mind you, when I came home today, I crashed.  But after my nap I went crazy and got it all done.  Yay!

Saturday, June 21, 2014


(If you like, click HERE to read from the beginning.)

I never thought I would EVER say these words, but I am actually enjoying my times at the gym.  I just can't believe it.  In fact, I used to work out for only a half hour each session. Now I am there for a full hour and a half and the time just seems to fly by!  So what is making the difference, you may ask?  I always go with a friend now, and we are both finding that chatting (and laughing) as we work out  makes it so much more enjoyable.  And we are working out on weight machines, which I am discovering I don't mind using, much to my surprise.  We do all of our cardio on the treadmill afterwards. 

It's funny how life turns out sometimes.  My friend and I are quite different and I am not so sure I would have expected the two of us to become friends.  But I believe that God had this planned all along - knowing the kind of person I needed in my life to help me realize my goals and help me get back on track.  In fact, I believe we are good for each other.

When I had become derailed on this journey of mine to become healthier, I suppose I had kind of lost hope in myself.  It's been a tough year for me in some ways, in that I had lost some very important people in my life.  There has been a lot of change and it seemed to come at me all at once.  But hope is a funny thing... just when you think it's all gone, something unexpected comes along that helps you remember that you're not alone and that there is still a spark left in you that, with the right nurturing, can be fanned into a flame once again.

In my sunroom, I have a few cacti growing.  Cacti are one of the few things I can actually grow, as they seem to thrive on neglect.  However, one of them died. (When you can kill a cactus, you know you don't have a green thumb!) But being the incurable optimist that I am, I did not throw it away.  I watered it occasionally and left it on the shelf with not a smidgen of life visible.  And then one day, there it was... a tiny leaf popping its head up out of the dirt.  It proved to be a reminder to me that there is always hope.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Starting Again

(If you like, click HERE to read from the beginning.)

Well...  here it is - over six months later and I have decided to get back in the game.  I imagine that most people probably thought I had permanently packed it in. Well, so did I.  But I can't afford to keep on the way I'm going... my knees ache, as does my back, my hips, my ankles; every part of my body that screams at me to care enough to do something about it.  So I have decided to swallow my pride, quit the lame excuses and get back to the gym.  I have been going for two weeks now. 

This time I have a buddy to go with and she, unlike myself, is very dedicated to everything she starts.  In fact, she has been walking six kilometres every morning for six years.  SIX YEARS!  EVERY MORNING!  I cannot comprehend that kind of commitment.  And she, unlike me, is slim, trim and as strong as an ox, hence, a great inspiration to me.  And she told me, in no uncertain terms, that the only reason she has continued her membership is because I am coming with her -  not feeling comfortable in going alone. So I know I will let her down if I let myself down.  This is excellent motivation for me.

So, the bad news is, I gained a lot of weight back from the thirty I had lost.  But the good news is, I didn't gain it all back, as I was sure I had.  I originally began my journey at 239.  This time, I am starting at 228. But, regardless, my body cannot continue to carry this much weight.  And even though I had convinced myself I would never write in this blog again, here I am.  As long as I have breath, there is hope.  So please wish me luck as I embark on this journey of blood, sweat and tears, yet again.  (Well sweat, at least.)

This morning was a good test for me... after doing two hours of yard work yesterday, my body ached more than usual.  Then, for added fun, I had stomach cramps from something I ate yesterday.  So I was very tempted to bail on the gym session.  But then I got to thinking, 'If I can make it with all this going on, I can make it through anything.'  So I went.  And I felt proud of myself.  Like I said, there is hope.

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