I'm Fighting Fat is about my journey weight loss! Come join me!

I'm fat. And I've been fat for far too long. It's time to start making changes, and this blog is to document those changes, along with a few tears, and even some laughs along the way.

This blog isn't about is going on a fad diet - in fact no 'diet' foods or pills are going to be used during this entire process! Any use of the word 'diet' in this blog will simply refer to foods being eaten, not any special plan or 'can or can't have' food lists.

I'll be eating a variety of foods, as unprocessed as possible. The plan is not to cut out or severely cut down, but to help my body (and mind) realize when I truly am hungry, and not depend on the clock to tell me when mealtimes are. Moderation will be the rule in both eating and exercising.

Join me on my journey, my trials, my failures and successes to discover a thinner me and possibly inspire you to lose weight too, without all the diet hype!

Monday, July 26, 2021

Week Forty-Four: No Strings Attached Weigh-in

It's weigh-in week!

It's time to tell you about that little surprise I bought myself- I got a bonified tape measure!

Image by Mahesh Patel from Pixabay 

Now I know that doesn't seem that exciting, but when you've measured yourself with a string and a ruler, this thing is fantastic. It's soft like a tailors' tape, but it retracts like a toolbox tape measure! It took me half the time to measure myself as it usually does, and I don't have to worry about how accurate the measurements are because my string is a bit more stretchy- especially since it's forty-four weeks old!

I switched to smaller bowls and ate less this past week, and I feel so much better (and thinner) than in previous weeks. I'm also starting to see that salt is affecting me more. Though my blood pressure is still low/normal, I tend to bloat more when I have really salty foods. My feet make excellent bloat detectors. When they're fluffy, so is the rest of me.

Let's take a look at those numbers!

Original numbers:        4 weeks ago:            Now:              Difference:

Weight 363 lbs.                328                      326                      -2

Biceps- 23"                    19-3/4"                   20"                   +1/4"

Chest- 61-1/2"               58-3/4"                   60"                   +1-1/4"

Waist- 58"                      57-1/2                55-1/4"               -2-1/4"

Hips- 69-1/2"                 62-1/2"                 62-3/4"                +1/4"

Thigh- 32"                     30-1/4"                 30-1/2"                +1/4"

Neck- 18"                      17-1/2"                 17-1/2"                 same

That's interesting. I gained in almost every category but had one slight loss in weight. But look at the loss in my waist! 

The one thing I wanted to do but didn't was to reread my FFR book. Although I got a few walks in this week, walking further each time, which does a body good. 

It just shows that many minor accomplishments can significantly impact you more than those huge ones that don't happen as often. Yes, it was only two pounds, but it's still a step in the right direction!

This weeks' goals are simple. Reread the FFR book. No seconds. Smaller plates and bowls. Less salty foods. Walk more. Move around the house more. 

I'm one pound away from breaking my next plateau!

Monday, July 19, 2021

Week Forty-Three: Making Adjustments

It's time.

Next week is my weigh-in, but I feel I need to make some additional changes. Not drastic ones, mind you, but changes in my food choices and quantities.

Image by John Hain from Pixabay 

It's hard being home. You want to eat when others do. You want to eat earlier because someone else ate breakfast at the crack of dark, and you can still smell the wonderfulness three hours later. 

Staying upstairs still works, but I can't hide up here until my eating window opens in the afternoon. I have things to do!

I need to get tougher on myself. 

I need to reread the FFR book.

I need to find better ways to distract myself from eating too soon.

To identify the problem areas, let's go over my windows.

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are my down days. One meal a day. I was trying not to eat until at least 3:30, but I found that really difficult since staying home, so I moved it to 2:00 instead.

The downside to this is I eat by myself, and it's usually a pretty big meal. I'm still a little paranoid about not getting enough nutrition, even though I know I get plenty. I didn't get this big and still remain healthy by eating junk all day...right?

The upside is the next day, I feel great! I feel thin, vital, and more positive. 

Tuesdays and Thursdays are my up days. Of course, they aren't as up as my weekends, but I have two meals a day as well as a snack. Sometimes more than one snack. I usually have one big meal and one smaller one, and I try to start about 1:00, but find myself starting closer to noon instead- sometimes earlier.

The downside to this is I often eat much bigger portions in the first meal, then give myself almost no break before I eat the snack. By the time the second meal is ready, I almost don't want it, but I eat it anyway because my family is home, or I should eat it because I don't want to tank my metabolism, and sometimes simply because I can eat it since I allowed myself two meals. 

I try to keep the weekday up day window within a four to five-hour period, and sometimes it's less than that because I want my fast to be longer during the next down day.

The upside is I usually save the foods I want to eat for this bigger window.

On weekends I open the windows wide. I try to keep it under eight hours, but that's not always possible because my family likes a nice, big breakfast, at least on one of those days. So as long as I hit the eight or less window at least once, I'm okay. I still try not to eat after 7:00pm, but on occasion, I break that rule if we're doing something special.

I've been breaking more rules than I've wanted to for the past few months. I know it, and my body knows it. You've known it too since I promised to tell all in this blog.

That 'one serving' of rich and creamy soup is in a bowl that carries almost two servings, and sometimes I get another half of a bowl. So I've changed the bowl sizes back to the larger size. It's partly because it's delicious (we make awesome homemade soups here!) and because I'm still a bit afraid the leftovers will be gone by the time my window reopens. 

I've had seconds. I've even looked for extra to eat because I still had time in my window. 

The adjustments are going the wrong way! Food is starting to become a major part of my life again. Is it because I'm home most of the time now? Possibly.

I'm not blaming my home life. I'm not blaming the world, my family, or God. This is all me, baby, and I need to make some serious adjustments in the opposite direction. I need to be able to control myself in my own house, for goodness sake!

I can't even blame the weather. We've had a heatwave for weeks now, so I haven't been going outside like I'd intended. Why? Because I hate to sweat. I hate getting sticky, itchy, and stinky. I'm also lazy because I don't want to jump in the shower again. 

You'd think it would be easy to break down barriers you've put up in the first place!

Do you hear the common issues in this blog post? Fear and Laziness. Two of the Big Seven Sins of the bible. These lie at the core root of my weaknesses. I have to break away from these if I want to move forward. 

Like me, I'm sure you have your own set out of the Seven to fight.

We need to help each other to fight them together. Doing this on your own might work. Doing it with others will work. At least with others that support you and love what you're doing. I admit I need help; a lot of help. This blog is one way to discover my weaknesses and be accountable. To be honest, I never plan my blog posts. I don't write them ahead of time. I write them in the moment. 

I'm amazed at what I discover about myself when I write off the cuff!

Next week is weigh-in day. I don't expect much, though I hope the scale numbers will go down this time. I'll reread the book, go back to smaller bowls, and remember that hunger pangs mean I'm headed in the right direction. This is a lifetime change; each adjustment gets me closer to a better me. 

And isn't that the ultimate goal?

Monday, July 12, 2021

Week Forty-Two: The Chips Are Down

There comes a time in your IF journey that you realize you must start cutting down or cutting out certain foods. 

In the beginning, you learn to listen to your body while still eating your regular diet. However, when your body starts screaming at you to make changes, you need to make them, or else your body will respond accordingly.

For instance, bananas and beets cause certain effects for me that clear out the plumbing. Great when the pipes are clogged, but not so great if you plan to go outside or do errands for long periods of time in the next day or two. Mischief managed, lesson learned. I've adjusted and moved forward.

Now my feet are regularly swelling during the day. Yes, it's because I don't walk enough, but there's also another factor I hadn't wanted to consider this food, though I did suspect it. It was confirmed when I stopped eating them for a few days.

My beloved chips.

Image by Werner Weisser from Pixabay 

The salt content was fine as long as I was walking and sweating a bit, but now that I'm not mobile, I've been swelling up. My feet look like balloons by the end of the day, and even by morning, the swelling doesn't completely dissipate.

Alas, my fair chip, I must ignore your calls for now.

I love potatoes in almost any form, so this isn't farewell forever. I'll just have to stop buying chips for a while and find alternatives. I'll also be cutting down on my salt intake by cutting these out. I'm not salt-free, nor do I intend to ever be, but I've cut my salt down by at least half since I started forty-two weeks ago-and that was before I stopped eating chips.

I'm starting to wake up earlier, which means my energy levels are rising. I'm still working on buying an exercise bike, but I still want to walk outside when the weather breaks. The bike is just a means to keep me active when it's blazing, freezing, snowy, or soaked outside. 

I love Mother Nature, but I'm not dealing with her during her menopausal stages.

Two more weeks until weigh-in day! I'll share a little surprise I bought myself to help with the monthly weigh-ins. This is going to save me oodles of time!

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Week Forty-one: Up in Flames

Just when things are getting back to normal, We were off on a camping weekend.

Well, sort of. We had a room with a bed, bathroom, and AC at the campground. Some people call it Glamping. I call it I-ain't-sweat-sleeping-with-the-dirt-and-bugs-and-peeing-outdoors-in-the-dark-with-bears camping.

We took our whole family of young adults (and a few 'adopted' ones), so I planned a menu accordingly. I love cooking over a campfire, but my husband brought his camping stove because breakfast for six can't be made one campfire pan at a time-not our breakfast, anyway.

Breakfast was scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, bacon, and pancakes. Lunches were either sausages or bacon-wrapped chicken on a campfire fork, roasted over the embers of a crackling campfire. Dinner was hamburgers with all of the fixings, and we had smores for dessert.

Image by manseok Kim from Pixabay 

What is it about a crackling fire that makes food taste so good? Everyone else did the smores thing- I'm not into them. But I indulged in everything else, including the chips that went with lunch and dinner.

I spent most of the weekend enjoying the fresh air in the shade of a tree, reading a book. I miss books. I've been too busy with life to just sit down and read. Not good for a book junkie like me! But we also went for walks, and one, in particular, was a challenge. In fact, Challenge was part of its name.

It's called the Thousand Step Challenge. It's actually twelve hundred steps total, but the entire set of steps are etched into the mountain itself. My husband did this challenge when he was up with his Ironmen Ministry group before the pandemic, and he wanted to show me part of it.

We both knew I was in no shape to tackle this challenge. Not yet.

But there was a stony-staired trail going to the base of the challenge where a natural spring flowed. And that was my goal. The trail was a hint of what the actual thousand steps were like, and just looking up that trail was scary. Not because it was pretty high up (which it was, and I'm deathly scared of heights), but because the steps were a little steeper than what I was used to. 

With a deep intake of breath, I started up those steps. I had to see if I could do this much smaller challenge.

There are no rails like I expected, which didn't help when the side of the trail dropped off into a ferny abyss of plant life. The steps were wide, though, so as long as I stuck to the mountainside part of the stairs, I was okay. I used my husband for balance on some of the more uneven steps and had to stop for a breather halfway up. 

I could hear rushing water- I was almost there.

Please understand this was only about a hundred feet up, just a few hundred yards in an upward slope. For me, this was extremely taxing on a body that hasn't seen much exercise. The weight loss helped, but I knew I had a long way to go before I could conquer even this little trail with any kind of ease. 

By the time we reached the spring, I was panting like an overheated Saint Bernard, taking a seat on the rocky wall that kept the spring at bay while my husband climbed over it to fill our water bottles with the clear, crisp water spouting straight from the rock.

It tasted fantastic!

After drinking and refilling our water, we made the descent back down. Unfortunately, gravity isn't a friend of the calorically challenged, and I found I had to brace myself from moving forward too fast. My husband had to provide balance again as I had to step down from each stair, for my knees protested with every harsh bend of the joints.

By the time I arrived at the beginning of the trail, my legs were shaking a little. It was a relief to walk at my regular pace back to the van and sit on a seat that wasn't stone and covered in moss.

I learned something important. IF really isn't all about the weight loss, though that's the reason most people start. Losing weight is only the first step to living a better life-I mean, look at me! I went from considering a wheelchair to walking a small mountain trail within forty weeks! My accomplishment is anything but a triumph to those athletic few, but to me, it's a monumental step for a better, healthier life. I never would've considered walking that trail last year, but this year I not only walked it, but I also wanted to walk it!

My eating windows were wide open for the entire trip. So today, I'm back on my eating window routine, and as far as I know, no more long trips requiring me to adjust my window for at least a month or two. Let's hope there's a significant change in the scale by the end of summer.

Hot and humid days make me melt in an ocean of sweat, so when the days are this hot (heat advisories aside), I stay in. Not good when you're supposed to be walking. I'm contemplating getting an exercise bike-a new one this time-so whenever I decide to sit down for a video break, I can at least work on my mobility. 

As for my swollen feet, they're a lot less swollen after the camping trip. Putting on shoes and walking works wonders for the circulatory system, and I'm a lot less bloated. I'm hoping for the same results with the exercise bike if we decide to get one.

I started planning meals a few weeks back, and that's working out really well! There's almost no wasted food now, and I'm buying various veggies to create a more versatile and tasty menu. Soups and casseroles are still regular items, though I'll make an actual dinner on occasion when the portion sizes are a bit too small for the pan or stockpot. 

I've scheduled cooking dinners during my up days, so I'm not a starved, raving beast when the food hits the table. 

There's still a ton to do to get this house in order, but I'm progressing slowly towards the goal. This has been a great week with many self-revelations- I'm looking forward to the days ahead!

Monday, June 28, 2021

Week Forty: Skidding to a Stop

Remember the slope from last week? This week's focus was on stopping the slide. But, unfortunately, there are skid marks when you gain too much speed going downhill.

Image by 5598375 from Pixabay 

But success feels so good.

This week was about stopping the skid. It's hard looking back to see how far down the hill the slide took you. I was pleasantly surprised that my fall wasn't as far down as I thought, though I did see the consequences of my actions this week. So let's take a look at the numbers.

Original numbers:        4 weeks ago:            Now:              Difference:

Weight 363 lbs.                326                      328                      +2

Biceps- 23"                    19-3/4"                19-3/4"                 same

Chest- 61-1/2"                  59"                   58-3/4"                 -1/4"

Waist- 58"                     55-1/4"                 57-1/2"               +2-1/4"

Hips- 69-1/2"                62-1/2"                 62-1/2"                  same

Thigh- 32"                        31"                   30-1/4"                  -3/4"

Neck- 18"                     17-3/4"                 17-1/2"                   1/4"

I'm happy to say that I stuck to my guns this week. I was out of bed by 6:00am. I ate smaller portions. I put the chips on my plate instead of eating out of the bag. I had a salad for one of my meals and soup for others. Seconds weren't an option, though I did slip yesterday at dinner and immediately regretted it because I felt so full and bloated. Ugh.

I didn't get out as much as I wanted. We're in the middle of a heatwave now, so I won't be going outside until this weekend. I'll be active in my air-conditioned house instead.

I'd forgotten about an online writer's conference I'd wanted to attend, so I signed up for it last minute. It was four days long, from Wednesday to Saturday. The first and last days, I was sitting in front of a screen for about eight hours, but I was listening and taking notes for nearly twelve hours straight on Thursday and Friday.

So much for being active. If my brain was my body, I'd be a stick by now! It was worth every ache in my back and butt!

This week's goal is to stay the course concerning food and be upright as much as I can during my waking hours. My feet have swollen up a lot because of inactivity, and the house got a bit messier in my absence, so I'll have plenty to do between writing posts and other writing endeavors.

I'll never run out of housework to do!

Am I upset by the two-pound gain? Not really. I've gone off track the past two months, and I figured the weight would be one of the consequences. I'm not thrilled, mind you, but I'm delighted it wasn't more. Only consistency and determination will get me back under 326 pounds.

I've been looking at my overall progress, and I'm beginning to see a behavioral and dietary pattern. Lose, plateau, gain a little, lose, plateau, gain a little...but the loss numbers always beat the gains. Always. It also looks like I'm due for a loss- if I behave myself.

I'm looking forward to this month because we plan on visiting the mountains for a good trek and outdoor cooking over a campfire. There's nothing like walking out in the fresh air of a mountain forest. I feel terrific about the future in IF and the health of my body- and mind!

Monday, June 21, 2021

Week Thirty-Nine: I Want It All

I loved sledding.

There were two hills the neighborhood kids loved to sled down in winter at the local park; one had a slight slope but went far, and the other had two steeper drops but a level spot in the middle. I decided to avoid the steeper drops because the lesser slope looked a lot safer.

Boy, was I wrong.

Image by Pezibear from Pixabay 

It started out slow and steady. At first, it was fun! But then I started gaining speed and found I the slope had no level spots to slow down. By the time I'd gotten to the bottom, I was going full tilt and out of control.

Luckily my brother was there to catch me before the trees caught me.

He convinced me to try going on the steeper double sloped run, and though it was a bit scary going down the first hill, I leveled off and went down the second, not-so-steep hill. By the time I'd gotten to the bottom, I could stop myself.

The past week was a similar experience with Intermittent Fasting.

Last week, I said I'd walk more. I did, but not at the park. I walked around the huge warehouse of a store as I went grocery shopping. I walked a little as I did errands. When I went to the park, my daughter came with me, and instead of walking, we fed the fish. I'd even gotten food for the geese, but I think we were later than usual because the geese were gone for the day.

On a good note, I'd gotten a lot done around the house!

I promised myself I'd get up when my husband did, and so far, so good. But like the slopes, I was going downhill fast. I was awake but wasn't getting out of bed for hours. I don't mean an hour or two, but hours as in at least four. I broke my record by staying in bed for over five hours this morning.

Five hours

I'm confessing this because I feel like I'm on that slight slope and going downhill faster and faster. I need to hold myself accountable. I've been having fun on the slope, but the ride downhill is starting to get scary.

This week, I wanted it all. I've been finding all kinds of reasons to eat more than I should. I wanted to eat many different things, but I didn't want to give up regular portions. I've been reasoning my way out of smaller servings, to the point that my husband noted that I ate a lot this weekend. 

No, don't get mad at him, folks; I asked him to tell me when he saw my backsliding.

I'm realizing that I'm headed down that slope faster than I thought. 

Unlike the slope, I have the power to put on the brakes anytime I want to. I control this ride, no one else. I have to make changes, and not all of them are food-related.

Do you want to know what I was doing for five hours this morning? I was watching videos on my phone. Not even educational videos- Just human interest stories, funny clips, and intriguing, time-wasting junk. Honestly, I can also add phone games to the time-sucking list, but I've limited my gameplay well, so I'm not spending a lot of time or money on them anymore.

But those videos must go. Especially in the mornings when I'm susceptible, thinking I have some time to kill. Between my eyes opening and getting out of bed, time seems to fly.

I'm so mad at myself- this blog is usually done in the early morning, not in the afternoon!

Have you ever self-sabotaged yourself? I've done it more than I'll admit, even to myself. I'm not going to let this setback keep me down though. I'm going to take that anger and turn it into the energy I need to get my lists done. I'm fighting fat, and it's not going to win! Not this time. Not ever.

This week, no more laying/sitting in bed for hours. Any portions I give myself will be in smaller bowls and plates. The only exceptions to this rule are brothy soups as a main meal and salads that are the main meal. Chips are put on a plate for a side dish, not to be directly eaten from the bag. No seconds on anything. 

I intend to go outside more, away from the house if possible, even if it's for a walk around the block or to feed the park fish. Just getting away from a house full of food for an hour can keep me from doing something stupid. I might even add a few outside chores to the list. I need to read instead of watching TV when I take a break- I can read outside if it's cool enough!

Have you found yourself backsliding, afraid you won't make it? That's the beauty of the IF journey. It's not a sprint- it's a lifetime marathon where you get to set the pace. There's power in the ability to make your own choices. Don't turn your frustration and anger toward yourself or others. Put that energy into positive changes that will benefit your life and those around you instead! 

For now, my energy is spent in getting this house in order and caring for my family. Your priorities might be vastly different, but the goal is the same. Turn that energy you used to berate and damage yourself into something that will make you and the others around you thrive. 

We can beat fat and get healthier- together!

Monday, June 14, 2021

Week Thirty-Eight: Loosey Goosey

Being at home is a bit more challenging than I thought it would be.

My schedule no longer runs my life; my life runs my schedule. It's as loose or as hard as I want it to be, and that's part of the problem.

I prefer my time to be firmly scheduled. But it's been loose as a goose lately.

Image by Here and now, unfortunately, ends my journey on Pixabay from Pixabay 

I'm lazy at heart. I like to get things done at my speed. I want that speed to be fast, but it isn't, and I know it. Then I get frustrated with trying to do too much and wind up sitting on the couch streaming Meerkat Manor.

This is why hard schedules don't always work. I try to do too much in one day, then I'm too tired to move two days afterward.

This week I decided not to give myself time restrictions but to make a list instead, doing three must-do's and three should-do's. It was working!

And then the weekend happened. Unfortunately, I forgot to make a list for Saturday and Sunday, and since my husband was away for a four-day Christian men's retreat until Sunday night, I was smack in the middle of Loosey-Gooseyville.

I've learned that giving myself free rein is a bad idea. For example, I got take-out because I wanted to treat myself. As a result, I ate more than I should have. Instead of cleaning out the entire living room of clutter, I did one section, decided I needed a break, and allowed that break to last for the rest of the day. 

Saturday, I had to take my daughter to work because her bus wasn't running (someone forgot the busses run differently on the weekends), and I realized I hadn't been out of the house almost the entire week! So I filled up my water bottle, grabbed a book, and decided I needed to go for a walk in the park.

I needed to walk. Housework wasn't doing enough for me physically. I also have some coy food for the park pond dwellers. I knew they recently stocked the pond with carp, and I loved feeding them. 

But wait, I hear you ask. Why the book and the fish food? Aren't you supposed to be walking? 

Yep. I sure am. 

I also know I've not been walking as much as I did when working, and my back and legs are misbehaving again. Back spasms aren't fun, so taking a book with me allows me to walk farther if I get to rest on the benches and read a little. I can end the walk by feeding the fish. 

I didn't need to read as much as I thought, and by the time the walk was over, it was starting to get hot. I got the fish food from the van and walked over to the pond. A family of geese was there, sitting on the opposite end. These geese never usually approach humans, so I tossed a handful of food in the water, waiting for the fish to nibble at the food.

The geese decided they wanted to meet me. Well, meet my food.

I was surprised- these were wild geese, and for the last few years, they wanted nothing to do with people. But they waddled right up to me like I was their new best friend.

They knew me from the times I sat by the pond. But this time, I had food. So I tossed some to them. They didn't seem very interested at first but ate enough that they wanted more. I got bold and decided to try hand-feeding them.

The leader hissed but nipped me a bit as he ate, the second wanted me to toss it, and their third was a sweetie and a bit shy as he ate daintily from my hand.

They wouldn't let me feed the fish.

By this time, my back was hurting a lot, and it was time to go. I rested my back as I drove home, and when I walked in the door, I was ready to tackle a few chores. Being outside and going for a walk definitely helped- in every way!

I keep telling myself I'll get up when my husband does, but I wind up staying in bed hours longer than I need to, just to avoid going downstairs and be tempted to eat sooner. Down days are getting harder. When working, I waited until I got home- usually around 3:30pm. But being in the house makes me want to eat sooner, and I find myself eating closer to 2pm. 

Walking in the early mornings would be a good habit for me. I just wonder if I'll actually do it. Maybe mid-early mornings after some light chores, like washing dishes or laundry and straightening up the bedroom? Sounds like a plan for tomorrow. As for now, I don't even have my six-item list together yet!

Time for me to get moving!