Isla de Angela ~ gaining inner peace, losing extra weight

Archive for the ‘Getting to Know Me’ Category

I Succeeded Only to Fail… Once Again…

Almost exactly a year ago I set out on the simple journey to Eat Better, Move More.  I didn’t stick to any hard and fast rules I just tried to make better choices over and over again all day long.  After all, many small “better choices” in one day, all week long, month after month can add up to one heck of a successful lifestyle change.  And it did.  For the second time, in a few years, I lost over 50 pounds in under 5 months.  I felt great (almost a little high on life).  I don’t know why I didn’t take the time to blog about it, but I think I just didn’t want to focus too much light on it, if that makes sense???  I just wanted to work my little idea and Eat Better, Move More.

During that time I got a part-time job, I returned to Bikram Yoga, I bought new clothes in the smallest size I’d bought in probably a decade (regular XL tops, 16 pants), I could actually run without pain!, I wowed everyone during the Holidays, got my nose pierced (only kept it a week, though, it wasn’t really me), I made it through the Holidays with only a slight weight gain that I quickly lost in January, THEN (insert foreboding music here) I set myself up for failure by biting off more than I could chew with a Bikram 30-day challenge.  I failed to even come close to finishing it, fell into a depression that snowballed (been riding the clinical depression train for over 20 years), had to switch to a new psychiatrist (that I don’t really care for), found myself severely uninfatuated with the part-time job and blamed my husband for wanting me to work at a waste-of-time $9/hr job, resumed my sugar-addiction-bingeing ways, started a new position that had me waking up at 4am and making me feel like a zombie once my shift was over, and VIOLA within 5 months ALL the weight was backTHUD.  The perfect storm (many negative events in a row) hit me and I succumbed to the weight of the stress and feelings of being overwhelmed.  Gravity just seemed to be too strong on me and kept me down… again… which brings us up-to-date.

So where am I today? 

The Bad:  I’m uncomfortable in my body – SUPER uncomfortable, as in I have to change position and have a hard time at work because I’m so damn swollen and sore.  My energy level is a negative 25%.  My sugary diet gives me GAS!!  I have very few clothes that fit since I gave away my “fat” clothes!  I have back pain and shoulder pain and I’m avoiding visiting family that saw me over the Holidays because I’m embarrassed.  That part is really sad, I know.  I feel pathetic.

The Good:  I’m uncomfortable enough that I HAVE to do something.  I KNOW my Eat Better, Move More philosophy is simple enough to follow and that it WORKS.  Ambilify has been added to my anti-depressants and seems to be helping.  I’ve finally gotten use to my new work shift and actually like it – AND the girls I work with – it’s actually a little fun now.  I’ve found some inspiration to cook again AND to “fancy up” the house (I’ve been uninterested in both for a very long time).  We’re preparing for a garage sale and are slowly decluttering (moving it into the garage.  De-cluttering feels so good.  My family loves me – they haven’t shown any disappointment in me – all the disappointment I feel in self-inflicted and I have the power to stop it.  Have I mentioned that I’m uncomfortable enough that I HAVE to do something.

SOOOoooo…. What Now?

Do I make another “pledge” to fight the good fight?  Nope.  Do I re-commit to my previous re-commitments?  Nope.  Do I forgive my self for past failures and just love myself more (eye roll)?  Nope.  Been there – done that – failed miserably and what I say doesn’t matter any where near as much as what I do.  I’m just gonna Eat Better, Move More.  However little the adjustment is will be better than where I am now.

Today’s Plan?  I’m going to fill my weekly vitamin container today – vitamins are good.  I’m gonna drink some water today.  Water is BETTER than pop, right?, and Better is Better!  And to Move More I’m going to work in the office – organizing and de-cluttering for a while (even 15 minutes is More than nothing…).  Simple goals that even a sloth should be able to accomplish today!!  Sloth – not a very nice self-comparison but I’m still disappointed in myself and the only way I’ll beat that feeling is to make myself proud again. One small choice at a time.

The truth – I’m afraid to try, suceed, and fail again.  But I was afraid last time, too, so I guess I’ll just try anyway.  The alternative isn’t a better scenario (the alternative is being bed-ridden becasue I’m too huge to move!)  I’m 5’8″ and about 250 pounds.  I can do better than that (and no, I’m not even close to bed-ridden size but it could happen…)

*******  Eat Better, Move More  *******

and to end this post on a little higher note….

~  Some M*O*M*E*N*T*S of recent J*O*Y  ~

*  Tried a new cookie recipe that turned out great – love finding new “keeper” recipes! *

*  Recently started watching “Monk” reruns – he makes me laugh!  *

*  I’m a few years – okay a LOT of years – behind the trend but I started reading the Harry Potter series – they’re fun, quick reads.  And a nice little escape from reality  *

~  Angie  ~


Sunday’s Small Successes

The day did not start well!  My dog “attacked” me:  We started off on a walk, stopped to talk to a neighbor, as I was turning around he YANKED me with all of his 80 pounds, my ankle caught between the sidewalk and grass, and I fell full force onto my knee and hand. I was so pissed and a bloody mess! Grrrrr…..  I promptly went home to pout and nurse my bruised ego.  I buried my head in the computer for a few hours… Then…… here comes the successful part…..

  • I sucked it up and went for a walk with my daughter.  My goal was 20 minutes but we didn’t take a watch and by the time we returned home we had walked for 40 minutes!  Whoo-hoo!  WINNING.
  • After the walk I let myself get too hungry – we all know what that means – I was ready to eat just about anything… I held it together though and ended up with tuna and cucumbers on lettuce leaves.  Hadn’t had tuna in a long time and found it surprisingly satisfying.  WINNING
  • After dinner it was only a little after 6 and I was out of energy, ready for bed, and NOT feeling up to cleaning the kitchen, making the lunches for school, taking the garbage to the curb, and preparing the Crock Pot Tortilla Soup for Monday’s Dinner.  “Eat Better.  Move More.” rang through my head and about an hour later it was all done and I was in bed awaiting the MTV Music Video Awards to start (I just wanted to see what the Gaga would open with which was very interesting!).  WINNING
  • Lastly, I’ve had a great week of Eating Better. Moving More.  That made me curious as to what the scale would say on Monday morning… BUT, for me, that’s just not a good idea.  I’m feeling successful, strong, proud, and healthy right now.  Since there is a 50/50 chance that the number on the scale could rob me of those yummy feelings why risk it???  For me starting to monitor my weight again would be a very slippery slope…
It's just a number

It's just a number

I don’t need to know right now… I am not that number.  This journey is about so much more than that number and what I weigh.  It’s about my health, my future, my energy level, my kids, my husband, my self-image, and so much more… WINNING


~ Moments of Joy Over the Weekend ~

Watched a few movies this weekend.  Really enjoyed Switch (Jennifer Anniston, Jason Bateman).  The reviews weren’t very good but I think they had great chemistry together, it made me laugh, and get teary, too (sniff, sniff).  I give it a *** out of 4.

Also watched How Do You Know (Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson).  Again, not the best reviewed movie but it was cute and it did have two clever quotes:  When asked if she ever drank alcohol she said she followed her dad’s rule of: “Never drink to feel better.  Only drink to feel even better.”  Wise advice, I thought.  I also liked:  “Don’t do anything half-way unless you’re willing to be half-happy”.  Overall I give it a ** out of 4.

Well, our checking account is low, the food in fridge getting low (and I’m sooOooOOOooo tired of the choices!), but I managed to not spend ANY money and NOT add to our credit debt while still feeding us 3 decent meals a day!  Payday, is Wednesday… It’ll be a challenge to stretch it until then but I WILL DO IT!

M finally got a hit during his game on Saturday (he’s been struggling).

J and I had our 17th wedding anniversary.  No funds for a REAL celebration but 17 years and I still really love that guy!  I think that’s pretty awesome.


Not every day is good, but every day has something good in it.

Eating Better.  Moving More.

~ Angie ~

They’re Baby Steps but They’re Steps!

I caught myself being nice to myself today.  🙂  My inner conversations aren’t always kind (whose are?) and today I heard myself “sticking up to myself” if that makes sense… I’ve had a great week of keeping things in perspective – not setting myself up to fail – celebrating the small steps I’ve begun to take – and not letting my energy fall when I made a less than desirable decision.  I’ve already shared some of my earlier accomplishments this week but this “being nice to myself” went a little deeper than just the physical accomplishments.  For example:

One of my boards on Pinterest is a Vision Board containing pictures of emotions I’d like to feel – like success, pride, or pictures that I want to experience the emotion the picture depicts or inspires in me.  Here is one such picture:



She is considered a plus-sized model.  I think her figure is gorgeous and her confidence is something to aspire to.  I long to feel as comfortable in my skin as she seems to in hers which made me realize that my true weight loss desires aren’t unrealistic.  What I mean is that I’m not longing to be stick thin.  I’m longing to be healthy, confident, and comfortable.  AND I’m now willing to take the journey as the marathon it is and not the sprint I once felt it had to be.  That observation and acceptance of it is one of the ways I am being kinder to myself.  I’ve released how unrealistic the dream of returning to my weight 18 years ago, before kids (ridiculous, I know), was and how what I truly desire to reach is a comfortable, sustainable weight.  I don’t even have to put a number on what that weight is – I think I’ll just know when I’m there and it will fall on a number that I can sustain without it having to control my life (ie… how much to eat, when to eat, carbs vs protein, excessive working out etc…). 

Another couple of baby steps in the right direction happened with my simple goals of Eat Better and Move More.  In both of those actions the key words are Better and More.  Both of which are obtainable because they don’t restrict my behavior to having to be perfect or else chalking it up to an automatic fail.  So this week I made the kids Rice Crispie treats to go in their lunches.  I used a square pan, took a half-inch sliver down one side for myself, and then cut the rest into 9 squares (3 for each of them during the week).  I wrapped mine up telling myself that if I wanted it tomorrow I could eat it – no guilt.  Well, I didn’t want it the next day, or the next, and 3 days later I sent it to school with my son.  I felt no deprivation because I knew I could have had it whenever I wanted it.  Later in the week I made caramel, white chocolate, toffee, and pecan covered apples.  Yum.  I, again, didn’t jump at the instant gratification and told myself I could have one later in the evening if I still wanted it.  Well, I did still want it. I ate half of it.  I ate it slowly. I enjoyed it.  I was fully satisfied after half and THAT was a much Better choice than eating a whole one.  Better = SuccessComplete Deprivation = Failure.

As far as Moving More – I would like to do “something” physical for 20 minutes a day – I can do anything for 20 minutes, right? Walking seems like a good start but I only did it once this week… BUT I did do a lot of physical work, cleaning, organizing, and sweating in the house 3 days this week.  I moved “More” and didn’t limit the “More” to having to be walking in order for it to be a success.  I also encouraged myself to do just 1 More thing everyday while I was working.  If I was ready to quit I told myself, just one more drawer or fold that last load in the dryer… basically just do 1 more thing.  More = SuccessHAVING to do 20 minutes of typical exercise or else = Failure


Those are just a few instances in which I found myself being kind to myself by not holding myself accountable to a level of perfection that is unobtainable and certainly unsustainable.  I’m very proud of this week’s baby steps.  Yeah, Me.  Eat Better.  Move More.  I don’t see how I can fail to improve my life if I keep doing those two very simple things…  Eat Better.  Move More.

~  Angie ~

Suddenly I Get It

Isn’t it funny how you can hear something, maybe many times before, but it just doesn’t resonate with you?  That happened to me this week.  I stumbled upon this saying that I’M SURE I’ve heard before:

~ Don’t Let Go of What You Want Most

for What You Want Right Now ~

Well, Duh!  Right?  But here I am – drowning in debt, with a long list of “REALLY need and REALLY want” that aren’t in the budget, wondering how in the world we’re going to send our kids to college, driving a 12 year-old van that could die any moment, AND carrying an extra 80 pounds all because I’m a sucker for what I want RIGHT NOW.  I think part of my failure in this area is that I don’t have my deepest desires written down, in a place where I see them often, in a place where the family can see them often, and in a place where I can see them when I’m passing Dunkin’ Donuts.  I’m so moved by this saying that I’m seriously considering tattooing it to my inner wrist!  I wouldn’t be able to forget it about it then, huh?

Yes, I think at age 42 it’s time to get a tattoo that will be meaningful for the rest of my life… I wonder what J would think?!  He’s not a tattoo fan, yet I KNOW he’d love it if I lived in the neighborhood of that motto.  Tomorrow is our 17th wedding anniversary.  That just doesn’t seem possible – I don’t feel like I’m old enough to have been married for 17 years.  I mean, just this week my eyes were opened to such a simple concept:

~ Don’t Let Go of What You Want Most

for What You Want Right Now ~

Surely a 42 year-old woman who has been married for 17 years should have realized THAT before now!  Well, there’s always that other great concept – “better now than never”.  I’m not as moved by that one, though!  Ha, ha!


Here’s to another day of Eating Better and Moving More…

~ Angie ~

I rarely post on Saturdays:

I read a lot of blogs over the weekend but don’t post for some reason… Oh yeah, I remember why – I don’t have anything to say!  How you daily bloggers do it is beyond me?!  And so many of you post picture after picture and links to this and that and “good golly” some of you post multiple times a day – It’s SoOoOoOo time-consuming!  J is out playing poker tonight, A is at a sleepover, and the boys are XBoxing so I thought I’d attempt a Saturday post… Just play along and pretend I have something interesting to share!  K?


First, I’m fairly FRUSTRATED: 

I’ve lost 47 pounds and no-one seems to be noticing!  I saw my hairdresser recently as she didn’t notice and either did some family friends!  I haven’t seen either of them in a few months so they REALLY should have noticed.  *pout.*  All I can figure is that since I’m STILL overweight maybe they’re uncomfortable commenting?  My hairdresser said, “I never thought you were that big!” when I told her.  I want people, that don’t know I’ve been working on it, to notice – is that silly of me?  I’m not doing it for THEM – I’m doing it for ME – but c’mon –  47 pounds is an average 5 year-old!!  Geeesh!  I’ll be seeing family in a week that hasn’t seen me since November – will they notice?  I’ll be so bummed if they don’t…


U.S. of  Tara:

This weekend Comcast offered a free trial of Showtime and I fell in love with the series United States of Tara. I used the On Demand feature to watch all 13 episodes.   It was created by Diablo Cody (writer of Juno) and has such a unique premise.  Tara had an unknown traumatic experience and developed multiple personalities to protect herself.  She married, had children, had episodes on and off through it all, and then she and her  husband decided to have her go off her medication to deal with the personalities.  She has 4 personalities that all mingle with her family and kids and mess up all their lives – it’s funny, touching, mesmerizing, and very well-acted with very adult content.  Season 2 is just beginning on Showtime and I believe season 1 is on dvd – it’s very interesting!  Her husband is played by John Corbett (Carrie’s ‘Adian’ from Sex in the City) – L*O*V*E him and he’s such a dreamy husband in this show – like, the perfect guy!  Yum.



Speaking of Y*U*M – Some mind-blowing Food Finds Keeping Me On Plan:

I recently found these products at Costco and I am ~ SoOoOoO ~ L*O*V*I*N*G ~ them!

Morningstar Chipotle Black Bean Burgers Seriously the B*E*S*T thing I’ve eaten in 10 weeks!

Sabra Hummus – Original Individual 4 oz cups

Chachies Mango Peach Salsa (The Perfect combo of sweet and  mild heat!)

Kashi’s Heart to Heart Whole Grain Garlic Crackers

Kashi Go Lean Crunch

Chobani Greek Non-Fat Yogurt

Kirkland Grilled Chicken Breast delicious cold, heated, stir-fried, etc…

I like to put the hummus and salsa on the Kashi crackers and if I have enough daily calories I add chicken, too.  OR I just top the hummus with the salsa and use the chicken as a dipper.  OR the salsa is AWESOME on the Black Bean Burger (with a wee bit of avocado) either on a salad or in a La Tortilla WW wrap.  I add chia and flax seed to the Chobani and top it with a little fruit and the Kashi Go Lean – yummy!



~ So that’s Saturday post.  Hope it lived up to the “hype” – Ha, ha!

~ Angie


I’m wearing jeans and a t-shirt that I couldn’t wear 4 weeks ago!  Yeah, ME!!  Toot!  Toot!  Rooty-toot-toot! 

I STILL haven’t weighed myself… I figure, I feel good and I’m wearing smaller clothes.  What good can come from putting a number to it?  No matter what the number is (even a good one) I’m still going to wish it were lower, right?  So right there I’d go from thrilled that I’m wearing smaller clothes to slightly disappointed that the silly number isn’t as small as I want it to be.  Right?  Right!  I challenge the rest of you to put the scale away!!  It’s liberating!!

I’m taking A(10) to see When in Rome today – we both think it looks cute.  I’ll give your our reviews later! 

~ Now go have a family member hide your scale!! – Angie


I’m a 40 year-old mom of 3 with a 100 pounds to shed this year… I DON’T WANT to see 17 year-old, g-stringed butts in the yoga locker room!  A group of these girls visited the yoga studio today(secretly, I think they were there just to wear their tiny yoga outfits).  I looked like Tweedle Dee next to them!!  I hate being in the locker room naked – I do my best to undress quickly in front of the shower and then partially dress inside the shower…  These girls made me want to run naked in front of them screaming “I use to look like you.  Give it 20 years – THIS is your future!!!”.  Maybe it would have scared them from coming back?  Am I being mean? 

Wouldn’t you have loved to know, what you know NOW, back when you were 17?  What main message would you tell 17 year-old you, if you could?  I think I’d tell 17 year-old Angie:  “Do everything with 100% effort so when you look back on your life you won’t have any regrets or ‘what-ifs’.” Yes, it’s a cliché but maybe if 40 year-old ME was telling 17 year-old ME – I’d actually listen?!  Basically, I wish I had really gone for the things I wanted without the fear of failure.

I really want to ATTACK my weight this year.  Yes, I’m afraid of failure, but I’m ALL in.  I’m either going to fail big or win B*I*G!  Somehow it just feels like it’s time.  I want off the weight rollercoaster I’ve ridden for the last decade – this summer I want to fit onto a REAL ROLLERCOASTER! 

~~~***~~~  WEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeee!!! ~~~***~~~

~ I wish you sweet (sugar-free) dreams tonight – Angie

________* * ANGIE * *________

They say that muscle is heavier "by volume" than fat is, which means 5 lbs. of muscle takes up less space than 5 lbs. of fat within a body. I'm a believer. This totally explains how your clothes begin to fit better even though the numbers on the scale aren' t moving very fast.

This is GROSS. I know. But I'd rather see the fat HERE than on my body...

Each time we “resist” an urge to fall off plan or not exercise we strengthen our “resistance muscle” and each time we “give in” to temptation we strengthen our “give in muscle” making it easier to either "resist" or "give in" next time.

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