Isla de Angela ~ gaining inner peace, losing extra weight

Archive for the ‘Moments of Joy’ 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 ~

The Energizer Bunny

Today was a very productive day – yet even on a good day my brain questions whether or not it’s really a good thing… now that doesn’t seem fair does it?!

Today I made M breakfast, packed him a lunch, drove him to school, went grocery shopping (bought NO junk food), stopped at the library to return and pick up books, took used batteries to school for recycling, picked up dry cleaning, ran into another grocery store for items I forgot the first time, stopped at book store for a book I’ve wanted, prepared food to stock the fridge for the week (chili, bbq drumsticks, cold chicken/fruit/nut salad, roasted sweet potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, cleaned fruit) emptied and filled dishwasher (twice), ate healthy food all day, made a few phone calls I’d been procrastinating on, gathered all the garbages throughout the house, made kids after school snacks, drove M to baseball practice and sat there for 1.5 hours, picked S up from baseball practice, organized the drinks in the garage (larger job than it sounds!), and a few other things, I’m sure!

I’m quite happy with all I accomplished BUT part of the pride I’m experiencing is from feeling as though – TODAY I behaved like a good mom SHOULD.  That can’t be right, can it?  I mean is that the typical day of a typical mom who doesn’t deal with clinical depression?

It also seems as though I went from 0 (Mom-Zombie) to 100 (Super Mom) miles an hour in the past 2 weeks.  Where is the middle ground?  I’d like to cruise at 50 miles an hour for a while…

Still, it is really nice to have a sense of accomplishment after being lethargic and unengaged for so long.  Okay, Brain, quit looking for the negative and just enjoy the ride.


Mother’s Day

I had a lovely Mother’s Day.  The kids and J brought me breakfast in bed, cards filled with love, a 3-month subscription to Hulu, cleaned the kitchen, and J took me to Morton’s Steakhouse for dinner.  They done good!  J and I had a pretty good talk at dinner.  It was nice to have a conversation that wasn’t 90% about the kids!  I got my Mother’s Day cards in the mail on time this year (for my Mom, my mother-in-law, my stepmom, and both of my sisters).  I usually send the Moms a photo album of the past year’s highlights.  I forgot this year, but did NOT beat myself up over it (for a change).  Maybe I’ll get them done for Father’s Day instead?


Our TV Knows a Trick

This is a surprising thing to be happy about but our family room tv has been broken for about a week now.  Every time we turn it on – it turns itself off.  I’ve realized I don’t really mind – this from a girl who is normally drawn to the tv like a moth to a flame!  The silence isn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  I listen to music a little more often.  The kids and I played games over the weekend. The family room stays much cleaner (as no one’s eating in front of the tv!).  I don’t even know who was sent home on American Idol last week – but I don’t care either.  I’m not ready to commit to not repairing or buying a new one but I’m very pleasantly surprised at how content I am without the tv.



I have a very simple goal in the fore front of my mind right now – I want to  feel better.  Granted, my depression has lifted so I automatically feel better but I want to be prepared for the next time it returns.  I know there are a lot of things that I can do to facilitate feeling better and one of them is definitely getting in better shape but this time I’m NOT making any declarations of losing weight (no before and after photos, no scale watching, no food monitoring, no strict food deprivations).  I’m also not going to put any demands of exercising on myself.  I’m simply going to make better eating choices and move more.  I know what to do and all that tracking of my progress only sets me up to fail, eventually.  Once I get going – I get obsessed it with it and my need for perfection sets in and then I crash and burn.  So I’m keeping it as fail-proof as possible – eat better and move more, eat better and move more, eat better and move more…

That being said, I’d really like to return to Bikram Yoga (the 90-minute hot yoga class) but am really afraid.  I’m afraid I can’t do it in my current condition (I’m 20 pounds heavier than I was the last time I started).  I’m afraid to try and give up again.  I’m uncomfortable (afraid) of what people with think when they see me (all 260 pounds) in a class.  I don’t even want J or the kids to know I’m considering it in case I’m unable to commit to it.  I really loved the way I felt when I was going regularly – the peace of mind, the pride, the way my body was changing, how strong I felt, the awesome sense of accomplishment…  I want to feel those things again but I’m so afraid.  I’ve been trying to prepare myself mentally for returning to class.  I have a coupon for 2 months of unlimited classes at a studio I’ve never been to.  I bought my after class coconut water (ha, ha – that just sounds so funny to me).  I’ve printed the class schedule.  I’ve painted my toes (yes, that is important in a yoga class)!  I’ve even tried to “see” myself in class – doing the poses – feeling the stretch – embracing the heat and sweat…  I just can’t seem to get over the fear-of-failure-hurdle.  No matter how simple my ultimate goal is (feel better, eat better, move more) – going to class and not being able to stay in the room would be a FAILURE.  That’s the main rule – DON’T leave the class.  For me, signing up for the 2 weeks and NOT GOING 2 or 3 times a week would be a FAILURE.

My head  knows the “answers” – face the fear, the first class will be the hardest, start slower by exercising at home, yada yada… but my heart just longs to be able to succeed in the class – NOW.  Anything less than going and being able to do it NOW feels like failure.  So how do I get past THAT – that’s the answer my head can’t wrap itself around.  And why does failing seem so intolerable to me?


~ Moments of J*O*Y ~

I lost my credit/debit card this afternoon and as I was on my way to the bank – the bank called ME and said someone just turned in my card to the very location I was driving to!  I was good-samaritaned!!  Yeah!  I was thrilled 🙂 .

While grocery shopping I was briefly overwhelmed with the magical scents in the laundry aisle – it was just like a laundry/fabric softener commercial!  If I had had more time I would have lingered!  Ha, ha!

Tried a new flavor bbq sauce on drumsticks today – Sweet Baby Rays Honey Chipotle – it is OMG Good!  Seriously, seriously Good!


Well, it’s been a long day.  I haven’t watched 1 minute of tv and I’m ready to lay in bed and watch something F*U*N – How I Met Your Mother and Mike & Molly are on tonight!  🙂  F*U*N

*  Angie  *

Where do I start?

Starting over is so hard and so scary (but the first step is the hardest, right?).  Last year I lost 55 pounds in 15 weeks and just when I began to feel that I had finally conquered my relationship with food I promptly gained 60 pounds… With that, some other disappointing going-ons, and dealing with another low point in my 15+ year-battle with depression I sunk into a dark place and spent a whole year there.

A whole year – what a waste!

I don’t want to dwell on that, though.  It is what it is and I’m finally feeling capable of getting a grip on my life, again (AGAIN feels like such a bad word because I’ve had soooOOooooOOooo many AGAINS…).  No elaborate “plans” this time, though – just a simple goal of feeling better. 

I’ve gone back into therapy so I will have a partner to hold me accountable, teach me ways of thinking better thoughts, help me notice obsessive behavior before it takes control, and to guide me in the right direction before I get lost again.  I know I will have to deal with depression for the rest of my life.  I accept that.  It’s time to learn how to not sink so far into it that it takes me a year to crawl back out.

I read an interesting analogy the other day that really hit home for me about the way I’ve always looked at my depression.  I have been stuck in this “Why-am-I-this-way-mentality” as if I understood the “why” it would make dealing with the depression easier.  The analogy was this:

A man is shot with an arrow.  If, before extracting the arrow and tending to his wound, the man insists on knowing the name, family, village, and race of the archer, and what the arrow is made of, how effective is he in dealing with his injury? What needs immediate attention is the situation created by the arrow.”

I’ve been so wrapped up in trying to understand why my brain works the way it does that I don’t deal with the actual depression.  It’s time to deal.


~ Moments of J*O*Y ~

I love tulips and today I saw 2 gorgeous patches of tulips including my favorite – orange and red streaked.

After therapy I went to Chipotle and had the B*E*S*T pork tacos with guacamole.  I thoroughly enjoyed every “mindful” bite!

Although I didn’t get to see it, my eldest son (who has been in a batting slump) hit a home run today!

There is a new Big Bang Theory on tonight (Sheldon just makes me happy J)
and it’s something my husband and I enjoy watching together.

J and I have nice dinner plans for Mother’s Day this weekend and I was able to find a suitable outfit to wear (hidden deep within my closet…).  I’m not thrilled I had to resort to the “fat clothes” but it’s much better than having to buy an outfit in my current  size!!  The discovery gave me a nice sense of relief…

It felt good to blog again.  I like the color palette of my blog – it captures the light, airy, and peaceful essence that I long to feel on a regular basis.


Well, I think that’s a good start.  Here’s to dealing with it (cheers!).

 * Angie  *

I want to have confidence like Jessica – this makes me S*M*I*L*E every time I watch it!


Good Stuff, huh?

Your turn!  Go declare your greatness in your own bathroom mirror… You don’t have to stand on the counter if you don’t want to!  Ha, ha!

~ Angie



Meatless Mondays!

Isn’t that a great idea?!  I think it’ll inspire me to get a little more c*R*e*A*t*I*v*E with my veggie intake.  It’s gotten pretty boring and I find I eat more healthy fruit carbs than healthy veggie carbs (not a horrible thing but I could definitely use more veggies).  I’m not worried about a lack of protein on Mondays as after two meals today (protein shake and protein-filled yogurty goodness) I’ve already gotten 44 grams of protein and 30 grams of fiber in for the day!  For dinner I’m really going out of my comfort zone by trying a Rachael Ray faux Stuffed Eggplant dish (I’m gonna substitute mushrooms for the meat).  I’ve never cooked eggplant… so exciting, huh?!  Ha, ha.


~ Moments of J*O*Y ~

It’s been a while since I stopped to recognize all the good things going on in my life. Since ~ Moments of Joy ~ was such an obvious alliteration with Meatless Monday’s I KNEW today was the day to stop and reflect!  I love a good alliteration!  🙂  So without further ado ~

~ I ‘ve finally found the perfect shade of toe nail polish to really accentuate my “yoga toes” and make me S*M*I*L*E!  It’s Maybelline Express Finish #170 Crimson.  It’s the perfect red.  I’m gonna load up on it the next time I shop!

~  I had a big weight loss this week!  I’ll post my numbers tomorrow in my food journal but my total loss is now 45 lbs!  I was hoping to lose 41 lbs by my 41 st birthday (April 12th, which is still 20 days away) and I’ve already achieved that goal!  Maybe 51 lbs is in reach????

~  I bit the bullet and invested in the Hot Yoga Master Class Instructional book and videos by Gabrielle Raiz.  It was, indeed, an investment but I’m sooooo glad I did it.  The book is amazing – clear precise directions, great photos, wonderful advice on common pose errors and how to fix them.  It will really help me to get the best of my Hot Yoga practice.

~  Speaking of yoga – today was the first day that I was able to fully do and hold both Camel Poses completely to the release.  The Camel is one of the harder poses for me to hold.  I feel really dizzy and tingley afterwards and that wakes up the “fight or flight response” inside me and makes me want to R*U*N out of the room!  I did it, though!  I did it ~ I did it ~ I did it!  Yeah Me.

~  Last Thursday I let myself call the cleaning service to clean the house.  This is not something I can afford to do very often but we’re expecting a decent tax refund and the house REALLY needed it so… It was a glorious treat.  There is not much that makes me happier than having a REALLY clean house that I didn’t have to do myself.  She contently S*..I*..G*..H*..S*……



Quotes I recently fell in love with –

Falling is learning how not to fall. – Gabrielle Raiz

It takes as much courage to have tried and failed as it does to have tried and succeeded. – Anne Morrow Lindbergh



~ Thanks for stopping by!  Do yourself a favor and take the time to recognize your own ~ Moments of J*O*Y ~ It’s a W*O*N*D*E*R*F*U*L boost to your day, spirit, and mood.  – Angie


The Bearded Lady –

After years of bleaching, plucking, useless electrolysis, shaving, and being totally embarrassed and self conscience of my facial hair – I’m finally getting it permanently removed with Pulsed Light Hair Removal !!!  It’s not cheap – but nothing else has worked and, while working so hard on my weight loss this year, I’ve finally realized that my facial hair is hurting my self-esteem as much as my weight is.  I’m so excited to get rid of it!  I’m considering it a reward for 40 pounds lost AND my, slightly early, birthday gift.  (~*pleasure filled sigh*~

I’m having it done tomorrow morning.  They ask that you leave it alone for a couple of days so they can see exactly where your problem areas are.  OMG.  I’ve never seen it all at once after a couple days’ growth.  I REALLY need to go grocery shopping but – OMG.  I don’t think I can go outside like this!!!  (*blush*)  I keep touching it and finding myself standing in front of the mirror – it’s like a gruesome accident that I can’t look away from.   

~ Bye, bye Beardie! ~



I’ve spent the last couple of days feeling more down than usual.  I’m feeling H-E-A-V-Y, like gravity is pulling too hard on me.  Ever feel like that?  I think I need a good shake to blow the “gloomy clouds” out of my head.  Instead, I’m going to list a few ~ Moments of Joys ~ , read a few blogs, shower and shave (only my legs, though!), dance through a few chores, walk the dogs, try a workout dvd I’ve been putting off for a while, AND take my hairy face to the grocery store despite the screaming voice in my head that’s saying, “No-No-No!  They’ll stare, point, and laugh at you, Bearded lady!”


~ Moments of Joy ~

This is a little one, but every little piece of joy you can find is one more piece of joy that you can celebrate.  I have about 50 blogs under my RSS Feeds tab and have been clicking them one at a time to refresh them a few times a day.  This morning I realized how to refresh them all at once!  Little J*O*Y – but still C*O*O*L!  (Simply right-click one of the blog links under your feeds and choose “refresh all”)

I recently discovered The NuVal System of rating the nutritional value of foods. I think it’s a brilliant tool that will make choosing the healthiest bread, cereal, and snacks soooo much easier!  I was thrilled to see that it is a system in use at my favorite grocery store – Meijers! Yeah, ME!

 Tina and Melissa both have great blogs on how they incorporate the NuVal system into their grocery shopping

American Idol is on tonight – Lame, I know!  But I enJ*O*Y it!!

Did I mention I’m having my beard removed (insert sing-songy voice here) …..T~O~M~O~R~R~O~W…..!! 



~ Blogging makes me feel better, too!  YOU?   – 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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