Because I Promised, CI#18

I am wiped out.  Just in the past three days I’ve lost over 10 hours of sleep…no reason…just awake when I shouldn’t be.  Today was a looooooong day…not bad…just long.  Petey actually learned to play fetch today.  He knows how to go after the stick or toy, how to pick it up, how to bring it back, but not how to drop it.  Today he figured out to drop it so we could keep playing.  I think the key was we weren’t at home.  I went to pick up my husband but I didn’t know he would be late so I found a stick and we started playing.  I just checked my BodyBugg and our little game of fetch burned just under 200 calories!   I’m exhausted…so is Petey.  But, even a year ago I wouldn’t have been able to play with him like that.  Progress is good!  I enjoyed wearing my lilac turtleneck today and now it’s time to crawl into my Proskins and go to sleep.  Two more days of slingshot week…so ready to get back to carb cycling.  SO READY!  I am checking in only because I promised I would.


A Little Thinking Goes A Long Way, CI#17

Whew!  I have been one busy girl today!  A lot of my busy has been “mom duties” so I have also had plenty of time to think about yesterday.  I realize I put myself out of balance for very good reasons.  I thought I was making good choices but I never fully explored the effects they were having.  After yesterday, it is abundantly clear to me I need to help myself see my success.

I already keep a running tally of the pounds I am losing but it is obviously ineffective.

I already record my measurements but that too is not enough.

I have tried putting marbles in jars each time I lose a pound but with how slow I lose it tends to serve as a reminder of that more than a reinforcement of my progress.

I have tried setting goals with rewards at the end but again it takes sooooooooooooooooooooooooo long I end up being frustrated more than motivated.

Quite by accident I learned the vents on my fireplace show a dramatic change from my 2012 birthday to last year.  I had only lost about 15 pounds by that point but visually there was a huge difference in my shape.  As I started thinking about how I did not see those changes either.

I have a dress I try on from time to time.  It’s this dress.  There is zero give to the fabric so it either fits or it doesn’t.

This was nearly four months to the day before I started Lyrica and Cymbalta.  The 15.2 pounds I gained in 15 days put me out of this dress in no time....and I am taking it back!  I am SO glad I kept it.

This was nearly four months to the day before I started Lyrica and Cymbalta. The 15.2 pounds I gained in 15 days put me out of this dress in no time….and I am taking it back!

This is what I looked like about six months after fibro hit me.  Finding this dress was one of those “SQUEEE” moments so I couldn’t bear to let this dress go when I was giving away my “skinny” clothes.  One of my goals is to be able to wear it again……with a shorter hem 🙂  So it is good to try it on from time to time but again because I lose sooooooooooooooooooooooooo slowly it is hard to gauge my progress.

One of the things I have learned since fibro found me is how visual I have become.

As all of these thoughts were churning in my head, it hit me.

Slingshot week happens every fourth or fifth week.  It is already built into my plan so it is a good opportunity for reflection on the past few weeks.  However, I need to take myself out of my head and into the dressing room.  I need to try on the next size jeans and the next smallest top and just stand there and see myself.  From now on each slingshot week is also celebration week.

Yes, I have already considered this could backfire if I haven’t shrunk enough to wear them comfortably.  Like trying on this dress that will probably take another 25 or so pounds to actually wear it isn’t about bringing new clothes home as much as it is about seeing those inches and pounds disappearing.

The jeans I brought home yesterday would not button a few days before my birthday in December.  I remember it.  Yesterday, those same jeans helped me recognize how far I have come.  Honestly, as the fabric hugged a couple of stubborn spots I even noticed how far I have to go.




All at the same time and with all the drama appropriate to any transformation.

Weight loss IS drama-inducing and weight loss with fibro is not quite the tragedy I expected it to be.

I’m an expert at asking “What if it won’t fit?”

And a total failure at letting myself wonder, “What if it does…and it looks good…and it’s on sale….and I have enough money to buy it?”

Progress….I have to see it AND be okay if it is slow AND still make myself celebrate it anyway.

In December those jeans went back on the shelf.  Since then, I snorted, “Stupid jeans,”  as I cruised past them.  Today, they are hugging my hips.  It’s good!

For the month of January, I have LOST (as of Saturday, 25 January):

3.2 POUNDS!!!!

When New Clothes Raise a Red Flag, CI#16

So by now some of you know I bought new clothes today.  However, there is more to the story and first I needed to let myself celebrate the victory of smaller clothes because this is a non-scale victory worthy of celebration.

The part of the story I held back is part of my story with my body is dark.  Today, in that dressing room, that darkness was triggered.

Though never diagnosed I have always displayed many of the traits common to body dysmorphic disorder.

For me one of the things that happens is I lose the ability to “see” myself.  Today when I brought the wrong size into the dressing room there was a moment of terror that I am not seeing myself through real eyes.  It is one of the reasons why I love this #GiveIt100 video project because it forces me to not only see myself but let others see me too.

Remember the story of “the dress” I told you a few days ago.  The photograph of me in that dress was the first time I really realized who and what I see does not always match who and what others see.

Generally I am a fairly good judge of what will fit just by looking at it so today when I judged so wrong it scared me.

A lot.

As that fear rose, all I could see were negatives.

I was in the dressing room a long time.





I was mostly reminding myself my first reaction to the second set of clothes were positive and good-tear-filled.  I even stood staring at how small my waist looked in the pants.    I’m not talking “healthy weight” sort of small just really seeing the difference between the pants I was wearing and the ones I was trying on.  Honest to goodness it is the sole reason why I decided to buy them because despite losing over FOUR INCHES off my waist since July until that moment I could not see it.

In the same moment I knew I needed to buy the jeans incorrectly judging my top size flipped that all upside down.

Since July I have lost 8.25 inches off my waist and 5.25 inches off my chest (bra strap)!!!!!!!!  HELLO GIRL, THAT IS ONE MOTHER OF AN NSV!!!!!!!! 

Those two body parts alone means there are 13.5 inches missing from the body I started with.  For some perspective, that is almost how much hair I donated to Locks of Love almost three years ago.

See it.  Feel it.  Never, ever, never forget it.

Granted other than my dress and blouse for my birthday this is the first non-workout clothes I have purchased in about a year but if I am not seeing my body with real eyes I could be headed for real trouble.

I am never going to be the 700-calorie-eating-five-hours-of-exercise-doing-girl-with-broke-eyes again.

I know part of the way I became that girl was being so ashamed of my body.

A few days ago a high school classmate posted the yearbook page from our senior year. I was momentarily horrified.

With 26 years of perspective, I was able to look at my picture with real eyes.  All the photos were cropped the same so it was easy to compare.  On the page were several cheerleaders and athletes and me who always wanted to be both of those things.

Do you know what I noticed in those head and shoulders shots?

I was not the fluffiest one on the page…not the fluffiest one.

How the hell did that happen?

Other than about two weeks growth on what was a very tragically short haircut, she looked a lot like the skinny girls.  Until that moment I never noticed how similar the shape of many of our faces were.

So today when I could not see the right size, I almost freaked out.


Frankly, I am not in  the mood to go back to the girl so I convinced myself it is okay to be happy with new clothes.

I swear if you could see my closet you would know how utterly hilarious it is that I needed any convincing at all.  I am a wee bit of a clothes horse.

While I was concentrating on being happy, I was also letting myself think carefully about what happened.

One of the mistakes I think I have made happened with good intentions.  Between the holidays, my slow weight loss, saving for our cruise, a new smartphone, and everything else I have going on in my life I decided to not buy clothes just to have something new.  I was waiting until new clothes were necessary but I had not defined for myself what “necessary” is.

Today they were necessary.  I suspect they were necessary at some point before today but when.


That is the million dollar question.

I am not going to make myself crazy answering it tonight because honestly I am loving the way these new jeans feel.  They are so soft.  But, to keep myself able to see me with my real eyes I do think I need to come up with an answer before I am able to take these jeans off without unbuttoning or zipping them like the ones I wore into the fitting room.  Yeah, they are that big.  But, I do know I need to work on an answer.

Celebrate this!!!  Even a month ago, you could not wear those not let yourself forget or ignore your progress.

Celebrate this!!! Even a month ago, you could not wear those jeans…do not let yourself forget or ignore your progress.




Now that I have put this all out there I am also posting a photo of the labels on my clothes and a before and after with little notes to me.  I need to not just wear the labels but feel them all the way to my eyes.




Dear Tanya, Do you see these two pictures?  I want you to remember them.  There is less than 90 minutes difference between the lives of these two women.  You need to better appreciate you hold all the power to be either of these women at any moment in your life.

Now this girl, she's feelin' pretty sassy.  Do you remember bouncing off the walls while you were doing her hair and makeup.  This girl is dressed like you.  She is every bit as comfortable than the other girl.  What's the difference?  Nothing on the inside.  Clothes are not your confidence but they do reveal it without you saying a word.  Remember that!!

Now this girl, she’s feelin’ pretty sassy. Do you remember bouncing off the walls while you were doing her hair and makeup. This girl is dressed like you. She is every bit as comfortable than the other girl. What’s the difference? Nothing on the inside. Clothes are not your confidence but they do reveal it without you saying a word. Remember that!!

See this girl, she is wearing her hubs sweatshirt, and her pants are too big.  She doesn't look like she has five second of confidence.  She isn't dressed like who you really are.  FIX IT!!

See this girl, she is wearing her hubs sweatshirt, and her pants are too big. She doesn’t look like she has five seconds of confidence. She isn’t dressed like who you really are. FIX IT!!  Yes, I know this girl rolled out of bed with no intention of looking like this for anything more than driving and a quick run to the store.  It is okay to look like this as long as you see the real girl under the “grubby” clothes.  You haven’t been doing these best job of that lately.  You can do better.

Holy OUCH!!! CI#15

All was well until shortly after 3 p.m…..and then…..a high pressure system passed right over us.

Hubs and I got in the truck to go to the store and by the time we arrived less than five minutes later I could hardly get out of the truck.


Yes, that IS how fast fibromyalgia pain appears.

It is one of the worst things about fibro.  I mean look at me do I look like I was hurting all day?  No.  I was actually having a decent day.  Hair, makeup, jewelry, cute clothes and then in an instant my day was over.

I limped and winced through the store, came home, and took meds during the day for the first time in weeks and maybe even months.  Of course since I rarely need medication to manage my symptoms my body is reacting strongly.

I am hungry but the smell of food is revolting but thank goodness my man is doing the cooking or we would likely be having cereal for dinner.

My head is fuzzy.

My symptoms are only down to a dull ache since I have given up all strong pain medication and what I do have is just not enough to squelch the effects of what should be a 69 degree day tomorrow .  Oh in these moments I want it…bad…but my body does not like meds and I have been with fibro long enough to know this pain will go away.  It never goes as fast as I want it but it always leaves so my choice is to not keep a cache of strong drugs.

It is just how it works.

I hate it…with every fiber of my being.

I had something really fun planned to…oh well, I can save it for another day.

For now, I am going to slink back to my place on the couch and go for another round with the massage pad.

Tomorrow will be better…at least I know it will be warm.IMG_4376

Can I Just Say I LOVE Carb Cycling? CI#14

I do.  I really do love the carb cycling program Chris Powell uses.  In all my years of weight loss, it is the only thing I have found to keep my metabolism humming.  It has been one of my missing links all along.

I have been in the “not all carbs are bad” camp for years so I was never really a carb counter but finding carb cycling was heaven-sent.  As I started this latest weight loss journey, I was coming to the realization some carbs are bad for me.  Carb cycling help me isolate gluten sensitivity as I naturally began eliminating foods which did not pack a nutritional wallop and for me breads were one of the first foods to go.  I am not sure I would have been able to figure it out without the on-again, off-again relationship with carbs.



Seriously, love, love, love them.  In the winter, I crave them.

That potato with a little bit of real butter, some coarse ground pepper, and pink salt…*drool*

To have a plan that works-in those good-for-you-carbs like yum-a-licious potatoes is really wonderful.  I never feel deprived or restricted which means I rarely fall off my plan.  It’s a win all the way around.  It has also taught me to savor foods because with carb cycling there is less chance of falling in a food rut.  Although, I do admit the slingshot week is tough but the proof is in the pudding…errr, potato…because the constant variation of food and calories has prevented me from plateauing and because of that I will never do anything else.

Then once every three weeks, or whenever weight loss slows, Chris says to use the slingshot week–seven high carb days in a row–mentioned yesterday to boost your metabolic fires.  It gives those carbs which can get a bad rap a new purpose.  After years of restrictive dieting, it is actually refreshing to retrain myself to say, “There is a time and place in my plan for carbs, including potatoes.”

On this slingshot week, potatoes have a staring role in my diet.  I savor them.

They are the easiest, most budget-friendly way for me to add what Chris calls “smart carbs,” carbs with high nutritional value, back into my food plan.  For the bad rap they have, they are actually nutritional powerhouses.

That 6.7 ounce potato including the skin contains:

Nutrition Facts from
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Dietary Fiber
Vitamin A
Vitamin D
Vitamin B6
Vitamin C
Vitamin E
Vitamin B12

Look at all that good stuff!!  What’s not to love!

To go with the glorious potato we had ultra-lean Swiss steak and steamed broccoli.  It was a perfect dinner.

Slingshot Week Day One and done.

Weekly Results, CI#13

My ears are ringing and sore…like bad, bad sore.

My throat hurts.

Blinking is work.

But, I have been bouncing off the walls…kinda isn’t fair that I feel so crappy BUT I reached a milestone today.

This also starts the downward slide through the 15. 2 pounds I gained in 15 days when I started Cymbalta and Lyrica.


“Oh don’t worry about it…just take the meds,” my internist said.

In retrospect, I should have started screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO at that very moment.

However, when this pain hits you as such a surprise and your life is upside down the only thing you can think of is MAKE IT GO AWAY and he promised the drugs would do that.  They didn’t.  I would eventually fire that doctor and file a well-deserved complaint against him for negligence.

Anyway, even though these are just numbers these next 15.2 pounds are the only time along my journey I regret gaining.  I had a feeling I should refuse the drugs simply because of the potential for weight gain but I was new and hurting so I made the worst decision about my health I have ever made and swallowed those stupid pills.

15.2 pounds in 15 days…as if fibromyalgia wasn’t enough.

Time to undo that damage….and I’m sick on sick this week…it is also my slingshot, all high carb days, week.

But, I can do this.

On my white board planner, I wrote my motivational mantra for the week:

“The little things go a long way.  The Basics: Water, 5 minutes, Rest, Good Food…Do These!!!!,”

I am sick.

It is not an excuse to give up or fail.

Instead, I can dial myself back to those weight loss basics.  I promise myself I can do that much no matter how terrible I feel.  I have already proved it time and time again.

NO EXCUSES!!!!!!!!!

Of course, if I feel better I will do better.

Busy Day, CI#12

Busy is good!

Here’s my To Done List:

Breakfast date with hubs
Long talk about a HUGE, HUGE decision (good but dramatic all the same)
Paint shopping at Home Depot (my personal heaven)
Ceiling fan redeux (made a plain white fan look like a hundred bucks)
Tried to teach hubs how to work video function on my camera…lots of great video opportunities today, LOTS of operator error…lol
Took the dogs for a long walk…just over a half mile NSV alert! (non-scale victory)
Hubs and I gave Petey a haircut, his first after his surgery…he was SUPER scruffy…so it took both of us
Tried to unclog the kitchen sink, the vinegar and baking soda didn’t work so it’s time for something stronger
Dinner…taught me to not to let my hubs bring me pizza…we ordered a new kind that is in square slices…he fed me half of a thin crust pizza *facedesk*Started sucking on antacids…

To read this you might think I was pain-free today…nope.  My knees were having a hissy fit from the little bit of hiking I did yesterday but the worst think I can do when they act up is hold still so I hitched the boys up and took them for a walk. I hate to mention it but it was in the 60s here today so it was perfect walking weather.  Plus I soaked up some extra Vitamin D so it was a total win!

Remember my Weight Loss Bucket List?  Hiking is definitely on the list!!!  Yesterday there was a trail next to the cemetery in Grafton and I couldn’t help but think, “I wonder where it goes.”  I want to take the trail.  I don’t “need” to scale mountains but I very much want a little jaunt up a foot path.

The only thing left:

Clean kitchen…which makes it super annoying that we didn’t go get drain cleaner…don’t ask because I have no logical reason why “we” (read he) didn’t go…it stresses me out to have a messy-kitchen-weekend…we’re always so busy on the weekends so I hate to stop and clean extra messes I would rather just clean as the day goes….sigh


THRIVING today is a direct result of all my weight loss efforts to this point.  I could not have been this busy a year ago without lots of extra pain.  Honestly I’m a little sore but nothing close to out-of-control.

Super excited for my weekly results reveal…tune in tomorrow.


It Was Magic, CI#11

My hubs and I decided to take a drive today.  When we left the house we had not decided where to go just that we needed to be gone.  Between his knee and ear infection and me spending the majority of my time at home, it was absolutely time to escape.

One of the things fibromyalgia taught me is getting out into nature is very important to my well-being.  Before fibro, I never understood how deeply this need runs or how important it is to me.

We headed east.  Eventually, a right turn would take my husband down the very same road he drives several times a week.  He decided to go straight.

“Do you have your pass to the park?” he asked.

“I do.”

We are blessed to live less than an hour from Zion National Park.

Light thin clouds swirled through the sky.  The air was just a few degrees too cool to drive with the windows down but spring will not be long in the desert.  Patches of snow dotted only the north sides of the hills and the red mountains looked like sleepy embers glowing in the sun.IMG_4501

My hubs knee was really starting to hurt so instead of taking the long drive through the park we turned off the highway in Rockville toward Grafton, a ghost town destroyed in the late 1800s.The story of Grafton  All that is left is a tiny cemetery surrounded on two sides by small hills.  At least they were able to go togetherThe original wooden and stone grave markers still stand and a fenced-in area contains the remains of an entire family wiped out by disease.  Mounds of dirt still mark where bodies rest.  It was sublime and reverent.

Another family was visiting and I found myself envying one of the young men as he said, “This is my great-great grandma.”  I wish I knew anything about my family but that is another story for another day.


After our visit, we took the road back toward the fork that would lead us through Smithsonian National Scenic Byway.I could ride these roads every day.


It is absolutely my favorite place on the planet. (Sorry for the blurry video…my hubs is technologically in the stone age and when I reviewed it there was too much glare for me to notice…lesson learned…we are both going to have to get better at this before our cruise.)IMG_4477



It is serene and the vistas of the mountains which make up Zion National Park are better than within the park boundaries.  It is also where my husband and spent our fourth date.  The first time I saw the layers of rock tears came to my eyes.  The sun was better that day so the colors really shined but it was still gorgeous today.


We were more than halfway through the scenic drive when the course of the conversation took us talking about that day.  What neither of us realized when we left was today is almost the third anniversary of that day.  Of course, our drive found a new level of magic.IMG_4506IMG_4495








As we drove along the long, dusty road to the highway a “For Sale” sign just beyond the protected area caught my eye.  Five acres at the base of one of the most beautiful mountains I have ever known.  We haven’t called on it yet but a girl can dream.IMG_4517All that hopping in and out of the truck to shoot 85 photos…if I could only workout like that everyday.  But, my shoes were in the mud, the breeze was on my cheeks, and the sun warmed my hair and for me that is perfection.  I am thinking nature walks are going to be a regular feature.  There are some gorgeous spaces in my backyard and I would love to share them with you.


Just a Little Freak Out, CI#10

This afternoon I decided to stop ignoring the reminders to update my computer.

I should have known.

I probably did know and that is why I have been avoiding it for so long.

Other than taking forever and all my apps being rearranged…whyohwhy do they have to move stuff with each new version…I mean really do they think we’re sitting at home saying, “Wow, this has gotten too easy so I hope they go jumble everything.”


I am sure this is just the tip of the iceberg but my BodyBugg stopped syncing.

I took my hubs out to lunch and as I was trying to be good on my low carb day by ordering a grilled albacore tuna salad and was instead duped into an 800-calorie bomb.  It was good but not 800 calories good.  I will eat there again but just not that salad.

So I am already on edge because my day is going to be off and then I realize the driver for my BodyBugg flipped out.  Customer service was AWESOME and returned my email in less than 10 minutes and I was given a set of troubleshooting instructions.

Okay so you want the dyslexic, non-tech girl to read the instructions and then DO what they say when I can no longer SEE the instructions…

“Crrrrrrrrrrrrraigggggggggggggggggggggg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” (My 17-year old).

“Breathe woman.”

He talked me off the ledge and helped me follow the instructions but it didn’t work.

So I emailed tech support back and waited nervously for tech support to email back with another fix.

It didn’t work either.

Why is this a big deal?

Bottom line: I do not trust my body.  I LOVE knowing exactly what she’s doing every minute of the day.  My BodyBugg helps me feel like I have a little bit of control over my body…yeah, it feeds my inner control freak….in a good way, in a good way….until it breaks, that is.

In other news, I set up our account for our cruise this afternoon.

Sooooooooo exciting!

Apparently we have two formal nights….guess it’s a good thing I already set my sights on finding a LBD.  Knowing my feet I need to start shopping for shoes now.


I have the worst feet…wide at the toes, narrow at the heel, zero fat pads on the bottom so my bones can crunch in the wrong shoe…super dramatic in the dress shoe section.  Maybe those new $8,000 haute couture sneakers will be knocked off in time for Christmas.  Hey a girl can hope, right!

Other than feeling like a total dolt for not checking the calories in the salad before I left especially when I read the menu before we left, it’s been an okay day.



All Long Days Should End in Chocolate, CI#9

It hasn’t been a bad day.

Just long.

Petey and I had a snuggle and for about 25 minutes I held still and didn’t do a thing but sip cocoa and pet his scruffy little head.  He’s far enough post-op now that he can be groomed and not a moment too soon so if he looks raggedy that’s why.

Yes, that gorgeous cup of cocoa is healthy.  Here’s the recipe:

Tanya’s Dark Chocolate Heaven in a Mug, Serves 1

In one 10 ounce microwave safe mug, stir together about 2 ounces of hot water and 1-2 tablespoons cocoa powder until smooth.  I use 2 tablespoons 🙂 Add sweetener of choice.  I use 2 teaspoons coconut sugar but regular sugar, agave, honey, or maple syrup would be awesome.  Stevia is another alternative but I think it tastes weird in hot drinks.  For heaven’s sake please do not use artificial sweeteners unless you have to.  At this point you can add extracts or spices.  One of my favorites is a few drops of vanilla extract and a dash of cinnamon.  Fill mug with your choice of milk.  I use regular whole milk.  Microwave until warm.  Yes, I know some people think microwaves are bad so heat on the stove if you prefer but please don’t lecture me about my microwave use. I’m a grown woman and I don’t think they’re going to be the death of me.  One mug as described is less than 200 calories of whole food, chocolate decadence without the guilt of the fake food packet hot chocolate beverage mix so kick your feet up and enjoy.  Snuggle puppy, optional.

I hit all my weight loss targets today and it feels really good.

I also saw a new number on the scale this morning so that is the sole reason why I pushed through my day.  Motivation is a pain in the ass sometimes.  I would have loved to be a sloth today.  My fibro’s not bad I’m just…wiped out.

Just so you know, I’ve been waiting almost 30 minutes for my video to load on the Give It 100 site.  I think I’m going to stop watching the blinking cursor and go to bed.  It’s already tomorrow and way past bedtime for me.  I’ll add the video tomorrow…if it ever loads.