Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shoes anyone?

I went to a podiatrist today because I've been having foot pain for, oh, about a year, and I finally got worried enough that I was doing damage to my feet that I asked for a referral. He said I had very high arches, which in a lot of people, causes them to walk on the outsides of their feet, which I do. So now he's making me inserts for my shoes but I really would like to buy some shoes that are good for feet with high arches that don't look like I'm an 89 year old retiree (which is what I found when googling).

I told him I had such a hard time finding shoes to fit me because my feet are big (size 10US, 42 EU), wide (double wide, really) and tall (meaning the top of my foot is high, I guess due to the high arch) and he pretty much said "yeah, it's hard". LOL Thanks buddy! He was a really funny, nice guy though.

I used to buy tons of shoes all of the time thinking "maybe these won't kill my feet" only to be peeling them off of my tootsies an hour later as I hobble around in pain. I really, really dislike it. I will find so many cute shoes, especially summer sandals that I would just LOVE to wear and when I try to put them on I look like a giant stuffing their feet into a child's shoe. It's ridiculous.

I've also been reading that people with high arches should stay away from heels as much as possible because it just puts more strain on the already strained areas. Fine by me, I can't walk in the suckers anyway, but I do work in the corporate world and I do need to be able to dress professionally with professional shoes! I've been getting away with wearing my trainers at work but it looks so silly and makes me so self conscious.

So to finally get around to what I'm asking. If you have high arches, what kind of dress shoes do you wear and what kind of trainers do you find work best for you.

I get my custom made insoles next week, so it should be interesting to see how it works out!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I've been feeling kind of awesome lately so I thought I'd try on some of my "old" jackets I have hanging in my closet that haven't fit in for ages. Literally it's been YEARS since I've been able to wear them but they're so cute (and were expensive!) that I cannot give them away or get rid of them, always having it in the back of my mind that "someday they will fit again". They're size 18/20 and I've been wearing 24/26. Well, "someday they will fit again" is today. I put on those two jackets this morning and they not only fit, they look AWESOME. I cannot believe it. I seriously had no idea I was at that point yet. I'm still wearing all of my 24/26 clothes and I knew they were baggy and not looking so hot but I had no idea that I would fit into those sizes already. I expected a "pull" in the arms, or a squeeze here or there, but they fit. Well.

I will admit though, my top half seems to be losing more than my bottom. I cannot fit into my 20's in jeans and I no longer own a size 22, so I'm still wearing my 24's, which look awful. Really awful. I'm going to have to rectify that situation soon!

I'll take some pictures over the weekend with me in the jackets so you guys can see! Yipee!!!

I hope you are all having healthy, successful weeks!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A (wo)man with a plan!

If you don't realize it, let me just give you a quick rundown of 'me'. I'm an American woman, living in the Netherlands. I've been in the NL since 2004 and get back "home" about once a year. I look forward to this time for months and months before I go. I have countdowns a hundred days in advance, just ticking off the moments until I am with my family and friends.

What you may or may not realize is that every time I go "home" I start planning, months ahead of time, to lose at least 5-10 pounds so I can gain it while I'm in the US of A. A little messed up to think that way? Sure, I'll give you that, but it makes sense in my head. I mean, surely I couldn't be expected to stick to any sort of plan, routine or regimen while on vacation, while in the US, while surrounded by my home country's newest national pass time.... cooking and eating?!?!?

This year I am planning a June trip back to the US and mentioned it in passing at my last appointment with Dewy and told her my usual mode of operation.

Apparently, that's not how we're going to approach vacation in the US this time around, or ever again. She pointed out the fact that I probably strictly "dieted" for the weeks leading up to my trip basically setting myself up for a bunch of binges while I'm there. (man, was she RIGHT there).

My palms got sweaty as I realized she was getting ready to tell me that I wouldn't be eating Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake (which is my alltime favorite food in the entire world, ever, ever. ever). She was going to tell me that I wouldn't be enjoying my cousin Mark's smoked ribs, that I couldn't *gasp* (sorry, I had to brace myself for this one) visit the Dairy Queen! God I just knew it, I knew it in my head that she was getting ready to boss me around, preach it to me like the sinner I was, and give me the verbal lashing even before I did anything! God I hated it!

And then she shocked the devil out of me when she said "well why wouldn't you enjoy the foods you love when you were home?"

Me, queen of witty retorts, snappy comebacks and sarcasm galore, didn't have an answer. I just sat there... gobsmacked.

And she really meant it! Why shouldn't I eat the foods I enjoy while I'm home?

So, we are actually going to make a plan. I'm going to go on vacation and keep living the life I am living now. That seems very simple and kind of  "duh" but I've actually never done that before. I am still going to try to reach all of my mini goals that I have made (fish three times a week, at least a liter of water every day, fruit twice a day etc) because those things are simple, tiny and not really a big deal. That's the beauty in making small, even subtle, changes... they're easy to keep up with no matter where you are or what the situation is. And again, I won't be striving for perfection but I will try to get as close as I can without getting obsessed.

I AM going to eat my dad's pizza and his potato salad. No, I won't eat them in the mass quantities that I have eaten them in the past but hell yeah I'm going to eat them. Mostly because Dewy said I could.

I'm going to have Cheesecake. I am going to savor, enjoy, feel, love and BE the Cheesecake. I'm not going to eat it willynilly by huge forkfulls, I am going to really become one with the cheesecake. I will take tiny bites of the cool, thick, sweet confection and feel it dance down my tongue to my tummy. Okay so this is a little dramatic, a little overboard but really, I am going to have it and I really am going to think about it and enjoy it in the moment. Dewey said I could.

She also asked me to make a list of all of the wonderful, "home" items that I am looking forward to indulging in while I am in the US and bring it to our next meeting. I'm not 100% sure of what we'll do with the list once I have it but I am going to make the list like a good student and see where we go from there.

I am so excited to know that I am not running to the US blind, with every intention of gaining weight while I'm there. I am glad that I won't have those guilty feelings that I always have while I'm there, eating until I'm sick and afterwards when I return home and see the damage. I am thrilled that I don't have to worry about the period when I get back and have to get "back down" to where I was pre-vacation. I won't have that guilt. I won't have that depression (at least from food, I will still be sad that I'm no longer there) surrounding the very idea of "man, if I can't do it while on vacation then can I really do it". I don't have to worry about feeling stuffed. I don't have to worry about binging. Just knowing I will have a plan and it will be a plan that I can live with has already made my vacation and the weeks following so much more enjoyable, and I haven't even left the Netherlands.

If I haven't said it before, and I'm pretty sure I haven't, I am beyond thrilled that I made the decision to get help for my disorderly eating. I am glad I didn't give up on the clinic even after the rocky start. I am proud that I am following this through, being open to suggestions and taking everything on board. I am very happy to be in the place that I am in right now and that's a pretty big deal. A really big deal.

I hope you all are having healthy, successful weeks!

Wii Fit Coach is kicking my booty

Just this week I've come to the realization that my Wii Fit Coach can do so much more than just simple aerobic workouts. I always just automatically clicked to  "cardio" skipping (or grapevining) right past all of the other options.

The other day I took my time when logging in and listened to what my coach was actually saying and read the script that said  "Coach's recommendation for today has a star by it" and sure enough, there in the list of workout choices was a little while star by "lower body" so I thought "why the heck not".

I'll be honest here, I've actually started looking closer at  the program because I've been a bit bored with my workouts with the coach. There is only so much cardio-in-the-living-room a girl can do before she starts dreaming of sweating it off in other ways. That's how I stumbled upon my other workouts and I haven't been bored since!

I still get in cardio, it starts with the normal warm up and I think 15 minutes of the regular cardio workout, which at my size, works up a nice little glisten, but then you do the last half with strength training, either upper body, lower body, flexibility or a couple other choices that I can't remember right now and that is when the fun begins. I've been doing planks, yoga poses, lunges, side leg lifts and a plethora of other butt kicking-muscle tiring-toes are sweating - moves and it's been awesome.

Back when I did have a gym member ship, many years (and one child) ago, my favorite part wasn't on the treadmill, or the elliptical machine or the bike or any cardio machine... my favorite part was the weigh lifting and the body pump classes. Finding these little gems on my own home workout game, that doesn't require me to pay a monthly fee or leave my house, has been wonderful and a total motivational boost.

I feel so tired when I am done with these workouts that it makes me beam with pride. THIS is what I loved about my workouts back in '06 - '07, the feeling that I've not only moved, but I mooooooooooved. I am really looking forward to getting better at the strength training and seeing my body change like I know it will.

I hope you all are having healthy, successful weeks!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Nutritionist - CHECK!

I saw the nutrionist for the first time yesterday and I was really just so nervous. There is no valid reason why I should have been nervous. I know I have been eating on time and making fairly decent choices but I just had it all in my head that she was going to be a total boetch to me and try to make me eat crap that I didnt like or didn't want to eat (like Dutch people are totally into eating sandwiches for breakfast and lunch and I get SICK of it so I throw in the occasional bowl of oatmeal now and then).

Firstly, I walked in and when I met her I was surprised at her age. She looked about 20, which is fine, but when I think "nutritionist" I think older, grey haired woman for some reason. She was really bright and cheery, so that put me at ease a little. I was thinking more along the lines of school marm and got school girl instead!

Then we started going over my food log that I had emailed her earlier in the week, so she could look it over before our appointment (and make big red checkmarks on all of the things I've been doing "wrong", said my head). I was so surprised when she was so positive with all of the changes I have been making! There was no red pen, no frowny faces, none of that, just some really constructive Q&A's and useful feedback. Her only "concern" is that I am drinking too much diet coke, and I assumed this already, so I am going to try to cut down to one can a day. Currently I am drinking 1-2 cans at lunchtime and then at home (hide your eyes for those who are weak at heart) I probably drink 3 - 8oz glasses in the evening. So cutting it down to one can a day is going to be a challenge but when I started this whole thing I said I would do as they ask and at least give it a shot, so that's what I am doing. I used to drink only water all day long when I was in the US so once I get past the initial shock of it all, I think I'll be alright.

I shared with her that I had been experiencing frequent heartburn and she told me that the increase in water that I made was probably a little overboard (I was drinking 4 - 8oz glasses between 9AM and lunch and then more after lunch) which was what was causing my heartburn. I should still drink water, just not in mass quantities. Noted.

She answered the couple of questions about portion sizes and meal sizes that I had and was just really positive about everything I've been doing. I was so relieved! I left feeling so great about this entire experience with Novarum (minus the bit of a rough start)!

I am going to see her again in a month just to touch base with how it's going on the "less soda" front and answer any more questions I may have. Whew! That's one more thing I can check off of my list of "scary things that I don't want to do but know I have to". Nutritionist - CHECK!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pants on the Ground

This post over on Fat Girl Dives In, besides being hilarious, also reminded me what I forgot to share with you all. Over the past two weeks my pants (24 avergae Lane Bryant) are literally falling off of me. I don't own a belt (when you have a booty like mine, you don't need belts, usually) and I am hiking my jeans up every other step when I'm walking around. I don't have the budget or time to do any clothes shopping right now (keep in mind, plus size clothing in the Netherlands SUCK and finding a nice looking pair of pants is nearly impossible) so I have just kind of been hoping that nobody has noticed. A couple of my shirts are also going in the donation pile.

After several "you have poopy butt" comments over the last month or so Marco finally gave me the final push by stating "I am going to take those jeans and your other pair and burn them, so you better buy some new ones soon". My colleague also gently asked me last week "Sarah, can I just climb in your pants with you?"

Okay people, I get it. I need new pants. I just hate spending money on transition clothes but I know it's a must and it's part of the process so next week a shopping I will go. No need to burn anything. I can think of worse reasons to need to shop!

So much to share

There is always so much I want to share as the week drags on but finding time to write shorter posts through the week just hasn't happened lately. I have the "gift" of being long winded the way it is without gathering all of my weight loss ammo up and blasting you with it in one go, but alas, this is how it has to be right at this moment. 

That said, here is this weeks post!  

I've been telling you about making little mini goals for myself and keeping track of them on my dry erase board. Well I thought I'd take a snapshot of my actual board in action to give those visual readers something to look at. Taking a picture of a silver board proved to be more difficult than I expected. Like 10 shots later I finally said "screw it, good enough" and this is what you got.

So what you're looking at is my 7 week planner. The dates that have the "E" in them are days I am to exercise. Up there at the left you have the "key" as well as my starting (for the seven week, not all-time) weight. I get a star every day I exercise, I get a water droplet every time I drink my three bottles of water at work. I get a fishy every time I eat fish (goal is to eat fish three times a week). I get a smiley face every time I eat "on plan" meaning every 2-3 hours, 2 pieces of fruit a day and no binges. That little piggy bank there on the right is my Eurofantje (euro elephant, I guess it's cuter if you speak Dutch), every day I get a smiley face, my Eurofantje gets a euro. At the end of my 7 weeks if I make 80% of my goals, I get to spend what is in my Eurofantje on something for myself! So again, I don't have to be perfect, just 80% "really good". It leaves myself room for error, take the pressure off from trying to be superwoman and I can really enjoy and appreciate the efforts I am making. There on the upper right hand corner are my stats from last month.

This dry erase board resides on my dresser in my bedroom. I see it every single morning as I'm choosing socks to wear that day. It's in my direct line of vision and is a constant, but not nagging, reminder of my goals for the day. It seems simple, it may even seem childish to some, but drawing those little images is one of the highlights of my day. Seeing the calendar fill up as my weeks chug along, that makes me proud and it a great motivator.

I also realize that I haven't shared any recent picture of myself or progress pictures. I think that's what makes other weight loss blogs interesting, to actually see some pictures. I didn't take a picture for you tonight because I look like complete crapola and Marco isn't here to help me so I thought I'd look into my folders and find a recent one for you all. Low and behold, I realized that I have deleted every single unflattering photo of me (meaning any that shows my body "as it is") so I came up with the below shots that were taken while we were in Illinois last November, so really, not too too old. In this first one Sadie is kind of hiding my body, but you get the general idea. (that's my kiddo and hubby there too!)

 Here is a better full body shot, so you can get a better idea of what I look like standing up (you can also scroll down to the bottom of the page there on the right and I have a shot of me standing, last May while on vacation). Either way, you get the general idea.

I have decided that I am going to go ahead and follow Dewy's advice (Dewy is my therapist for those new readers who have recently joined *waving hi*) and keep weighing in blind and this time, with follow through. When I started at Novarum to get help with my Disorderly Eating I made a promise to myself that I would do what they said, follow their guidelines blindly and give everything they asked of me a real shot. So even if it makes me a bit uneasy and it's not exactly blog world friendly not to post weekly weights, I'm not only doing this for entertainment value (assuming you're being entertained). I am doing this for me. It's important and I want to really give it my all. Dewy also made a really good point, that I only got on the scale last time to look (when I was supposed to be weighing in blind) because I was feeling some emotion, some nervous emotion and instead of dealing with what that emotion was, I let the scale tell me how I should feel. Who can argue with that rock solid case? Not I! So I'm not sure when I will know what my actual weight is but I will continue posting on my other weight loss goals.

Exercise, it's getting easier. I'm still only working out in my home and only with the Wii but it's getting less "Oh my God I'm going to die" and moving right along into the "Gosh I'm burning up, oh, only 14 minutes left, that wasn't so bad" phase. My favorite workouts right now are the Wii Fitness Coach and the Wii Just Dance 2. I do 30 minutes of cardio workout with the Coach and it can get a bit monotonous but I really sweat, work hard and feel good afterwards. With the Just Dance 2, I really work up a sweat, I thoroughly enjoy the music and dancing and I tend to work out longer, like 50 minutes, but the waiting in between songs while the next one loads up can get irritating and you lose momentum. I even tossed around the idea of doing a 45 minute workout with the Fitness Coach but the last thing I want to do is ruin the good thing I have going by pushing myself too hard.

I have tons more to say but I'm sure I've reached my .02 limit for this post so I'll leave it at that. I hope you all are having healthy, successful weeks!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hello Monday, hello weigh-in

So I made a deal with Dewy that I wouldn't weigh myself at all for like a 6 week time span as an experiment. I could still weigh in at my appointments with her, but I had to weigh in blind, meaning only she saw it (she doesn't actually blind me, which could cause some sort of law suit I'm sure). This started about a month ago and I just had Marco update my stats on the right side bar there and didn't peek.

The point of the exercise was to see how well I could do without the influence of the numbers. It worked fantastic the first couple of weeks because I was on track, feeling great, meeting all of my little mini goals almost every day and no matter what that scale may have said, I felt in my body that I was doing well. This positive momentum was an amazing boost every day!

Well, I think this is 6 weeks into it and I caved. I totally 100% caved. I couldn't stand it. First I couldn't stand it because I felt fabulous, was getting compliments left and right about losing weight and looked like the star of my own hip-hop video with my baggy pants fallin down, showing some crack. I was so curious as to what the numbers said. Then my mood changed, life changed, like it always does, I had a stressful, jam pack week at work and I freaked because I just knew I was back at 301 lbs. I just knew that I had somehow transported myself all the way back up to 301 lbs and I was going to have to start all over.

So I peeked. And I was wrong. Very wrong. I did not gain every ounce back in a weeks time period, which of course, all of you already knew because you're logical people. I have actually, surprisingly, hit the 20 pound mark. In the negative. I've lost 20 POUNDS!!!! Funnily enough I have lost 20.02 (as in weighing in with my .02) pounds if you want to get all technical about it.


So now I'm not sure which direction to turn. Do I go back to weighing blind? Do I continue on with my weekly weigh ins? I do like to be able to update you guys every week with "what the scale said" because let's face it, it's a weight loss blog, not a "let's see how Sarah's day went" blog but I don't know if anybody really noticed that I wasn't posting numbers (except on the side bar) as long as I was posting other weight loss related posts. The blind weigh-ins really did make me less number obsessed, especially when you know that scale can have an atttude and hold a grudge even when you've been a stellar performer!

I'll discuss it Wednesday with Dewy and see what she suggests. If any of you have any opinions as to reading a weekly result or if you're just happy to check it there on the right, feel free to comment and chime in with you .02.

I hope you're all having healthy, successful weeks!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Meet Kara, Josh and little Brecken

Josh, Kara, and Brecken

Hi everybody! I just wanted to take a quick second of your time to pass on some information for a very dear friend of mine, Kara. As you all know, Marco and I struggled with infertility for years before being blessed with our little Sadie. It was via that struggle that I was fortunate enough to meet and become friends with Kara.

Kara, Josh and Brecken are a happy family of three who are looking to become a family of four via adoption. If you would happen to know anybody who is currently making that very difficult, selfless decision of adopting their baby into a home of a loving family, please pass Kara, Josh and Brecken's information along. Their information can be found online here, as well as contact details.

Infertility has stolen so many things from so many people, but it has also given us the ability to understand the full capacity of our hearts in ways which otherwise, we would not have known. 

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Suck it up!

That was the outcome of yesterday's "I don't wanna, I don't wanna, I don't wanna" foot-stomping, baby fit. Today, when faced with my calendar taunting me with that big excited "E" for "exercise" I sucked it up and I did it.

And, as predicted yesterday, the good voice in my head out-shouted the naughty, slothful voice in my head (but, I do have to give him props, he kept chattering away right up until the end) and I went ahead and worked a full 35 minute workout. I didn't even intend to stop at 35 minutes but my poor little Sadie baby has a cold and was up screaming in her bed. The Mommy voice trumps ALL other voices, always and forever.

I really didn't feel like working because I was so tense from the last couple of days at work but exercising actually released that tension and now my body, although tired and stinky, feels better than any amount of relaxing on the couch could have caused it to feel.

So we're off to a good positive start this week! I hope  you all are having healthy, successful weeks!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Oh how I want to be inspiring...

Oh how I want to be inspiring with this post but jeezopete I am just not feeling it. It's not gonna happen. It's just not. And that's okay. This blog has never been about me being miss merry sunshine blowing smoke up your wazoo to make you think this is simple, easy, fun, perfect or great (although many times it is every single one of those things).

Nothing is "wrong" per say, I'm just feeling very overwhelmed at this moment. This would be a moment when I would also feel the need to binge. On everything. And anything. Especially sweets. Pie, by the pie load. Cakes, by the layers. Brownies by the pan. These are my "go to" binge foods. Or at least they were.

But I'm not going to do that this time around. I may not eat perfectly but I refuse to binge. I'm just so ready to be "done" with that whole cycle, that I just stubbornly refuse to do it anymore. No more stuffing myself sick because I've had a rotten (ROTTEN) day at work. No more eating until I feel like throwing up (and then thinking "well, maybe I should make myself throw up"). No more. I'm just ready to never go down that road again. I'm ready to look behind me and wave "so long sucka" to that person on that wickedly addictive path. I'm ready and I will have to admit, it is largely attributed to my sessions with Dewy and the progress I have been making there. This is how I felt when I stopped smoking too (back in 2004). I was just fed up with it and I was ready to be done. I haven't had a single cigarette since and I'm done binging. I'm calling it quits. I didn't think I would ever feel this way in my entire life but I really feel kind of "over it".

I'm not claiming total victory over every facet of the mental weight loss game but I'm pretty sure that I've won this round.  Sarah 1  - Binge 0.

And this would typically be a moment when I would stop exercising because all I really want to do it snuggle up in bed and be "unbusy". After a long, mentally challenging day the last thing I want to do is come home and sweat my guts out, listen to that Fitness Coaches witty banter as she tries to prod me into one more round of kicks, squats or jumping jacks and work out. That "just do it' is something I still need to master.

Luckily tonight was my night off but I'm wondering, if tomorrow is a repeat of today, will I really come home and sweat? I would love to say "heck yeah you will Sarah, you can do it, think of all of those lovely endorphins running through your veins making you feel like a bazillion bucks" but right now, what I'm really thinking is "yeah, I'm totally not moving tomorrow". It's almost claiming defeat before I'm really defeated.

Maybe I'll make a deal with myself (I do this quite often, the voices in my head love to gamble) and say that tomorrow if I am still feeling lousy, I can work out for only 15 minutes but I have to at least do those 15. I can totally live with that. It's not being totally schleppy (yes, that's a word, in my vocab at least) or letting myself totally off of the hook but it's also not being an exercise Nazi. Win-win, no?

And, I know myself well enough to know that if I do 15 minutes of it, about 6 minutes into the whole sweaty mess I'll start to feeling good and continue on for at least 30 minutes. Even as I type this one side of me is saying "you're sooooo not doing more than 15 minutes" but you know, if I don't, that's really okay. Because I said it is. And I am the boss of me.

Let's hope today is not a repeat and  that whole thing becomes a totally moot point (moot was for you Keith!).

I hope you're all having healthy, successful and inspiring weeks!

Thursday, March 03, 2011


Yikes! I've been M.I.A. a lot longer than intended! No worries though, things are going super well! I'm feeling good, accomplishing my mini goals and fielding "have you lost weight" comments left and right.

Dewy asked me to come up with a list of distractions for myself to use when it isn't quite "time to eat" but I am getting that familiar "I'm bored therefore I'm hungry" type of feeling. I'm sure you all know it well! I have a little list at home already but I want to know what do YOU do to distract yoruself from food and mindless grazing?

Here are just a few things I've managed to come up with:
dust the house (this always needs done!)
paint my nails
read a book
walk the dog
play with Sadie
sort old photos
brush my teeth (not that I don't do this anyway, but a clean mouth staves off hunger for me)

I will need to have distractions for any time of day, so at work, on the weekends, 2am... you name it, I'll need a distraction. So let me know what you think!