When you feel like a failure....

I have been in a weird mood lately...which has probably come across in online comments. lol.
You ever do that?
Struggle with something personally and it skews your perspective.
I still feel like a complete and utter failure sometimes.
I know..
When do I get to feel like a winner!
even if you lose tons of weight..sometimes you still have the voice in your head screaming
It bothers me when I see kids my daughter's age playing the piano (10)
I can't do that for her.
It bothers me that my house is a mess.
I feel like I chase the mess around the house.
The only thing I feel great about right now is homeschool.
Do you ever feel like you try and try and try and you are still not up to snuff?
Not thin enough.
Not active enough in church.
Not well dressed enough, neat enough, etc.
I just keep thinking that If I could stumble across the exact plan that will make everything fall into place.
My stress will melt away.
It all came to a head a week ago when I was nitpicking my husband about his sock drawer.
I wanted it NEAT.
I asked him to please straighten it so I would know what went where.
He gave me a hard time.
I gave him a hard time.
And when that argument was over...I realized I had attacked him because I felt out of sorts.
And, instead of focusing on ME...it was easier to point out another's flaws and 'fix' them.
I need to focus on me, on my home.
I need to get at least some of my crap together.
my homeschool organizer and my bill book and a basic cleaning plan (which went out the window with canning and homeschool)
I am not a failure.
I just have a lot on my plate.
So I am cutting myself some slack.
I will get back to you on the first.
Have a good two days guys.



Hey all,
I'll be back on monday.
I have a looooooot of work to do.
But will fill you in Monday.
Hope all is well with you guys.
Hang in there.
Chris out.


A whisper of GoodBye...

My oldest daughter is at a three day retreat....
She is 17...soon to be 18.
The years went  by so fast.
I remember still, holding her when she was first born...and being terrified.
I was only 19.
And all I could think was:
I am responsible for her life...
for good or ill, what I do will mold her future.
And I knew that I had to lay down anything and everything
and pick up the mantle of mom.
I had to be what she needed.
And I watched her grow.
I taught her to read and write and to do her sums.
I taught her to face things head on and love herself.
All so that someday,
She could let go with no fear and meet life head on..
and she is going....
She forgot to call tonight, probably because she was having too good a time to remember.
And while part of me was sad.
I remember being her age.
What it felt like to be encompassed in my own space.
And part of me felt free with her.
And was happy.
It was a preview of next August.
When she leaves to begin her own life.
A whisper of a Good bye.
It made me both glad and sad.
So  this is what it feels like.
To be a mother.
And let go.


create a new truth....

I was talking to my oldest about this concept yesterday.
What is it...etc.
We both agree that there IS an objective truth outside of people's perceptions...A truth that doesn't disappear simply because we wish it were different.
But we both agreed that perception is reality.
How you view anything will skew how you deal with the problem or opportunity at hand.

For instance...
For years I knew...KNEW...I was fat...obese.

Whatever you want to call it..
pleasantly plump....

But I dismissed it.
Mostly because every time I attempted to deal with it I would run into the process of weight loss with a  combination of dread and magical thinking.

My goals went something like this:
I am going to be hot(t).
I am going to fit into a size ____
I will eat 1200 calories and exercise every day till I get there.

It became a kind of long form punishment for my eating "sins".
I deserved to suffer because I had been lazy and a glutton.
So, Now it was time to starve and exercise.

Which for me is not realistic.
But, No matter how many times I tried this approach and failed...I never questioned the approach..
only my lack of 'will power'.
Each new attempt built a wall of inevitability.
That I would always be fat.

Then in 2005 I thought I had found my cure all.

I thought that if only I could eat low carb...
and I lasted six months...on induction.
(which is NOT how you do atkins)
I lost 30 lbs...
and I cracked.
I ate every carb in sight and gained back all I had lost and then gained some on top of that.
You see, I never had an eye on long term.
I never asked myself, "Can I do this for the rest of my life."
So my Truth became "I am incapable of losing weight."
Which looking back, obviously is not true.
I allowed my ignorant approaches to dissuade me from future effort.
Even while I was in the middle of the crazy, and knew it was crazy...
I kept convincing myself that the only way to be thin was to suffer...and to suffer for the rest of your life.
No wonder I gave up.

I like food.
Am I really going to eat 1200 calories for the rest of my life? No.
Am I really never, ever going to eat french bread or cheesecake..(real cheesecake) again?

So, This last go around, you know how I started?
I said to me..
You are fat.
And no matter what you do, this will not be coming off overnight.
And whatever else you are doing, you certainly aren't paying attention to how many calories you are consuming.
So...cap your calories at 1800 and take a walk.
every day.
So I did.
I knew I could do that.
I was full.
I still had foods I liked
And after about a week I gained some confidence.
I increased my walk.
I took no magical pills.
I went up my road and back.
I bought no equipment.
Not even tennis shoes.
or exercise clothes.
I walked around in button down shirts and stretchy pants.
After two weeks I weighed myself and got my 'beginning' weight.
And nearly passed out.
But I knew the truth.
I knew what worked.
I knew I could lose weight.
And I kept going.
By facing each obstacle squarely,
and not trying to find an easy out.
I got thinner.
And thinner.
and thinner.
I am a little over two years in now.
And am still chugging away.
I can keep going..
Because this is possible.
And once you know an objective truth, you can't un know it.
It makes me feel better about the occasional gluttonous meal...
or a gain of a pound or two.
Because, the truth is..that's life.
the truth is, it will never be over.
And the truth is...
I am glad I started.
And the truth is...
I am healthy.
I am happy.
And I have created this.
and the truth is..
so can you.
Chris out.


Pit Viper and a pretty big NSV...

For those of you who have followed me for a while...you will remember the infamous fainting incident which led me to the conclusion that I had an issue with Fear Of Men...
(said incident can be found HERE)
And I attended a self defense class...and no longer had an issue with fainting in public. lol.
Well, I went back today for a refresher class...
I was in a class with 8 women and 5 men. All of these women were fairly slender...(One I sized up as being thinner than me..but taller.)....
THis is where the cool part happens.

The instructor says: "Okay...to prove it doesn't matter how big or small you are...I am going to need the smallest woman in the class"......"Christina"...

So I look around for this Christina..and realize he is pointing at me.

I am the smallest woman *in his mind anyways*  in class.
Everyone laughs because it took so long for me to go to the center of the mat...thinking I was nervous.
Not knowing...It was because I was looking for the smallest woman in the class.
I have never been the smallest woman in anything.
So, If I am a pit viper....I am a small one..
but deadly ;O).
To church tomorrow and then the gym.
Have a great night guys.
chris out.


Are you sick of climbing?

That's okay...
stay where you are....


You don't like the view...
well then,
I guess you'd best keep climbing.

I get sick of climbing.
Sometimes it seems I have been climbing my whole life.
Climbing over other people's sh*tty decisions.
Climbing over other people's apathy.
(these are the easiest to climb over...they make good places to plant your feet.)
climbing over people's preconcieved ideas and prejudices....
even my own.
Climbing out of the hole of poverty.

Just to get to even ground.
Where the normal people start.
Today I had to tell my daughter we couldn't afford ballet lessons.
It's 80 dollars a month.
plus the outfit and the shoes and the tights and a 25 dollar fee to register.
We have about 180 dollars left for groceries for the month.
We just can't do it.
It took all of our money just to get my oldest daughter's ap exams paid for and her senior trip to camp (that she missed for the last two years).
We can afford this in November or December, but sign up is now.
And I was in a crappy mood.
It's hard to tell your child no, when it is something they really, really want.
But as I was doing the elliptical I remembered..
I remembered how I grew up.
In a trailer.
I got three pairs of pants and three shirts for the year.
I had never had a lesson other than "don't provoke a drunk" or "make yourself scarce when someone is pissed".
My mom pulled me out of girl scouts because she simply couldn't pick me up anymore.
My daughter is in her 4th year of girl scouts.
She is starting with the church choir this coming sunday.
She has a nice home.
An intact family.
Parents who are stable, sober and who love her.
She isn't just starting from ground level...
she is at least two or three floors up.
While I can't get her ballet at the super duper fancy school.
I can get her a few 6 week lessons down at the community center.
And next year...she won't be starting from nothing.
She will be starting a little bit higher.

So maybe you are standing at the bottom of a huge pile of sh*t.
And there is nothing you would like better than to sit down in it and quit.
It that really where you want to spend your life?!
I didn't think so.
Start climbing.
Chris out.


Thank God the weight of the world.....

Is not on my shoulders...
I'd drop it.
okay...so I am changing up my lifting..
I am lifting more..
not more often..
more machines.
Today I added more back and shoulders and biceps..While keep the back and chest and tricep workout I had been doing.
It takes me nearly 25 minutes to complete...
And you know how much I can lift on the shoulder press.



I can lift more on flys...55 lbs....
You would think my shoulders would be stronger....but they aren't.
You know why.
I haven't worked them.
my quads can only do 30 lbs.
my legs are weak.
I have completely overhauled my workouts...a little less cardio...45 minutes...
alot more lifting...20 to 25 minutes...alternating upper and lower body.
We'll see how it all goes.
Today I started homeschool with my youngest.
We had a lot of fun!
I put together this thing called the adventurer's notebook...
and it has all seven continents subdivided in there..
Now when we learn something in history...or biology or in reading...we will put it under the continent to which it belongs.
Today we were talking about the fertile crescent in Asia, which resides in the modern day countries of Iraq, syria and parts of Turkey.
I think it will really help her to connect how geography and cultures and climates and resources have affected history.
Too fun.
Hope you all are on plan and having a great day.
Talk to you tomorrow,
Chris out.


when do we get to like ourselves?

Back with a serious post.
I was talking to my mom today...She was shopping for a dress for my little brother's wedding in September(*Which I am excessively happy about btw, He is marrying a lovely, smart woman who seems devoted to him.) So I can hear her saying..."oh that's cute, It would look so good on a petite lady. (I grew up with this which probably is the reason for my idea of what constitutes beautiful) She didn't think she could look beautiful, she wanted to 'settle' for not being 'frumpy'. She deosn't want to be in any of the pictures.
My mom is a 14-16.
I remember being a 24 and thinking "if only I could be a 14 again'.
Right now I am a size 10 and I have a 'look' I am going for.
I like myself right now.
All of me.
I don't hate parts of me....I don't feel less because I am not a size 6.
I just have goals that I would like to attain.
And beauty is more an attitude than a reality...Some of the most beautiful women are not classically beautiful....they have a certain something...and that something is CONFIDENCE.

What is it about our culture that we WOMEN have to hate parts of ourselves?
And if we don't we are 'stuck up'.
And don't tell me it isn't programmed in, because it is.
It's almost like coda amongst women.
"I hate my thighs."
Then as a friend you must say...
"I think your thighs are great...You should see my STOMACH!"
"Oh You look fine."
"I hate my hair...feet...boobs...butt..."
on and on ad nauseum...my oldest daughter tells me about the locker room conversations.
Most ridiculous one in her opinion..."I hate my shoulders...they are too wide'...
Kate said "how boring, to be so obsessed about your body. I love my body.'
*I liked hearing that btw*
You know what I want to hear from women!
Man do I have fabulous thighs! (someday soon I want to hear this from my mom)
Me: Your thighs! You should see my abs! I love em'.
My husband once told me he couldn't see past my fat.
I have to admit I have been waiting for something...a chance to get him to see what it feels like to have someone ding you for something you are struggling with...
He has been trying to lose weight..
And he is doing okay..but he is also trying to build muscle.
I don't dig meat heads. I like lean bodies.
I don't want him going moobish on me.
So I say "Don't get all moobish on me.'
I don't like meatheads."
He says "How would you like it if I said something like "I like fat women."
I reminded him of his prior comment.
He just stood there with his mouth going up and down like a landed fish.
Then I said...To be honest...I will love you moobish or not...but now you know how hurtful it sounds to someone when you think they will love you less if you don't live up to their standards.
He looked pole axed.
So I say, "Do you love me for what I look like, or do you love me for me?"
He said "I love you for you."
I say "Ditto."

So...When do we get to like ourselves?
When we reach the perfect size?
When our Butts don't sag?!
When we have been cut up, rearranged, had our boobs lifted and blown up?
When we are botoxed, hairsprayed, painted and squeezed into form fitting clothes?
How about right now...
What do you love about you?
And you know what..it can be your personality...but you need to add on a part of your body that you love..
Chris out.


Need a laugh, follow this link


This is worth watching...I need a good laugh and this is the hardest I've laughed in a while...

Chris out


Hello there...I have GIANT...

Click to enlarge!
For perspective..those are 5 gallon buckets of water and the fence is three foot high.  They are growing everywhere....

click to enlarge!
Next up are my cucumbers....I picked 9 lbs today and I have to pickle them tomorrow or the next day.....

And then yesterday I took my youngest to the zoo....She had to write which animals belong to which continent..it's a good way to teach geography.  We have been very busy!
But having loads of fun...My garden is coming along and I will be taking some pictures of my pickles tomorrow....hopefully.
I went to the gym and ate on plan today...good day over all....My lower body weight lifting is really starting to pay dividends...my legs even 'feel' stronger.
Hope you all had a great weekend and are on plan. Take care.
Chris out.



To the Navy seals who gave their lives today in Afghanistan and to their families..I extend my deepest sympathies.  Thank you for your service.
To the rest of my readers...I have a very busy Sunday planned and so will see you on monday.
Chris out.


Day 4- whereupon I WANT a roll...and discussing maintenance.

You know, a fresh roll...right out of the oven...with butter and maybe a little honey.
But instead I ate

Beet greens

In my eternal quest to eat ENOUGH POTASSIUM....I was assured this was tops...1309 for one cup of cooked beet greens...and you know what
not worth it.

so...It's either 8 bananas or a supplement.
Supplement it is.
Right now I am in 'weight loss mode'.
But for a long time I was in maintenance mode.
I was in that mode because I was sick of weight loss mode.
And I discovered one thing.
To maintain..or maintain some semblence of maintenence...
You will have to do one of two t hings.
watch what you eat.
or exercise like a mad woman.
I didn't watch what I ate as much (well somewhat..never gorged on a cake or ate a whole pizza...)
My breakfast never changed.
I think breakfast is very important.
Both psychologically and physically.
Psychologically because eating breakfast takes away that excuse at 8 or 9 at night that says...
well, I didn't eat breakfast so a piece of pie won't hurt.
breakfast starts your metabolism.
It gives you energy and I think gives your day a more balanced feel.
While I might not have carefully watched everything going in my gullet..
I would have two or three day stretches where I would carefully count and then three or four where I wouldn't.
And I NEVER quit exercising..even if it was just a walk.
In fact I went one whole month just walking.
I put on a few pounds...but nothing like I would have if I had quit exercising.
So if you want a mental break from weight loss.
I would say exercise in some form daily...
keep a tally of what you eat, if not strictly..
and always eat breakfast and get enough sleep.
You shouldn't gain too much.
It worked for me..
so, for those in maintenance..
What worked for you.
I went to the gym
Had a good day food wise.

chris out.   


Day 3-on a roll

I had a very good day today.
I worked out and burned 700 calories through a combination of lower body weights and one hour on the elliptical plus 100 situps.
My eating was spot on...
Not much to say, I have to go and make some pickles....bread and butter.
This will be my first attempt at canning.
Wish me luck! lol.
Have a great night guys.
Chris out.


self honesty and pictures

Today is day 2 of my 38 days till my brother's wedding.
I find day 2 is usually the hardest...I don't know why. 
Maybe it's because I am not going to be seeing any progress yet.
I  did very well yesterday...extremely well in fact.
And today-if  say, I went over by 50 calories, what would be the harm?
50 often leads to 100 or 200.
Then it's 'well, I will start over tomorrow'.
momentum builds on itself...and so does stultification.
One bad day often leads to another...I know, I have been there...
MY Worst excuse ever, "I have paperwork and will be up late, so I will just hose this bag of chips and
So, even if I am tired (which I am)
Have a lot of work to do (which I do) .
I have eaten 850 calories today....that means I have 550 calories for dinner.
I have to spend them carefully.
If I eat over by 50, I can rationalize doing 100 and then so on.
And all the hard work of the previous day is gone...
I have to be honest and realize that today is all I can control.
When I start over again, I lose 2 days...The day you started and the day you started over...
When I could have been three days in and on a roll.
That decision to eat or not is mine.
I CAN eat anything and everything I want.
But I choose not to.
Because I am not where I want to be...

pictures to prove it...

As you can see, I put my weight on in the middle like an old dog. lol.
The Day I am on...is just a number...
I will not play mind games to justify eating when I know what my cap is.
I want to reach my goal.
and I will.
Today was an excellent day with exercise.
I burned 500 calories with a combination of walking, stairmaster, and situps and lower body weights.
I will be eating baked chicken and a crapload of squash and zuchinni for dinner.
I will be going to bed a little hungry and waking up a little more certain.
That's how this business works.
success builds on success...just don't talk yourself out of winning.
Hang in there guys,
chris out.


single minded determination

For anyone to really drop some serious pounds.
You need single minded determination.
You need to place as much importance on the next bite of food as you did the last..
The exercise..
be there.
When you are excercising, stay in the moment.
Get the most out of each session.
Wake up each day thinking
"I am one day closer to where I want to be."
Each Meal
will either move you forward or take you backwards.
No excuses.
No half hearted walks followed by a cup of ice cream.
No crackers with butter.
No handful of anything at 11 because you are 'starving'.
No,  you aren't...as the extra 20 pounds of fat around your middle will attest. lol.
That fat isn't there as an accessory.
That fat is now fuel.
Fuel for you to use, to win.
Calories in today 1400.
Exercise in at 715 calores burned (1 hour elliptical, upper body weights and 110 situps)
I am not weighing in...
that weird feeling of dread stopped when I stopped seeing the numbers fall.
For a while the scale was motivating me...then it was scaring me.
I have had a fear of being vulnerable for a long time.
I attach that fear to a certain number...139 and below.
So, I am done freaking myself out.
Tomorrow I am going to have my freind take a picture of me in very very tight clothes..I will post it.
Along with measurements.
Then I will post another on September 1rst along with measurements.
As for goal...I will know it when I see it...
and I haven't seen it yet.
When I look in the mirror and like what I see, I will step on a scale and tell you my 'goal weight.'
Till then it's doing the basics...till I get what I want.
See you tomorrow.
Chris out.