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I know this is a horrible photo!  What can I say, cell phone snapping in the gym. . . but I wanted to share (even a horrible photo) my new favorite work out equipment.  This is the absolo and it not only works your abs, but your sides, arms, well muscles I didn’t even know existed!  You sit on the little seat, feet under the pads you see there and lean back on the backrest.  You grab a 5, 7, or 9 lb ball and hold your arms straight above your head.  Now, lay back, all the way, ball still above head – feel that stretch?

Now, using your abs, sit up, as you do bring your arms forward to throw the ball against the bullseye in the backboard, it will roll down (where you see two balls) grab the second ball and repeat.

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After you get used to it you can put this backer board in and then use one ball, bouncing the ball against the bullseye and catching it.

When I first started it I could barely do 5 reps with the 5 lb balls.  Now I can accomplish 40-50, in reps of 15-20 each with the 7lb balls.  I love how it feels – only been at it two weeks but lets see how things go after another two. :0)

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There’s something very intimidating about a blank blog.  I’ve been having a tough time getting myself to start a post.  Nothing seems grandiose enough, important enough, to litter this blank slate.  So, poof, here’s a first post of rambling.

The Plan

The plan is that my husband and I will both post here regarding our diet and exercise, and hopefully weight loss.  All of my posts will be under the Lisa Category and his will be under the Dennis Category, so you can easily check on one or both.  We’ll also have categories for diet recipes we come across and, well just keep your eyes open, hard to say what all we’ll end up throwing up here.

The history

We competed in last year’s local Weight Race and won!  Woo hoo!  We lost about 130 lbs together and spent the last few months just maintaining.  We decided to sign up again this year to finish off those lbs we want to lose.  I think I am going to put the old posts regarding last year’s race up here too.

Ok, well, the page is no longer blank, Sure there’s a lot more to say, but let’s start here.


Originally posted August 10, 2009

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It’s been a while since we’ve talked about my diet and I guess I should share again. (Has it really been since April since I gave a full update?) Honestly, I haven’t lost much since vacation but I haven’t really been trying – just trying to maintain and tone up for now. I still have 14 lbs to go to my goal and I think maybe it’s time to kick it in the butt and finish it off. I feel so much better knowing that I can maintain.

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I’m down 57 lbs and Dennis is down 67 lbs. We’ve come a long way baby!

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Totally off topic for a minute – what color would you say my hair is? Dirty blonde? There’s a lot of gray in there, but it’s all natural.

Still off topic: It’s so much fun to watch him set the camera up, turn on the timer, poke the button and run to get into place before it snaps!

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Ta-da!

20) a part of me
March 2009

me 15 to go

These are the same pants I wore to a wedding July 2008, they fit then. They sure don’t now! Yippee!

BTW: If you’re wondering how I’ve done it, it’s all explained in that April post – but feel free to ask anything that isn’t clear. 🙂

originally posted April 5, 2009

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Where to start? Well I have had requests to see me. So I tried taking a self portrait and only found my eye. Hmmm.

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So, I called my son and requested the use of his eye – see me there? Isn’t it amazing that the color is almost the same? So, yeah this still isn’t really me now is it?

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Remember this? The whole dieting, exercising and community weight race? Well now if you’re friends with me on facebook then you already know, and if you aren’t – why not?

We won! Our team, “Fat Chance”, won the community weight race! We went to the awards ceremony yesterday and were so happy, excited, and thrilled to be the biggest losers! We lost 96 lbs all together, Britney lost 12 – she didn’t have much to lose, Dennis lost 50 and I lost 34. Since January!

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So afterwards, we had a little time to kill before we did a photo shoot and I allowed Dennis to shoot me. Do you have any idea how big that is? I hate my photo taken and well, I think you’ll see in the photos how tense I was, I just prefer to be behind the camera. Dennis did good, considering the difficult subject he had. 🙂

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So, here, I think you can see that I’m skinnier. Still more to lose though.

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Do I look mad? I’m trying not to laugh, and wondering why I’m hugging a lamp post. Actually, my brain is filled with thoughts like “shoulders down, smile, relax. . .”

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We won prizes for being the top losers, 6 month membership to the Y, some $$ for the Spa and some $$ to use in our county. Dennis got me this cool pearl necklace with our spending money. Isn’t he sweet?!

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I call this one, ‘The Troll under the Bridge’.

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This one totally make me think of my Great Aunt Margie – boy she was a corker!

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I did loosen up a little, but don’t expect to see that much of me in the future. Now for those of you wondering how I’ve lost the weight – yes I still keep getting that question – it’s pretty simple.

  • 1200 calories a day – yes you must count them and if you don’t know what something is then don’t eat it. Sure you can eat more calories than that, 1200 is the lowest a woman should go, but if you cut out 500 calories a day you should lose a pound a week. And I suggest using one of the online journals to track your calories.
  • water – drink lots of it, anywhere from 8 to 11 glasses a day – it will also help keep you from feeling as hungry
  • exercise – I LOVE ♥ the Body for Life for Women book – I do those workouts if nothing else and I almost can kick Dennis’ butt now. She, the author, said one thing that has stuck with me and helped tremendously – You brush your teeth and your hair every day, no? You wouldn’t think about going your day without brushing your teeth, would you? Well, your body needs exercise, you shouldn’t go without it. And you’re only human, don’t beat yourself up if you fail one day, don’t use it as an excuse to give up, if you succeed 80% of the time then you’re doing good, so get up tomorrow and try again.
  • mantra – Pamela Peeke (the book again) says to find your mantra, what you will run from and what you will run to, the mantra will help you get through those tough times. For me, my mantra is Run from excuses (because that is what has kept me back – I’m too tired, I don’t have time, I can’t, I don’t want to, etc) and Run to Life (because by golly I’m going to keep this cancer in remission and I need a healthy body to live the next 50 years in)

That’s it. No easy way. You just gotta work it. You have to decide, your choice, that it’s important to you. I won’t give up on me again, and I hope you don’t give up on you!

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Originally post February 19, 2009
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We just completed week 6 of our community weight challenge and had our weigh in. Remember that our team is made up of my husband, my daughter and myself.

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Well my husband has lost 31 lbs and Britney and I would like to kick his butt for having it so much easier. My daughter has lost 9 lbs, her goal is 15, so she’s almost there, pre-baby weight! And I have lost 20 lbs. I’m happy with that but I’m not done yet.

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Last week was a difficult week for me, in the mind. I drink 10-11 glasses of water a day now and have cut my Diet Coke down to one 20/24 ounce bottle a day, which is saying a lot, believe me. But, I felt stuck. Like I was sticking to my new eating habits and nothing was happening. I felt frustrated with the difficulty in getting to the gym and actually with my motivation to work out.

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So, my first 6 weeks I kept my calorie intake to about 1200 a day and exercised 2-3 times a week. Not near enough exercise I know. So over the weekend, I got the Body for Life for Women and quickly read it and started those workouts three days ago. 3 days of cardio and 3 days of weight training a week. Granted I only started Monday but so far I feel great!

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And part of the feeling great is a mental thing, I feel successful. I walked Monday (2 miles in 30 minutes), and Tuesday I did the 45 minutes of weight training and I have to admit I was really scared about it, but I did it! And I even walked 2.2 miles on Tuesday and did my crunch routine in the orange book. Yesterday, I got to shovel snow so I got the cardio outta the way. I thought this was going to be a lot harder than it turns out and I feel more encouraged. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I’ve been losing inches and emptying out my closet, saying goodbye to a lot of dear friends but looking forward to making new friends. 🙂 I’ll get to shop ’til I drop!

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So, that’s where I’m at.

The flowers throughout this post were my Valentine’s Day flowers and the iPod up there was my Christmas and I took all these with my macro lens and the awesome Ring Light I got for my birthday. Think you all are in the loop now! Feel free to think of me when you eat that cookie or piece of chocolate cake. ;0)

Originally posted January 29th, 2009

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I have just been so stressed out lately that I haven’t been very chatty. I’m hoping to turn that around. I’m sure part of my mood has to do with our ‘wonderful’ weather that seems to drag out forever. Do you realize that we (Wisconsin) see only white for 5-7 months of the year? Ouch!

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So you could say I have felt a lot like this scruffy little bluebird. Aside from the weather, I have family members who have been let go from their jobs, or had to take a pay cut. In fact, my husband had to take a pay cut, and it’s one we will feel. The only good part of that is that we have been saving money on food lately.

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January 6th, about 3 weeks ago, we (my husband, daughter and I) signed up for our Community Weight Race. Our team name is ‘Fat Chance’. Now Britney, just had a baby so, of course she has a little to lose. My husband and I have gradually added on pounds over the last 6 years.

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Weight is not something I like to talk about and you still won’t see me talking about it constantly, but occasionally I’ll let you know how I’m doing. It’s a big sore spot embarrassment for me. I weighed 125 when I met my husband 7 years ago and when I got diagnosed with cancer 3 years ago I weighed significantly more. Through chemo I would gain and lose and I think that’s pretty normal. After chemo I went back to how I had been before plus a few more pounds and I understand that ‘chubbiness’ is a side effect of the type of chemo I had.

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Over the last 2 ½ years since stopping chemo I have wanted to lose, you may remember my anger at my oncologists for not caring more about my weight, but I knew at first I just needed to try to stay healthy and as long as I felt good, I was semi-content. Last year, I decided to try some SlimQuick, I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials for this weight loss pill, and after day two of taking the medicine I felt horrible! I mean really bad, so I stopped taking them (felt discouraged and nursed myself back to health over the next few days) and my family encouraged me again to just be content that I was cancer free and to leave my weight alone.

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But, this time I decided to try things a little differently. I don’t think my body can handle any weight loss drugs, so I set out to just try watching what I eat. For me that means counting my calories. I have read that the lowest a woman should go is 1200 calories a day, so I aim for that. My daily average is 1170 calories. How do I know this? Well I have been keeping a calorie journal. I found that there are several online, but I’m using My Calorie Counter. I love it and it helps me a lot! A lot of foods are already there but you can add in your own as well. Most chain restaurants have their nutritional information on their website so you can scope it out before you go. And I just found another great site for nutritional information.

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I have found I love salad and I don’t mind the fat free dressing, I can dip my fork in the dressing then stab some salad and cut even more calories without sacrificing the taste. We still have our pizza day on Sundays, we just eat less of it. McDonald’s Bacon Ranch Salad with grilled chicken is to die for! Just substitute half of a packet of Tangy Honey Mustard for the Ranch Dressing. I haven’t really had any cravings, not even chocolate. But I do still allow myself a couple of tall Mocha Frappaccinos (no whip – 200 calories) a week, much better than my 11-15 grande fraps I was having.

Oh! I almost forgot, I drink water now. I never drank water before and now I am up to drinking 8-9 glasses a day, the first week I just tried to get 2-3 a day down, that was plenty, but now I actually don’t mind it. Of course, I’ve added in exercise and know that as I lose it will be easier to do more. I’ve only made one bad choice, which I wrote about but never published, so I’ll add it here. I wrote this on January 9th:

Thanx, but I’ll pass

I decided to try Women’s Ultra Mega Active Vitapak from GNC today. I took the pack about 11 am, I did not read the fine print about taking with food, I did eat about an hour later. By 2:30 my tummy wasn’t feeling too well, but I figured things would all work out.

I felt very full. About 4:30 we went to get some movies and I started feeling a little worse so, as Dennis checked out, I went to sit in the car. Within a couple blocks of our house I was feeling kinda wonky. Not really dizzy but weird, and I felt a little nauseous. Pardon my giving of possibly too much information, but I thought I needed to use the restroom so I sat down, discovered no that I was going to throw up, grabbed the pitcher I rinse the dogs with and promptly vomited.

The next thing I remember I heard moaning, rather loud moaning and I wondered who was moaning then I realized it was me and I got quieter, then stopped. I opened my left eye and saw the beige rug that is next to the bathtub, I opened the other eye and saw the baseboard trim. I apparently did a face plant – ouch! I pushed myself up a little and discovered blood.

I thought I had given myself a bloody nose and I yelled, “Dennis!”, he was right outside the door (he had heard me fall) and came in immediately and helped me get up and clean up. We discovered the blood was coming from a gash in my lip. (I now have a lovely scar)

The vitapak is the only thing I did different today so I think the two are related. This is only the second time in my life I have ever passed out! The first was when I was a preteen and that time I saw black splotches then went limp and lost vision but could still hear. I felt it coming. This time I was up one moment and down the next, with no memory of the in between – scary!

I guess I really can’t take anything for weight loss. It bites that I have to do it all on my own. But I’m terrified of passing out again.

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I weighed in yesterday and have lost 11 pounds, so it’s working! Soon, I’ll look like this slim,sleek fellow. 🙂