Vacation Weight Gain

Now I ask you.  How in heck did I successfully gain 6 pounds on vacation????  6 pounds!!!  That is a lot of weight to gain in one week  – or is it?  In my weight loss journey I have never even lost 6 pounds in one week.  I never even lost 6 pounds in one month.  So why did my body allow me to gain 6 pounds in one week?????

It is my fat cells.  They love me.  They are my best friend.  They want me to stay fat.  They have no other friends – except me.  I guess, I felt sorry for them because I thought I had broken up my relationship with them.  But I knew they were lonely.  They were crying out to me to come back to them and be their friend.  They wanted to party.  I am always up for a party and it was vacation time.  So unfortunately, I let them back into my life.  Party Time!

I guess I could have gained more.

I ate my regular foods.  I just may have ate too much of my regular foods.  I had plenty of meats, vegetables, healthy fats (a lot of nuts), and fruit.  I stayed away from the starches – no bread, no potatoes (except for one very large baked potato laden with real butter which was soooo delicious) with our grilled steak.  No sugar.  And I really mean No Sugar.  Even when we went to the all you can eat Paul Bunyon restaurant, I didn’t eat pancakes or donuts (actually I had a small bite of the most decadent donut ever made).   I did indulge in the eggs, ham and sausage.  And since it was all you could eat for one low price, I had to get my money’s worth.

I was active.  I kayaked, walked, ran, and did my picnic bench work out.  Swimming was not a great option because the lake at the Wisconsin Dells was a bit murky with a lot of stuff floating in it.  Seaweed.  I am not fond of swimming around and in between sea weed.  But I stayed active.  Okay.  Maybe not that active.  I probably could have done more.  But sitting down with a glass of wine was very enjoyable.

Talking about wine.  I probably drank a bit too much wine.  But what is a vacation if you can not indulge a bit.  Maybe starting to drink wine at 3 in the afternoon was not the healthiest choice.  But aren’t you suppose to relax when you are on vacation?  And relaxing it was.  I even took a nap one day and read a book on another day.

So I am blaming my fat cells on this weight gain.  I had nothing to do with it.  And when we got home last night my fat cells would not leave me alone.  They wanted me to continue the party.  I did not want to let them down, so before bedtime I had 2 – not just one – but 2 bowls of ice cream drenched in Baily’s Irish Cream.   It was delicious.  I loved every bite of it.  And so did my fat cells.

Vacation eating and drinking was fun for the week.  But today is another day.  I have gotten rid of the ice cream (actually ate it all) and filled the refrigerator with all of my healthy vegetables, greek yogurt, almond milk, fruits and meats.  I am sorry fat cells but I have to put you back in your cell.  Cell Block 1 is where you all belong.  I will not visit you today.  Because  today I am going to eat clean and get back on track.


Jawbone Up

I have broken up with Jawbone Up.  I purchased my Up band last January.  I loved it.  It kept track of all my steps, activity and sleep.  This little device kept me accountable for my activity.  My goal was 10,000 steps a day.  There were days I did not make it.  But on the days I did, I would do the happy dance.  And there were days that I was just a few hundred steps away from 10,000 and got on the treadmill to complete my mission.  And then one day a few months after I purchased the Up Band it quit working.

So I got onto the Jawbone Up support site and they took care of me right away.  No questions asked.  We will send you a new one.  Wow – I was totally impressed.  The customer service was amazing.  And within a few days, I received my new band and continued my activity quest.

And then after a few months the band stopped working – again.  The exact same problem.  Now you might be thinking, I must have done something to cause the band to break.  All I did was wear it.  I never got it wet – never.  I did not drop it, I did not cause it to break.  It just quit working.  So once again, I called customer service and again I got the best service.  They tried to trouble shoot the problem and realized the band was not going to come back to life.  They sent me a new one and again I was able to continue my activity and count my steps.

Then last week  – the band quit working.  Again, the exact same thing.  I did nothing wrong, did not get it wet.  I did not drop it.  All, I did was wear it. I thought with the great customer service I had in the past, that there would be no problem and they would send me a new one.  WRONG!!!!  At first they e-mailed me a trouble shooting e-mail that was not only confusing but took a long time to do.  After I completed it, I called customer service and told them that the troubleshooting did not work.  But the Up rep was excited to tell me what they could do for me.

And then the bomb dropped.  Since it had been more than a year that I bought the band and my one year warranty ran out, they could offer me a 25% discount on a new band.  REALLY?  Why did they not give me a one year warranty with every FAULTY band that they sent me.  Why would I want to invest anymore money with a company that did not stand behind their product?  I am sorry Jawbone Up.  I will no longer be buying any product from you.  Obviously, your product is faulty.

For now I am taking a break from purchasing another band.  I am looking at the Fit Bit.  It looks like a great product and I have heard their customer service is great.  But for now I know how many miles I need to walk or run to get me to 10,000 steps. I know I need to cross train.  I know I need to continue my boot camp.  I know what to do to continue my activity quest.  For now I am going to depend on myself and not an accessory.

Huffing and Puffing No More

I feel great.  I love being able to move better without huffing and puffing.  I love being able to bend down and tie my shoes.  I love sitting down on a couch and being able to get my body to a standing position without falling over or being out of breath.  I feel great that my weight is not an issue any more when I am photographing.

The worst fear for me as a photographer is not being able to do my job.  I photograph a lot of high school seniors and I am always getting down on my knees or laying down on the ground to get a great angle.  In my heavier days, I feared when I got down, I would never be able to get up again.  But getting the shot was more important to me.  So I would gingerly get down on the ground, get my shot – while doing a lot of huffing and puffing – and attempt to get up.  I would have to roll over, get on my knees and push myself up.   I am sure that I looked like a beached whale.  And then even more embarrassing was when the senior I was photographing – God love em – came over and offered me a hand.  There was no way I could maneuver my body up with help.  It took me a while to get myself up but eventually I did.   You would think  that I would not get down on the ground with such physical limitations but I was always so excited to get a shot that was somehow different than other photographers.  Now in my slimmer body, I can get down and get up very easily.  That is a great feeling.

My past overly endowed body got me in trouble on a few occasions but one instance really stands out.  And I never want to go back there again.  This was in my 200 plus days – actually at my heaviest.  I photographed a lot of weddings back in the day.  I had a wedding client that was what I thought being quite difficult.  They came in to pick up their wedding album and upon viewing it they wanted to rearrange the album I had designed.  I had spent hours putting their album together and to pull it all apart would be a difficult task.  When I balked at what they wanted, they started to complain about other things.  It was one of those instances that I should have just shut up, done what they wanted and gone on with my life.

I was sitting on a couch, a very comfy one.  My weight was making me sink down into it.  I was getting angrier by the minute at these unreasonable clients and I was trying desperately not to show it.   I kept smiling and tried to reason with them but they were not having any of it.  They wanted what they wanted and if I would not comply they would complain to the Better Business Bureau.  Oh, how I love being threatened.  And then I saw on a table near the couch an wedding album, I thought they would love and would be less work and expense for me to redesign the album.

I tried to get up off of the couch.  I was kind of stuck.  I could not get my fat self up.  I tried and struggled and finally made it to my feet.  By the time I got up, I was literally huffing and puffing.  The client said to me in a very angry voice “You need to do what we want.  And you do not need to huff and puff at us.”  I was stunned.  I was not huffing and puffing at them.  I literally was huffing and puffing because it was a lot of work to get out of that couch.

I looked at them in astonishment.  And said “Look at me, I am fat.  Fat people huff and puff.  Did you not see me trying to get up off of that couch?”  I really thought they would laugh, calm down, feel sorry for me but they were convinced that I was huffing and puffing at them.  So when I finally caught my breath and settled down, I agreed to everything they wanted.  I redesigned their album and even upgraded it at my own expense.  The Better Business Bureau was not called and I never saw those clients again.

I am very thankful for my slimmer body.  I can now get down on the ground get my shot and jump right back up.  I am not afraid to sit in a chair because it will be uncomfortable.  I am confident that when I sit on a couch I can easily get up.  And there is no more huffing and puffing.

My Blog Header

A big shout out to my sister Rose Camastro-Pritchett who is an artist living with her husband David in Evanston, Illinois.  She was kind enough to draw me a darling sketch for my blog header.  I absolutely love it!  She is by far my favorite artist and my house is filled with her artwork.  Check out her website at

I think this adorable drawing depicts exactly how I  view my weight loss journey.  I have lost the big pants that are falling to the ground forever.   My current pants are close to falling off the line and will soon be gone.  I am starting to hang the final pair of pants in my weight loss journey.  I am not there yet but I will soon be in those skinny little pants.

Garcinia Cambogia Weight Loss Scam

Last Saturday morning I was catching up with Facebook.  A suggested sight -WEIGHT LOSS TIPS FOR 60+ – came up in my news feed.  Facebook is smart.  It knows that I am 60 plus and I am on a weight loss journey.  And me being a very curious person, I went ahead and checked out the 60+ facebook business page.  There was not a lot on it.  The page had only one day of posts on September 4th but this photo which caught my attention.  This adorable woman was claiming how to drop some belly fat.

Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 7.20.59 AM

I am all about losing belly fat and if this elderly woman has the answer, than count me in.  As you can see there is web site that I thought would tell me all about how to lose my belly fat.  If you click on this site you will know exactly what I am talking about.  But it is not about this adorable woman losing her belly fat.  Nor is this woman on the site.  It is a big long site about Garcinia Cambogia being the newest and greatest supplement for weight loss.  They make it look like WOMEN’S HEALTH Magazine is associated with this product and endorsing this product. There are photos of women and testimonials of women who used the product and how GC helped them reach their weight loss goals.  And guess who’s voice your here talking?  My favorite doctor.  Dr. Oz.  So I clicked on his video and watched his whole TV program on Garcinia Cambogia.  I was enthralled.  All you have to do is take this little pill and you will slim down with little effort and you will lose your belly fat.  I was sold.  If Dr. Oz is saying (not endorsing) Gacinia Cambogia it must be a great supplement and who am I to question his knowledge?  I signed up on the dotted line.

But one major problem.  I did not read the fine print.  Why should I?  After all this adorable elderly woman seemed to lose her belly fat with Garcina Cambogia and Women’s Health Magazine was seemingly endorsing it.  And if Dr. Oz says to take this supplement – than this is a no brainer.  Here is the fine print.

Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 7.38.56 AM

I forgot to tell you that a Colon Cleanse should be taken with GC if you want even better   results.  But as your can see it says GET A FREE TRIAL TODAY.  I also signed up for that – after all the sooner I lose this weight the better I will be.

Now I assumed that they would send me a FREE bottle of so many pills that I could try.  That is what that says doesn’t it?  And if I liked the product I would just order again what I would need.  So I clicked on CLICK HERE TO TRY A FREE BOTTLE.  

And this came up next.

Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 7.42.11 AM

And in bold letters it says JUST PAY FOR SHIPPING.  They will send you a 14 day trial.  No commitments – can cancel at any time.  And you save on shipping.  So I was going to get my FREE trial for only $4.95  I was so excited.  I was on my way to a quicker weight loss.  My goal was so close with this product.  And If I added the COLON CLEANSE (also with a FREE trial) I would be at my goal weight in no time.  Count me in for the COLON CLEANSE.

I received my very anticipated shipment within 2 days.  I was so excited.  It came from a place called Pure Vitamins with a phone number right on the bottle.  That had to be legit – right?  I took my first pill and was so excited I could feel the belly fat melting away.  But then I took a closer look at the bottle.  It was pretty big and did not say trial on it.  It had a 30 day supply of pills.  That was 90 pills.  That seemed odd to me for a FREE trial.  So I called my daughter (by the way I did not tell my husband I had done this) and told her what I did.  She said “Mom they are going to charge your card if you don’t cancel your subscription”.  No big deal.  I will just call – tell them to cancel my subscription – and still use the FREE trial.

Not so fast.  I called the number and the operator in broken English was trying to explain to me that I had 14 days to return the bottle of unused pills in order for my charge card not to be charged $79.89 for the full 30 day supply of 90 pills.  I was incredulous!  I had been scammed.  How was I going see if this product would work only in 14 days?  I thought I had a whole month to try it.  But after 20 minutes of pleading my case with this woman, I conceded.  I was not only scammed but I was not going to get a quick weight loss.  I was going to have to go back to hard work of counting my calories and daily workouts.

By this time I fessed up to my husband.  He did not have much to say – but I know what he was thinking – like – “how did my wife of 40 years do such a stupid thing”.  But he said nothing and was very kind and helped me by shipping the pills back for me.  (I did try to keep 30 pills that the broken English phone lady said I could keep.  But John convinced me by saying “Do you really think these pills are legit if this company is trying to scam you?” ) How did I marry such a smart person?

My story does not end here. I will have to continue this story tomorrow.  It is getting late.  But I just can’t wait for tomorrow for the continuance of this story.

To be continued….

My Decision to Lose Weight

So as I posted yesterday, I was at my heaviest at 224 lbs.  That was several years ago.  I remember not caring what I ate.  And eat I did.  Then I would feel guilty for all that I was eating and would decide to diet.  I would always start my diet on Monday and by Wednesday, I would forget that I was suppose to be dieting.  But there was always another Monday, when I would attempt to diet again.  And this cycle went on for years.

I joined and rejoined Weight Watchers too many times to count.  I never lasted very long on the program.   And then I tried the South Beach Diet and lost several pounds.  I got down to 211.  South Beach was fairly easy as long as I never ate any bread, potatoes or pasta.

Then my rock hard, fitter than fit daughter, Maria, convinced me to start working out.  I was a couch potato and loved it.  Even though the word EXERCISE has 8 letters, it was definitely a 4 letter word to me.  Walking?  Didn’t Tim Russert die after walking on a treadmill?  That would really make me mad if I died after a work out.  But I knew my daughter was right.  I had to start getting my body in motion.

I found a trainer and worked my butt off 2-3 times a week.  I was tired after my workouts but I felt alive.   John and I also joined Gold’s Gym and I either swam every day or walked/run on the tread mill.  I continued on  a low carb diet and got down to 188.  I maintained that weight for two years.

Slowly but surely the weight started to creep back on.  I quit the trainer and we quit Gold’s Gym and the couch once again became my best friend.  My “thin” clothes were getting so tight that I had to I break out my “fat” clothes.   And I had plenty of “fat” clothes.  Thank God I kept them for a rainy fat day.  And boy did it rain.

Then that deciding moment in my life hit.  My grandson, who was a freshman last year at Eureka High School and the starting quarterback on the freshman football team, called me.  He said “Grandma, it is a custom for the football players to ask someone special to wear their jersey to the first game.  I would like you to wear mine.”  Oh my gosh!  I was so honored.  He brought me the jersey and when he left, I tried it on.  I could not get it on.  I sure tried.  I stretched it and prayed it would fit but there was no way his jersey in any way shape or form was going to fit me.  I sheepishly called him and said “Cameron, I am so honored that you asked me to wear your jersey, but I can’t get it on.”  He was so nice and understanding.  And I was ashamed.

I decided my time had come.  It was time in my life that I needed to do something about my weight.  So 1 year ago, on September 4th, 2012, I joined Weight Watchers for the last time in my life.  According to Weight Watcher’s scale I weighed 201.  On my scale (which I like a whole lot better) I weighed 199.

And this is where my journey begins.

To be continued….