Carlene Beat Obesity

Carlene's Weight Loss Journal

Mon Dec 5, 2005 8:37 PM

It's been a while since I've been in here. Tomorrow is my big monthly weigh in day. I haven't even looked at my measurements all month, but I'm expecting nice results. This will be my first month that I didn't get my 15 pounds. I'm hoping for 13, but this morning I actually gained a pound.

I'm still 100% and have yet to break raw. But now that I have passed the 6-month point, breaking raw isn't even an issue anymore. I was at a picnic after a hike on Saturday and one of the women asked, or rather said: "Well, you won't be raw forever, right?" I've got to say I was actually taken off guard and offended. I think I glared for a second then said: "I want to be thin the rest of my life."

I never would have imagined I would embrace raw as much as I have. In the beginning, it was just to lose weight, now I feel so healthy, so clean, that even when I think about one day going back to cooked, I just shake my head and think maybe someday, but not anytime soon.

This is a whole different experience than those first few months, it's like in those 180 days my blood purified and what is pumping through me now is so full of life and enthusiasm that the thought of being any other way is not even imaginable. To be honest, I never thought I would stay 100% when I got done. I thought a six month stabilization period then slowly introduce cooked food back in, but now... Why? My skin may be a little saggy, but boy I am glowing inside.

My moods too have changed, I am so much lighter, happier. Though I don't recommend this to anyone, I am no longer taking my thyroid medicine. A couple of weeks ago I house sat at my daughters and I forgot them. I had tried giving them up when I first went raw, but within a few days depression (which was my primary reason for taking them) jumped right back in. This time I kept waiting and waiting and what I found was that with each day I was feeling better and better. I'll get blood work done in February and then decide if I need them again or not, but with how great I'm doing, the thought of anything being wrong with this body is too far fetched to worry about it.

Another odd thing that is happening to me is that I worry about when I'm done losing the weight. Raw has never been the struggle for me that it is for many, but the daily weighing, the frustration, the push to lose, is going to be over soon. Another month and a half, maybe two more. Then the scale will not move, the battle will be over. I will have won, but I can see now, I'm going to miss the challenge. Pretty sick, huh?

Tomorrow or the next day I am going to try my first recipe. Can you believe it, all this time and the most I've mixed together were berries and bananas? Someone shared a butternut squash, cranberry recipe with me. Those are my two favorite holiday foods, cooked that is, I've not tried either raw. After I watched Alissa's DVD, I ran out and bought a food processor. It's still in the box, so I'm going to take it out and give it a whirl.

Oh yeah, two Saturdays ago I hiked 18 miles, 2500 feet elevation. Last Saturday I did a harder 14 miles 2800 feet elevation. I am officially a B hiker in the hiking group. It's been a hard push, and I am still the last one up the hill most time, but I'm welcome in this group which was my original goal.

My web site is up and running. There are already 4 active members besides myself and they are all losing weight. Wednesday is our first official weigh-in day so I'm really excited. One of the girls emailed me today, her first week on raw, she lost 20.5 pounds. That must be a record. She ate all week, and exercised, and feels great. I'm thinking it's water weight, but still, she started with 220 pounds to lose now she only has 199.5 that's gotta feel great.

Okay, see you tomorrow with the monthly goods. And thanks again for always being here.

Tue Dec 6, 2005 7:36 am

Here it is the 6th of the month again. Weigh in and measurement day. I didn't get my 15 pounds this month, it was only 12. I now weigh 146 pounds. That is 113 gone forever thanks to raw. The sad part is I weighed that two days ago and for some reason gained a pound in between. Oh well. One thing I have learned through this is that the body fluctuates. I no longer let that bother me. These three pounds do set off my goal of 135 by Christmas though. That is 11 pounds in 18 days, that's a lot. Oh well, I guess I can handle a small amount of fat for a little longer. Truth be told now that the weight loss is slowing down it doesn't really bother me, not like it did in the beginning. I feel thin now, so anything else is icing.

As for measurements, the arms were a little disappointing. I guess they will be the last to go, but the rest of it is pretty good. The best is a measurement I don't usually share, bra size. I started in a tight 42, I'm down to a 34.


Chest: Total - 13", This Month - 2.25"

Belly: Total - 16.25", This Month - 2.5"

Hips: Total - 12.25", This Month - 2"

Left Upper Arm: Total - 4", This Month - .5"

Right Upper Arm: Total - 3.5", This Month - .5"

Left Thigh: Total - 7.75", This Month - .75"

Right Thigh: Total - 8", This Month - 1"

My son comes home on Thursday, my big reveal. I tried on the only pair of jeans I have. They are high waisted 14's. I can zip them and all, but they are too high waisted and fat hangs over the top. That was disappointing, so today I think I will have to go out and buy some jeans, petites that fit instead of trying to wear my daughter's. Plus, I'm not one who gets a waist, so I've never been able to wear girl jeans that have little waists and big hips. I'm real happy hip-huggers are back in style, they were always my favorites. I bet I don't need 14's in those.

Wed Dec 7, 2005, 6:10 AM

I have been bouncing around 146, 147 for a week now. Yesterday I was 146 today I am 146.5, two days ago I was 147, the day before that 146 etc. etc. I know it's just a sticky point, I've had a few of them before, but my son is home tomorrow, I really wanted to be closer to the thirties. :(

Just the other day I thought, okay I can handle this slowing down. Maybe I meant I could handle it slowing down as long as it kept going down and not up. Up does even frustrate me.

Now for some honesty. I have been eating nuts. Not a ton of them, but more than I should, maybe three handfuls instead of two. I know nuts slow down my weight loss. So, I'm off them until I break this sticky point and hit the 139 mark.

Of all of us, I am probably the one who is going to be frustrated most with my weight loss these next few months. But this could be good since I was worried I would miss the struggle when it was all over with.


Later Same Day....

You know, I hate sticky points, but lately my weight loss has really slowed. I feel like I've been in the 140's forever. I felt this way about the 160's, and the 180's, and the 200's. Hmm, see a pattern.

It always seems to be around the time my exercise routine is becoming too rote. I've really noticed the slow down since pushing with all the hiking. Now that it is cold when I'm out there, I'm not sweating as much, and my pace isn't keeping me in an aerobic state for the whole hike. I wouldn't want it to since I hike for hours.

Because of the hiking, I've gotten lazy too. I know that sounds stupid. I'm hiking 18 miles up mountains and I think I'm lazy, but I find I don't want to get up and go out in the cold. I've been picking more days to not hike, and on those days I sit at the computer all day and don't even want to take the dogs for their walks. Exercise used to be the first thing on my mind every morning when I woke up.

I got this way when I was running and biking all the time. I've heard it before, and now I'm living it. When exercise gets routine, both your body and psyche stop wanting to play.

When I woke up this morning, I was glad I was not heading out to climb another mountain. I took the dogs for a walk, then settled into my chair ready to work on setting up the storefront. I thought how I had said here at the forum that I was going to start heading back to the gym and how sitting here was making me a liar. Then I started thinking about the gym, and soon I was up putting on gym clothes and heading out the door.

My thoughts were to do the resistance machines, then maybe try running again. But as I worked out (most machines 10-20 pounds lighter than I could do last month - can't stay away from weights for too long) I started thinking of those elliptical machines. I've never been able to do them for more than 5 minutes. But I can climb mountains now, I had to be able to do it. There was a class at 9. I decided to give it a try.

It was great. I made it through the whole half hour. Well, I could only do one arm at a time while using it. Every time I took both hands off to do the arm exercises I'd lose my balance. But I need to work on balance, so that will be great. I can also see how that will increase my pace and endurance for hiking.

The best part though was how great I felt when I was done. Energized. I love that feeling. I hung around to recover and then hit the treadmill for some running. Ten minutes and I was done. But I could do it, my breathing was fine, I just got so bored that the thought of running on the machine any longer would have dampened my day, so I got off.

When I got home, I ran the dogs around the property. It was great to feel full of energy again.

I'm going back to the gym tomorrow for my favorite trainer's classes. Two on toning and balance. So an hour of class then maybe I'll hit that elliptical machine again. I'll still do my Monday morning Blackett's Ridge, and hike on the weekends, but for now, I think I want to head back to the gym and enjoy some time there.

We'll see next Wednesday if the switch up tricked my body into giving up some more of this fat!


Even Later today....

Let me start this by saying I have never liked clothes shopping. I know I have planned to wear my son's t-shirt to pick him up, but it is so ugly, and I want these pictures, so I decided I need to buy clothes. The only clothes I have bought since starting raw are gym, hiking, and elastic waisted stretch pants. So this was my first time to grab real sizes and head toward the dressing room. Okay, no that's not right. I did try one other day and it just didn't work, nothing fit.

First, I went to Target. All I wanted was a pair of jeans and some cute top. There were hardly any jeans, and all were below hip hip huggers. I tried on 13's. They fit but my stomach fat bulged, that just about killed me. Then I got some women's 12's. A little better, but still yuck. The 14's swam on me. So I left, discouraged and headed for Kohls.

There all the jeans were that new jean stretch material. They look like jeans, feel like jeans, but aren't jeans. I can't quite figure it out. So I grabbed a bunch of 12's and headed for the dressing room. 7 pair, 7 different cuts and a few different makers. They were all too big.

The thought of grabbing 10's was so outside my realm of reality, I had to stop and think if I had the courage to try. Then there I was in the dressing room with a pair of size ten corduroy pants on. They fit almost perfect (everything is always ten inches too long for me). Still, I small roll, but I have that now in my shorts, it's not something I can hide until it goes away. So size 10 after 10 and they fit. Of course, tens were hard to come by in the ones I wanted. There were plenty of 12's, 14's, 6's, but tens were just scarce! Of course.

In the end, I settled on a pair of trim fit black cords, size 10 and a cream pullover sweater with a hood. If it weren't for the chicken neck, I was seeing me at 16. In the '70s cords were in style. I've always loved this style of sweater. I took a pair of 10 petite jeans as well since it is getting too cold to live in shorts and none of my daughter's clothes fit me anymore.

Hopefully I'll have great pictures to share by this weekend. Since I'll only be wearing this outfit for an hour or two tomorrow, I figure it will do for Christmas too. I doubt the pants will be too big by then. But now I can see in these new comfy jeans I should be getting down to an 8 or even a 6 by the time I'm done!

Wed Dec 8, 2005 1:23 pm

So where was my push today? I went to those two classes today. The first was a stretch yoga, and I mean stretch. I could do everything, but wow, where did all those muscles come from. Then the second was, well let me say, embarrassing. I've been watching these classes through the window for a while now and knew they were hard, but hey, I climb mountains. I use all the resistance machines at a much higher weight than most women in the gym. I was sure I had strong abs too. I can feel them strengthening when I climb, and I can do the ab crunch machine at 90 pounds. So, I should have been ready.

Okay, 2-pound weights and by the tenth trip up over my head, I couldn't lift my arms. Some sweeping arm thing with weights while curled and leaning back, I couldn't get the balance for, though I kept trying. The leg lifts were so many and for so long that I thought my legs would fall off, and then finally all the ab work! That was the worst. I couldn't even pull my legs up into the air while leaning back. I couldn't straighten my legs. I had to hold onto my thighs to do any of it, and then it was a really poor show.

Finally we were done, and after ten minutes of socialness, I left for home. I could barely pull myself up into my truck. My arms didn't want to move to shift from park to drive. I was laughing my butt off.

I'll be going back on Tuesday for more. I've found a new challenge. To my credit, I thought the second class was only a half hour, and it was an hour, so I did more than I expected. The nice thing about it was that all the women know me or know of me so they were all cheering me on. I did not feel stupid for trying, nor did I feel unwelcome with all these strong ab women.

Friday Dec 9, 2005 7:50 am

2.5 years without my son. I was so antsy waiting at the gateway. This was the biggest secret I had ever kept. This was my moment, the day I had been waiting for since starting raw and realizing I would be thin before he got home from the Peace Corps.

I saw him coming down the walkway at the airport. My daughter and I had separated so he would see her first. He did, smiled and headed toward her. I walked up to him and said his name. He turned and looked at me oddly, I smiled, his mouth dropped open, and then wider, he didn't say anything except for a few grunted half laughs. "It's me," I said laughing, "you're mother."

He turned to my daughter then back at me, still not saying anything. Then finally: "Wow." He kept looking at me, kind of backing away and repeating the same wow over and over. My daughter was laughing, I was laughing, then finally I got the biggest hardest hug I have ever had from my son. Later when I told my daughter that, she said, we'll it's the first time he could wrap his arms around you.

Later he kept trying to remember if I had ever lied to him about my weight, and I assured him I had just omitted it and continued to call myself fat. It was the best reaction I could have dreamed off. My son isn't one to display emotions, but he wasn't able to keep this back. It was worth not telling him all this time, just so I could have this.


My son and I were to spend the day together today and then this evening he, my daughter and her husband were all going to leave for California to see their dad. My son and I stayed up until about 2:30 AM talking, but figuring we would have all day today, we didn't go through his pictures, or his stories. That was to fill my today.

At 3:15 AM My daughter opened the bedroom door where I was sleeping. Her father-in-law had called. Her husband's only grandparent, his grandfather had had a stroke and wasn't expected to live. The three of them left within the hour for California so my son-in-law could be with his grandfather.

So today, I'm alone. My boy, all his stories, all his pictures will have to wait for another day. I brought that new (I bought it in June) Food Processor so we could make Annette's Squash/Cranberry rice dish. I thought it would be fun to share raw with him, and then show off the web sites, but that too will have to wait.

He did say he would try Blackett's Ridge with me on Monday, and meet my friend Maria. But then my daughter told him how hard it was and he asked if I wanted him to go just to make fun of him and reminded me he was pretty out of shape. So, we'll see what happens. I miss him already.

When he came home from China a few years ago and was starting the paperwork for the Peace Corps, we talked about how traveling like that had always been my dream. He told me in China, I would feel uncomfortable because they have a real prejudice for fat people. I never forgot that. Traveling was something I really wanted to do, but to take up two seats on a train 2X's capacity would not be good. It was one of those moments that spurred me on as I lost the weight. So on the escalator ride down to baggage claim, I asked him if I could now go to China. He obviously had not forgotten that moment either, knowing exactly what I was talking about. He just laughed and said he didn't think it would be a problem.

Last night was amazing for me. That hug will be with me the rest of my life. Thank you for being so excited for me about this.

Saturday Dec 10, 2005 4:23 pm

Today I did a canyon hike. It was tough but very short. I was the last one always, these people just scramble up these boulders and hills, I don't have the footing confidence to go that fast. Two hikers stayed with me, that was very enjoyable. I hope to hike with them again, but coming back things started to go wrong.

We were hiking back up towards the car from the canyon. I did not feel hot, my body did not ache, but I was losing my energy. My legs didn't want to move, my breathing became labored, but not because of the incline. It was steep, but I've had that hard breathing before. I was getting dehydrated.

There were two more steep inclines, the final one almost vertical up, but I had to stop. I threw up, and threw up, and threw up. Every bit of water I had drunk for the whole day. Not the oranges, just the water, and then more water. I was shocked.

Jackie, the woman I was hiking with and her friend Pete immediately told me I was dehydrated, but not the kind that water can fix. I once again had depleted my electrolyte store. Last night I didn't have a salad with celery. I had eaten the carrot salad and thought that was enough. So it had been a few days without celery and except for the bananas sauce on the carrot salad, two days without a banana. I knew this going in and even opted not to eat a banana this morning. It was supposed to be a 2-mile canyon hike. I thought, no biggy, we'll be back by noon. I was wrong. It was hard (I actually did pretty good for how hard it was), but I wasn't physically prepared.

I am a fool. I could really hurt myself doing this. I am going to order Doug Graham's book on raw and fitness. If I want to do this type of hard activity, I need to customize my raw diet to satisfy its needs. I am also going to start researching raw and electrolytes. I never salt my food, this might be a mistake, but because I want to lose the weight, I have opted not to retain all that water salt holds on for me, plus I don't really care for salt. So once again I am left with choices. Have the lifestyle I want or don't eat right and give up my outdoor activity. I know the way I'll go.

I'm not going on that quartz crystal hike tomorrow. It is another heavy duty, fast-paced, steep hill hike. I'm going to work on building the raw food store and do some research on what I need to do to get stronger.

Jackie is in the Search and Rescue here. There is a meeting on Tuesday. I'm going to go, but I think I'm going to have to wait another year. She said they can get picky when choosing candidates, and today I proved I'm not ready to go canyoning to save hurt hikers. We'll see how that goes. I'll keep you posted.

Mon Dec 12, 2005 10:44 pm

My son and I and I had our first day together today. We didn't do much of anything. I didn't go hiking either. Maria called last night, she was sick and couldn't go, and I was still sore from my Saturday hike. I can barely walk up the stairs. It's the front of my upper thighs that are killing me.

Tue Dec 13, 2005 6:02 pm

Today, finally I got to see pictures of Namibia where my son was stationed in the Peace Corps. And got to hear more stories. We went grocery shopping. For a SAD eater, he eats well. Fresh veggies, rice. I did comment on the canned baked beans and hotdogs, but he told me to walk away. Actually, I love the smell of cooked hotdogs, so secretly I enjoyed his food. He has been good. He tried the butternut squash/cranberry recipe I made and even the carrot salad which I don't even like. I can handle that. Plus he grabs an apple or banana here and there, so I won't be complaining about his diet.

Tonight he is going over to the community college with my daughter to see about getting a couple of math classes he didn't take when getting his degree. I'm going to head out to the Search and Rescue Orientation meeting tonight.

I didn't go to the gym today. I had hoped to get My son out hiking, but he didn't want to. I'm going to spend a couple of more days with him, then back to my regular routine. Come this weekend it will be time for each of us to get back to our own lives.

Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:28 am

Last night I went to the orientation meeting for the Search and Rescue group here in Tucson. It's a much bigger commitment than I originally thought. 18 months of training. The first six months of training is every Tuesday, Thursday 6:30 PM to 10 PM and then quite a few weekends of field training.

January 28th is application day. I show up at a day-long training with my application and a check for $35.00. When I get there, I hand in my check and app, they hand me a piece of equipment to carry along with my own gear and send me on a hike with the group. There we will be put through the wringer in a way to weed out the weak and uncommitted. When we are done we are able to take back our app and check and go home or continue on with the selection process.

If I pass the 28th, then my app goes before the board of directors where an essay I write will convince them I am worthy and committed. If I pass that then it goes past the Sheriff's office.

If I get in then starting Feb 18th the training begins. On Feb 25,26 it's an overnight training in the wilderness full gear. In March if I pass basic training and the test, then it is OEC (Outdoor Emergency Care) training for 4 months. If I pass those tests, then it is a year of being a candidate where you have to be able to acquire a list of skills from the calls you go on. You are not a member until you have all the skills required which takes at least a year.

And here I thought they would teach me how to tie a few knots and put on a splint. There is no guarantee I will make it through all this. A friend told me last night I was too old to be starting something like this and was opening myself up for failure. I had to laugh because everything I do seems to start off that way. Luckily, I'm not afraid of failure. But I am afraid of not trying things because I might fail. Everything I've done in my life, and I have succeeded at many of these things, has been a huge risk. I've failed at many also and have no regrets.

So to even try this sets me up with new physical goals. On January 28th I need to be able to do more than hike, I need to be able to hand carry equipment on a hike. That means it's time for me to really up my upper body strength. I don't think the resistance training is going to help me.


  1. Get Angie to tell me what free weight exercises I need to be doing to increase my arm/back carrying muscles
  2. Push to get up Blackett's ridge faster - may have to increase this back to 2X's per week
  3. Do 1 canyon, 1 long hike each week
  4. Increase balance for canyon climbing
  5. Come up with solid electrolyte plan
  6. Come up with a 24 hour menu of raw foods to sustain me on the trail that are not heavy
  7. Come up with a better protein plan
  8. Ask Angie and Annette for more advice to get prepared for the Jan 28th test

Thurs Dec 15, 2005 10:15 am

Today is my 7th month anniversary for raw. I have lost 116 pounds. I had hoped for 120, but my weight loss is slowing down or is it I am becoming more lax on my fat intake. I have been eating nuts again, at least these past two days. I'm going to have to watch that. It is so easy to fall into eating fatty foods. Even when I'm done, I'm going to have to watch that.

Now hitting 135 for Christmas is not going to happen. 125 at my 8th month anniversary may not happen either, that is 18.5 pounds in 1 month which is a pound more than my best month not including my first month. Oh well, at this point with as much as I've lost I have no right to complain.

Yesterday, my friend Angie, asked me how many sissy push-ups I could do. I got down on the floor, knees bent and could do...drum roll please...3. And I couldn't even get to the floor. How pitiful is that?

Today I got down again. Ten sissy, halfway push-ups. So I moved over to the wall and did 100 wall push-ups. Feet 2 feet from the wall, the last 50 on my tiptoes.

Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:35 am

I gained half a pound today.

Doesn't that sound depressing? Actually, I expected to gain more yesterday. I ate broccoli soup which had a whole avocado in it and I added salt. Plus I had 15 walnuts and the water from 1 coconut.

I went to fitday and entered everything I ate yesterday. It was way off the boot camp charts.

To begin with the soup was 60% fat, and I had those nuts, so at the end of the day with all my fruit added, I ate 1238 calories, 54%fat, 35% carbs, 11% protein.

I took in 2701.5 mg of sodium, and 5972.7 mg of potassium.

I am going to use fitday every day now for the rest of the week to see where I am at. I didn't use it before because I was always so low on my fat (and I was losing weight faster), now that I've got a little lax, it is time to step it back up, reduce that fat yet get the salt and potassium I need.

One thing I did see is that even after the coconut water and avocado, I added 2000mg of potassium to my diet just from the fruit and other vegetables I ate. I'm going to go research that to see where all that potassium came from. I'm still going to have to add salt to my diet though since, without the salt from the soup and coconut, I only got in a little of 100 mg of sodium.

Angie made me up a circuit training chart for weight lifting to help me reach my Jan 28th goals. I am still at my daughters, but will be going home either tonight or tomorrow and will get my weight lifting area ready to start this training.

I haven't hiked in a week now and am really beginning to feel it. There is a hard hike tomorrow and part of me just wants to pretend I have to stay home, while the other half of me is screaming "Get your butt outdoors."

I'll tell you who wins on Sunday.

Sat Dec 17, 2005 8:18 am

There is no fooling myself, my body requires exercise and can't tolerate fat in my diet. Not my thin body anyway.

This past week has been a big testament to that and a lesson in my future. The last day I exercised was a week ago today. All week I have been primarily sitting on my butt and eating. Yesterday I seemed to eat all day, and even though I said I wouldn't have any nuts, I did. And I gained another .2 pounds. That wasn't water weight, I didn't have a lot of salt. It was fat, fat from fat.

Feeling thin has played a little with my mind. Somehow I thought I should have broken that easy weight gain problem, that I could eat more because on a regular basis I get a lot of exercise, my body has healed. It's just not true. My body has given up a lot of fat, something it seems to treasure. My slipping, my falling back into old habits, even though I am still raw, gives my body the opportunity to grab back some of it's lost gold, fools gold as it is.

This past week has been a good lesson for me, it reminds me of my goals that I seem to have convinced myself I don't have to work as hard for. It reminds me that even when I hit 115 or 110 I can't just jump back to eating junk or high fat food. My body has to learn that thin is more precious, it has to decide that fat is our enemy. That will take a while. Six months maybe longer. I am still healing, not cured. And even when I seem to have found that cure, it will only be remission. I will have to remember that every day. Forgetting this, or not ever knowing it, is why so many people lose the weight and gain it all back three months later. Well, that's not going to be me. I am going to be thin for life.

Exercise and low fat are key to my success. I can't forget that. 100% raw may be enough for others to be fit, not me. I have to be honest with myself about my body, my eating, and my laziness. I am not like them, no matter how unfair that seems, I have to work harder for what comes natural for so many. To do that, I must keep up the exercise, not fall into an extra bit of oil, avocado, or nut thinking it can't make a difference, because it will. To lose weight fast, to make my goal of thin for life, I need to up the exercise and cut the fat.

All my nuts are gone, I won't be buying more. I'm hopefully hiking today and tomorrow. I'm finally going home and will get back to all my old new routines. I'm tired of being fat, I want to be thin now. I am no longer going to say because I am almost there things are slowing down. I know the truth, things are slowing down because I am. Good thing I know how to fix that!

Later today....

I did go hiking, my son went with me. We did that Douglas Springs hike it is a 12.5 to 13.5 (no one seems to know) miles with 2400 feet elevation gain. It really was easy. This is the hike that I almost killed myself on last September. It was really hot, I wasn't ready for it, and I got very dehydrated. I barely made it off the mountain and was really light-headed, worried about crashing, on my 4-mile drive home. So this was a goal I've had. To finish the hike I couldn't. I love cleaning up goals.

Of course when we made it to the campground two men in their late 20's early 30's came down a trail into the campground. They had done that Juniper Basis (the hike two weeks ago I whined on about the 6.5 miles of up) then they took the ridge across the mountains and came down to the campground, they were headed back to the trailhead and needed to find a trail that would take them back to the national park. In all a 24 mile hike. Oh, did I said hike, no they weren't hiking, they were running. Kind of squashed my goal accomplishment, and of course had me planning how I would do the same long hike (hiking not running) and how I would manage a carpool.

I want to go hiking tomorrow, but the kids are out getting the Christmas tree, so I may have to stay home and help decorate. It's so hard juggling life with all my exercise wants. What's a woman to do?

Oh yeah, taking a week off from exercise? I felt it. The back of my knees killed me the whole hike. We did a good pace, B level for sure, but I could feel the knees swelling. I've taken a bath and the pain is gone, but it really showed me how important it is too keep up my exercise and not just sit on my butt for a week at a time. Lesson learned!

Mon Dec 19, 2005 5:33 pm

Blackett's Ridge in 1 hr 25 minutes. Oh my god! I could have done it even faster, but Maria wasn't feeling well. No huffing, no puffing, no sore legs or lack of energy. I booked up that mountain. The group that always meets us on their way down stopped and asked if we left early today. "No," Maria said. "We just made really good time!" We barely took a break on the top, only long enough to down a tangerine and back we went. Too excited and energized to sit and rest.

It was awesome. I felt strong. Finally all these months of pushing paid off. Blackett's Ridge was nothing!

So now I have to look at what I've done.

This morning, even though I did not have any salt yesterday, I had this large red spot in front of my eyes when I woke up. I know this spot well, I get it whenever I eat salt or anything with sodium nitrate or nitrites in it. It was a bad sign for me. I also still weight 143.5, exactly what I weighed last Wednesday. Yesterday, at my daughter's house I weighed 142.8. There could be a difference in the scales, but still 143.5 again was depressing.

So I left for my hike asking myself what I wanted. I never seem to get better at hiking, I would never be strong enough for Search and Rescue, what I really wanted was to be thin. Salt and avocados were keeping me fat. What to do, what to do?

I was still thinking this the first ridge of Blackett's (there are 6 all together) then something clicked and I knew something changed. I felt like a strong B hiker. I thought about some of the latest hikes I've been on and how now I could keep up. I had passed that critical point. It had to be the salt, or the avocado.

As Maria and I descended the mountain, we talked about it. Could I be happy in the 140's as long as I was strong and capable of doing the things I want. The answer was no, I hate the remaining fat on my body, I want it gone. So now my task is to find a happy medium.

The salt or sodium is going to have to stay. The avocado I am going to limit myself to half a one a day. I was eating nuts and they made no difference in my athletic performance, so it is not the fat, but the fruit itself has so many good things in it, that I hate to turn away now. Of course, it could all just be the salt, so these next couple of weeks I will play with it.

On Friday, Maria and I were invited to an impromptu hike with the group we always meet on Blackett's. Do Blackett's, then continue down this trail called Phone Line and down a steep trail to the creek to the Visitor Center. It will up our 6.5 mile Blackett's to 11 or 12 miles. The bulk of it after the steep Blackett climb.

These are B hikers. We don't hike with them because they go so fast, but if we can repeat today we shouldn't have a problem. Once we can hike with them, we've made it to the next level. Of course, there is the up Blackett's in an hour group. Damn I love goals!

Tues Dec 20, 2005 8:23 pm

Age Spots Faded

I posted the next few paragraphs in the raw food boot camp under cured ailments today, so I thought I would add them here so I have them in my journal:

In my 30's I started to get age spots on my hands. I tend to have a lot of freckles, but these were new and different, and I hated them. In my 40's my upper thighs started to get covered. Not just in age spots, but in dead splotches of skin.

Now, just 7 months raw, I can't find the age spots on my hands, there are only a couple left on my legs and they have faded so much no one would recognize them. There are no more dead spots to be found or little light colored bumps.

A few weeks ago on my right forearm I had a wartish thing show up. It was round and bumpy and a little pink. It had me worried, but I thought I would give it a month or two to see what it did. The other day the top layer peeled off, today it is just a little scab. Another form of detox I suspect.

Skin Tags Gone

Last year I started to get skin tags. These are those little pieces of skin that grow in excess. I have always thought they were a sign of ill health and it bothered me immensely that I was getting them. By the time I started raw my neck had quite a few in the back behind my hair and on the front.

Today, they are all gone. I remember one or two falling off, but the rest have either gone in my sleep or just faded away.

When I researched skin tags and read posts in forums about them, I was surprised, well not really too surprised, to find that most people who had them had weight issues. Many had PCOS (I think that is what this called) where women have a hard time getting pregnant (and on the PCOS forums most of those women had weight issues). So to have the skin tags go with the weight was a wonderful gift. Getting healthy really does turn back the health-o-meter.

Lump under arm and in breast gone!!!

I've never mentioned this before because I don't want people to think I advocate not seeking professional help. If something like this happens to you, you should see a doctor.

Three years ago I noticed a large hard lump under my left armpit. It was the size of a walnut. I already was suspect of my liver and believed it to be a swollen lymph node. As the years passed I found this lump would grow and shrink according to the health level of my diet.

Last November when I finally went to see a Naturopath, I had her look at it. She told me that I should get it checked for cancer, but I wasn't ready for that, so I told her I wanted to work on cleaning my liver and lymphatic system first. When in May of last year I got the other swollen lymph node behind my right ear, I was convinced the one under my arm was the same. But, even though the one behind my ear went away completely in two days, the one under my arm remained. Smaller perhaps, but still there.

That was discouraging. As I lost the weight the lump remained and another one appeared. It may have always been there but because of the fat I couldn't feel it. It was in my left breast, but it wasn't a lump per se, it was about an inch long and an index finger wide horizontally across my breast. I decided I would give this a little while too, thinking it could be part of the cleaning process.

That was two months or maybe three ago. Today there is no lump under my armpit, not even a pea sized one. My breast is clear of all masses.

I do not believe this was cancer, I never did. I have liver problems and I know this. The liver and the lymphatic system work hand in hand. I believe raw has cleaned my liver and now my body is working properly and has a handle on excreting wastes effectively. This is a chance I took, one that I do not recommend to others, so please do not take this as an affirmation not to get checked when you have lumps anywhere in your body. See a professional and make all decisions informed ones.

Thyroid Meds no more

In November of last year when I finally broke down and went to see a Naturopath, I did so because I had fallen into a very deep depression. In 1990 one of my best friends committed suicide because of hormonal depression, so I am very aware of how dangerous it can be.

After tests were taken it was shown that all my hormones except prolactin were below low as were all my amino acids. The naturopath thought supplements were the key. I was positive it was my liver. My thyroid levels were very low so the first thing she put me on was thyroid meds.

Now a slow thyroid is every fat person's hope. It's not my fault, meds will get me thin. In my first month and a half I gained 12 pounds. The depression was better but still there. I went back. She upped my thyroid meds to two pills a day. Within a week I had brain scramble. I couldn't even put a sentence together. I went back, and on my insistence went down to one a day.

Her fix was supplements and drugs, mine was to get my liver clean. I could never convince her of this until after my first three months of doing things her way my slightly high liver enzymes jumped up to very high. Along with raw I have worked on cleansing my liver with liver flushes.

Three months into raw, hating taking these real pig thyroid, I decided to self prescribe a weaning period. I started taking only half a one a day. By the end of the week I could feel the depression coming back, so I went back to the full pill.

Over Thanksgiving when I house sat for my daughter, I forgot to take the pills with me. I figured I'd come home and get them in a few days. I waited for the depression to hit, but after a few days I started feeling lighter, happier. With each day I felt better not worse. By the time the kids came home I felt great, ten days thyroid meds free. I haven't gone back to them and as an added bonus that fast hair loss I was experiencing has cooled down a lot.

In February I will have all my blood work done again. I will keep you posted as to how the thyroid measures up, but if it is not completely out of whack I will not go back to taking these pills. I am a firm believer that nutrition is the key to optim

Wed Dec 21, 2005 6:12 am

Today is weigh-in day at the boot camp. I only lost half a pound since last week. Half a pound? What is going on here? Well, salt of course. Yesterday I had to borrow table salt from my neighbor. I am about to leave to go do Blackett's Ridge and I wanted to make sure I was physically equipped. I put the salt over cucumbers and immediately felt it. Yesterday I weighed 142.5. I thought I'd at least get a pound and a half for the week, but no.

Frustrated? Somewhat. All my goals are shot, except my physical ones. I'll let you know how I did at Blacketts. If I get what I want it will be worth it.

Later that day...

Well okay, the weight gain was worth is. I did Blackett's in 1 hr 24 minutes and the round trip in 2 hrs 50 minutes. One minute faster than last time, but this time I did not have Maria to talk to so I huffed and puffed more or so it seemed. But I can definitely feel the difference.

Not too long ago it took us 3.5 hrs to do the round trip. We have come far.

Sat Dec 24, 2005 8:15 am

Ask me how much I weigh today! 141... No nuts has really worked. But hey, this is the same exact weight I was the day I got married at 18!!! I'm very excited to be able to take this to the Christmas Eve party with my family. Only three of them have seen me so far. I just had to take a break out of getting ready and tell you.

Later that day...

It's 12:30 AM Christmas Eve, but I just had to share this before I went to bed. I'm sure Santa will understand. Actually, I already received my gift, that's why I'm here writing instead of sleeping.

Tonight I saw most of my family for the first time. Some knew, but most didn't. The shock and surprise was great. The kudus wonderful, but the best gift came from myself.

I have a favorite brother-in-law, okay I have two, but the one in Phoenix is my buddy. We've been buddy's I think since the first time we met. His wife has shown him the IBeatObesity web site, so he knew I had lost the weight. But when I walked in the door, there he was, sitting down. Before I even knew it I was sitting on his lap getting a hug. On his lap! No hesitation. We joked later how it was the first man's lap I had sat on in over 20 years, but we decided we would hold that distinction off for later in the evening and the picture I hope to get and post.

Anyway, the thing was as the evening progressed I realized how much I had changed. I was not only physically lighter but emotionally. And that isn't even the right word. The word is free-er. Free to be me. I felt funner, sassier, bubblier. All the inhibitions were gone. I wasn't sitting on the sidelines being the reserved partier, but participating as if the party was all about my good time.

The second man's lap I sat in was Santa's. My 15-year-old nephew had this distinction. After the kids had sat on his lap and a couple of adults, someone called for me. I jumped at it. Sat in his lap and hugged him as if he were the main man. Flashes went off in abundance and I just laughed as I told him what I wanted. Then I gave him a big kiss on his cheek.

It was after this that I realized that not only had I lost the weight, I had lost the burden of obesity. What an awesome gift that was.

Sun Dec 25, 2005 4:20 pm

My first Christmas raw, 100% not simple, not low fat raw. I decided that since I had to cook so much food for others I would splurge today (and possibly tomorrow with leftovers) and made myself many recipes. I made Annette's Lasagna and squash/cranberry rice, spinach dip and salmon pate, a huge fruit salad, salad, and veggie tray.

I wont' go into what I made for them, but it was a typical Christmas dinner with all the fixens. I didn't make it alone, my daughter, son-in-law and son were all in on it. Come dinner, I lined my recipes up on the buffet table. Half the people tried them. They were actually excited to try them. Not all went well. I personally didn't like the spinach dip or salmon pate, but boy did I love that lasagna. That will become my big holiday treat from now on. And if I didn't gain any weight today, I will finish it off for lunch tomorrow.

I was so full. Full like SAD full. I may be paying for that later tonight, but so far so good. I didn't eat any nuts, they didn't even tempt me. An hour or so after dinner, out came all the deserts. There was a table full. I guess they mean nothing to me. It's hard to describe, but I can look at the food and there is no mind appetite connection, it's not even as luring as a photo. No synapses are fired, as if my brain has forgotten what it is all about. That was a very odd, yet cool observation today. After a couple of hours all I wanted was a bowl of fruit.

It seems each day I notice a new change in my life. Changes way beyond what I ever expected from losing weight. Not only has my body been altered and energized, but my psyche has too. I feel reborn, awakened, aware. This just gets better by the day.

What I have now is beyond words, beyond price, beyond sacrifice. Now I know what life feels like. It's joy and happiness all beaming outward from within.

Tue Dec 27, 2005 3:56 pm

I had to take a nap today. A nap! When I first started raw I had low energy as my body cleaned itself out. That seems like decades ago. I felt it yesterday, but boy today I couldn't keep myself awake and headed for the bedroom.

I was up last night at 3:30 and on with the runs, had a sore tummy as I hiked this morning, and still feel like someone knocked me out and I'm just coming to.

Was it all the heavy foods I ate the past two days? I'm thinking so. My body just wasn't prepared. I'm debating whether or not to do a liver cleanse tonight. No, I'm not debating. I'm going to do it. I need some kind of flush. I just want to feel as good as I did Christmas Eve when all I ate, all I wanted was fruit and salad.

It was great fun while I was eating, but boy the payback is not fun.

As a side note, Maria and I did Blackett's today in 1 hr 23 minutes and finished the whole round trip in 2 hrs 40 minutes. Ten minutes slower than A hikers.

Wed Dec 28, 2005 10:11 am

Today is my 49th birthday. Before I tell you about my last year's birthday I'll like to add that today I received the most awesome gift. 7 new members to the raw food boot camp. What more could a girl want? I think we will consider today the first real day of the raw food boot camp.

Last year's present...

Growing up on Mother's day or my mom's birthday, my mother would always say. "All I want is for you to spend the day with me." Yeah, right. She would have just wanted us to clean with her which wasn't fun. But as my children grew I realized what she really wanted was us to be with her, to spend the day with her and be her friend.

Last year, on my birthday, I received such a gift. I love photography, but my daughter hasn't shown much interest over the years. Last year after I bought myself an expensive SLR digital camera and talked about doing portraits, my daughter went out and bought me portrait lights, reflectors, and books for Christmas. I bought her a digital camera and printer.

For my birthday, my daughter took the day off from work and gave me the greatest birthday of my life. We went to a local park for me to take pictures. She not only went with me but then let me teach her about composition and lighting. We then went to the zoo and clicked away. The whole day was spent with my daughter participating in a love of my life. In the evening we went to my favorite restaurant, and then coming home the full moon was split by dark clouds (something rare in Tucson). It was the last sign I needed to know that with a birthday like this I was about to embark on the greatest year of my life.

In May of last year, right before I found raw, I was thinking about this. How had I had such an awesome birthday and was still fat. Well, I guess you know the answer to that. So today when I go to my daughter's for my birthday I will be bringing her flowers and a thank-you card. When I think of this great gift I have received, I always go back and think it was she who gave it to me. I will always be grateful for that.

And now here I am on another birthday, and you the members of this boot camp are allowing me to share that gift with you, so next year will be even better as we together tackle obesity and find a cure not just for ourselves but for everyone out there like us.

Thur Dec 29, 2005 9:04 am

Today is the day after my birthday. I just had to share the birthday cake my kids made for me. It was two-tiered. Two tiers of carved watermelon, round and the size of a plate. Garnish was blueberries, blackberries, and almonds. They were going to put real candles on, but said, no, let's keep it raw, no flame. So they cut carrot sticks for candles. What an amazing gift.

For Christmas my daughter bought me hiking clothes, but they were too big (never thought I'd say that) so yesterday I went looking for replacements. The day before picking my son up at the airport I bought two pairs of pants (I haven't wanted to waste too much money on clothes). I was shocked when I fit into size 10's. But they were those new jean material with stretch in it, so I figured I was still really a size 12, but I enjoyed saying I was in 10's. Especially the black cords because they were slim fit 10's. Anyway, yesterday as I was trying on the medium hiking pants which I knew would fit because my larges are too big I also tried on a size 10 hiking short. I figured they wouldn't fit. I was right, they were almost too big. They fit me, yesterday, but next week I wouldn't be able to wear them. My eyes almost teared. This has really happened. In May I had to buy stretch pants size 22/24 and boy did they have to stretch. In a week or two I'll be buying size 8's. The last time I did that I was in my 20's, ate about half a tuna fish sandwich a day, danced all night, and took speed. Now here I am, healthy, drug-free, and eating as much as I want.

I have said this so much throughout my journal, but I have to say it again. I love raw. It has given me a life, released me of obesity once and for all, and found it's way not just to my heart, but to my psyche.

I've heard so much about how raw shouldn't be seen as a diet, but as a lifestyle. When I started all I saw it was as a diet. Now through time, appreciation, success, it became my life. Not just lifestyle, but part of me. Raw is as much a part of me as I am a part of it. Everyone who knows me, everyone who loves me, sees me and sees raw. And they too think of it as a miracle.

Fri Dec 30, 2005 10:02 pm

Wow, what a past couple of days. Raw Food Boot Camp went from the five of us to 25. I have been typing so many welcome to boot camp letters my fingers hurt, and my butt hurts from sitting. I practically begged Maria to go do Blackett's with me tomorrow morning just so I could get some strenuous exercise (okay she really wanted to go too, but I would have begged her). Then it's back to my chair to get the e-store going and set up membership subscriptions. Wow, is all I have to say.

But, I thought I'd take a break and focus on me for a minute. I've got another story, aren't you sick of them yet? Yesterday my daughter and I went to pick up the clothes I had picked out the day before. As we stood there watching the sales clerk fold one of my new shirts (a button up tailored shirt) my mouth dropped open as he held it up. It was so small, so narrow. No way it fit around my waist, it would never fit around my thigh. But I had tried it on, I had buttoned it the day before. It was almost freaky.

I think because of how overwhelming all those mass commitment forms were yesterday I started to feel a little insecure. It is a lot of people to feel responsible for, do I really have it in me to give them this amazing gift. I'm sure I do, but I was tired. Anyway, that moment of insecurity lead to other thoughts. I remember as a young girl praying at night that I would wake up in the morning and the fat suit would be gone. I can't help feel that this is what exactly has happened. The time went by so fast, the struggle barely remembered. It's as if every morning I wake up to find the fat suit just gone, as if it disappeared on its own. But with that comes the other side of it, the fear that just as quickly it could return. When I told my daughter this last night she pinched me. Damn that hurt.

I wonder when it will sink in that this is real, it really did happen. I guess it's always best to be in awe, but I seem to live there every time I look in the mirror or put on a piece of clothing I couldn't have even dreamed of just 7 months ago. I haven't taken those clothes out of the bag yet, it's as if I'm afraid they shrunk and it all really is just a dream.

© 2005-2019 Carlene Jones