Carlene Beat Obesity

Carlene's Weight Loss Journal

Wed Nov 2, 2005, 7:23 AM

99.5 pounds. Oh, please! This is worse than watching for water to boil. It was like this when I was breaking the 200-pound mark. So all this month I have been feeling as if it has taken forever to get through the 160s (I'm 159.5 today). I had warned myself at the beginning that the 60s would be a sticky weight for me because I spent a few years at 165 being my lowest weight. That warning played out as I for the first time had four days in a row without losing any weight. I was getting all bummed that I would not hit my 15-pound loss by the 6th of November, my first bad month. For as well as I have done, I still get disappointed. What is that about?

So, anyway this morning I was thinking, gosh. This is just taking forever, I saw my weight and inch loss chart and realized I started this month at 173.5. That means I've lost 14 pounds so far this month and I have 4 more weigh in days. It's all just been an illusion based on my desperate desire to reach the 100-pound loss mark and my belief this would be a hard ten pounds to lose. So I faked myself out and all my disappointment was for naught. I'm sure I will lose at least one more pound before the 6th. What games we play with our heads!

Last night I dreamt that I ate a bag of salsa chips. I could taste the oil and salt. I couldn't believe I had done that. Then in the dream, I thought maybe it was only a dream, but found the empty bag and realized it wasn't a dream. Then someone ordered pizza and I was pissed that they had eaten it all and I didn't get any.

Dream Analysis: I am still worried about when I get done. Now it's the question everyone asks me. "So when will you start eating again?" I think going raw to lose weight is very different than when you go raw because you believe in its health benefits. When I first joined the forum there was a bias towards people who were using raw for quick weight loss, and I convinced myself I wasn't one of them, yet I still have hidden dreams of eating SAD food. Of course, I think most raw fooders do, but because I am coming close to a huge goal -- probably only 3 more months and I'll be down to 115 which is the least I have ever weighed in my life and I was in my 20's -- my fears are creeping in again.

I have a plan in place. I have decided that because I am not good with raw vegetables that I will either start eating slightly dehydrated veggies or steamed. I find I miss the squashes and want to make sure I eat enough broccoli and spinach. I just can't do them raw. So that will be the first thing I add back to my diet. Where I have stayed away from dehydrated food and the heavier fat foods, I plan to add a few back in and maybe even make myself some raw chips. But fear is fear and still in my head fat is fat. I am working out a 6 month stabilization period for myself. Six months of maintaining my raw weight with raw so it becomes my set point. Those six months I think I will need more support than I have needed throughout these past 5 and a half months. Because even though raw has been easy for me, I know it is because I have had the weekly and mostly daily success of weight loss. It's easy to stay motivated when you are constantly rewarded for it.

And don't forget I'm a very goal-oriented person, so when I reach my final goal will I have the determination to continue raw. I think helping other people to lose weight through raw will help keep me motivated.

I know for those of you who think I'm an inspiration to your own success, this post is probably a downer, but I wanted to honest. Raw is a hard journey. Losing weight as quickly as I have has been a blessing, a miracle, but also something that is pretty hard to grasp even for me. I think when people look at me they see the success more than I do. To be honest, I have to say that mentally, I have not had time to prepare for the end. The weight has fallen off with what has seemed very little effort on my part (I know I exercise a lot, but don't forget I enjoy that). Now it's time for me to really study raw and ingrain in myself why this is the way to continue the rest of my life.

Thu Nov 3, 2005, 3:22 AM

Dadaaaa!!!!! 100.5 pounds gone forever!!!!! I've got my 15 pounds for this month with 3 more days to go!!! Raw rocks man. Okay, these past 10 pounds were excruciating to wait for, but it was all psychological. I made it though. Last May I worried I would be obese for the rest of my life. Now I'm just tens of pounds heavier than my friends who have never struggled with more than ten or fifteen pounds in their life. At the gym yesterday one woman was talking about her struggle to lose 18 pounds over the past six months. She started at 168, that's 9.5 pounds more than I weigh now. I saw her back then. She looked fine to me. So I must look fine to the world now. Yippie! One of my best friends who I always consider thin (not skinny, but healthy) told me the other day she weighs 147. That's only 10.5 pounds less than me and she is only a few inches taller than me. I should really consider buying a full-length mirror so I can see all this.

158.5, wow. I didn't really think it was possible. But here I am. I won't be hitting 125 by Christmas, I can see that now even if I keep up the 15 pounds a month, but I'll be pretty close. My next goal is to get to 133.5. My sister who has always been thinner than me gained weight when she quit smoking, she weighs 134 right now. I made her promise that as a joint birthday/Christmas present to me she wouldn't lose any weight until I got below her. The plan is I will call her up the day I get to 133.5 and say na-nee-na-nee-na-na, I'm thinner than you! She says that's going to hurt, but she loves me enough not to try to diet or exercise until then (her husband doesn't think it's such a great plan, but he knows she would sacrifice herself for me anytime, not to mention she hates dieting and exercise two things she has never done in her life). Doesn't matter, I'll get my first even if it's just for a few days. Of course, when she comes back here in May you can bet she'll be as thin or thinner than me, she couldn't stand to have us side by side and me thinner. Can't blame her.

Okay, I've rambled enough. I'm going to post my success on the board and go kill myself on that horrible mountain.

Fri Nov 4, 2005, 5:16 AM

I'm on my way out the door to hit the gym. Yesterday I climbed that damn mountain again. It was funny, it's like going to a gym, the same people are on that mountain each week. Three groups of people recognized me from last week and stopped to chat and offer encouragement. That was pretty cool. I also talked with a guy who studies snakes on that mountain and he told me all about my buddy from Monday. It was not a Mohave, but a BlackTail. Its venom is just as bad, but it is not as aggressive (that's why I got the warning instead of just being bit). The flying green snake I saw a while back is called a Whipsnake, and the snake that bit my friend was probably a Tiger snake whose venom is worse than a Mohave. And I should be on the lookout for a black rattlesnake with gold diamonds on it. He was very into his snakes. The point of all this is, hikers are just nice people. I'm really enjoying meeting all these new people.

I posted my 100-pound loss on the forum yesterday. What an overwhelming response. I'm always touched by how caring everyone is here. I think succeeding on something like raw takes a community like the one here. The support has been very instrumental in my staying raw. Journaling, and knowing people read the journal has also been a big motivator for me. Those times when the cravings got bad, all I could think about when licking my lips and imagining the taste of melted cheese was I'd have to tell the truth here in my journal and I just didn't want to have to admit failure. Mind games, again, but they seem to work for me.

Okay, that's all for today. I'm off to the gym. Tomorrow I'm going boulder scrambling in a canyon and then Sunday I'm going rock hopping in another. We'll see how good my balance is.

Sat Nov 5, 2005, 5:14 PM

Just a quickie to note some of the fun things from my hike today. One, when we were going to get in the van for the carpool, some guy says, ok you three little ones in the back. How fun is that. He thought I was little. On the way home I was talking to one of these other little women and she asked how old my son was, I said 26, she was shocked. We had been hiking together all day and she thought I was fresh out of college. Boy was my ego being stroked!

On a funny note, we were scrambling down this steep really slippery boulder, actually, two boulders that came to a crevice at water. I couldn't get my footing and was slipping down into the water, no handholds, and there I was going. It took two hands, two men, offering them, to give me the hold to pull myself out of it. I was laughing pretty hard because just before I did this, some guy was whining about how slippery it was, and I was telling what to do, thinking, oh what a baby. It was pretty funny.

Another cool thing happened. This woman who I hiked with last week was there. She told me she had been trying to go raw ever since meeting me but was having a hard time doing it. She wants to lose weight. So she asked me if she could hike with me on Mondays up that horrible mountain to Blackett's Ridge and use it as a way to keep herself accountable for staying raw and losing weight. She asked if I would help keep her motivated and coach her to keep it up. That made me feel great. I really like her too, so having her hike with me will be great.

Overall, a wonderful day. I have bruises on my knees, cuts on my arms, sore spots on my fingertips. What more could a girl want?

Sun Nov 6, 2005, 8:19 AM

Okay, it's monthly check-in time. On the 6th of every month, the anniversary of my starting Alissa's 30-day challenge I always check in with weights and measurements. I really thought since I hit my 15-pound loss for the month a few days ago I'd be at least at 16, but things are slowing down. So for this month I only lost 15.5 pounds. Did you hear me say only? I never thought I would be able to keep that up. What people have said about raw seeking out your optimal weight is true. There has been no slow down.

So total since May I have lost 101 pounds, since starting the challenge on June 6th, I have lost 87 pounds. Just going by the June 6th date that is an average of 17.4 pounds a month. Pretty damn amazing!

Here are total inches lost:

Chest: 10.75"

Buddha Belly (no more): 12.75"

Hips: 10.25"

Left Upper Arm: 3.5"

Right Upper Arm: 3"

Left Thigh: 7"

Right Thigh: 7"

I can't talk about clothing size as I live in hiking or gym clothes at the moment. But everything I own is baggy. I'm going to start going through my son's old t-shirts. He always wore them tight, and hope I can find another semblance of wardrobe for the next month or so. Who wants to waste their money on clothes when in two more months I'll be in women's smalls. I started in size 3X.

Pat myself on the back and scream thanks to the gods. I can't believe this has happened for me. I am blown away. By January I will be skinny. That is like so here, so now. I can barely grasp it.

Tue Nov 8, 2005, 3:41 AM

The weight is coming off at a snail's pace. I've only lost another pound since hitting my 100-pound mark. It's not really all that frustrating at this point because I'm so close, but then I'm so close that it's really frustrating that it would start slowing down before I finish. I'll get over it, I'm sure. My son is home a month from today. To hit 140 I will have to lose 17.5 pounds between today and then. That's two pounds more than my monthly average, so I guess I'll be calling on those fairy godmothers again to let me have this. We'll have to see what they say.

In truth, I think it is all the hiking I am doing that is slowing down my weight loss. This doesn't sound right I know, but that has always been the case for me. I am working myself to exhaustion every day now, it could be I'm not eating enough to compensate and my body is freaking and holding onto the fat for future use. Maybe that is exactly it and I need to start eating more fruit throughout the day. I think I'll try that. I have noticed I have hit a plateau on how much weight I can lift at the gym and my body is physically getting tired from the hiking and climbing. So, new game plan. Eat more to lose more. I'll keep you posted.

Hiking with Maria worked out great yesterday. I really like her. The race is on to see who loses the most weight this week. She is committed to raw. I'm going to see her again today, and tomorrow. She has a big Italian picnic she planned for Sunday which will be her first big test. She's determined to do it.

My friend who started raw with me and quit is going to do it again. I told her to wait until after the holidays and then I would help her stay committed. It's killing her that we started together, she has gained over 30 pounds back where I have lost. That's good incentive for her.

My daughter who has been having a hard time with raw didn't want to talk to me or see me on Sunday because she had cheated all week, so I didn't go over. I was there yesterday when she got home. She couldn't get over how little I was and kept commenting on it. Then she tore open her box of skinny clothes and handed me all her old jeans and shorts. When I left she was making herself a salad for dinner. I guess this is the best way to motivate people, just be an example instead of a nag.

Okay, off to walk the dogs. Have a good day.

Wed Nov 9, 2005, 3:00 PM

Helen of Tennessee asked a couple of questions in my journal. If there are any health problems I still hope to get rid of and what ones I have gotten rid of. The truth is I have always been a pretty healthy person, except for the heart, blood sugar, hormones, and liver. As of my last checkup, my blood sugar is under control (it wasn't too high, to begin with but over the safe mark). My heart is much stronger, but that is probably because of all the exercise. My liver is still not well. I am working on it. I think it will take losing all the weight and getting all the toxins and fat out of my body before it can really begin to heal. My hormone imbalances I believe, are directly related to my liver problems. Oh yeah, I do take thyroid meds. I plan on having more blood work done a month after I finish losing the weight, we'll see how it all goes. My distance vision has improved greatly, but my close up vision has deteriorated. My skin is good under the circumstances (fast weight loss, saggy skin) actually it is not a tenth as saggy as expected. That I believe is a combination of raw and my keeping the top smooth with my St. Ives Collagen and Elastin lotion mixed with Aloe Vera Gel.

Oh yeah, I don't snore anymore. That probably is a good sign about a lot of things. But, since I didn't have any major problems to start with there wasn't a lot to heal. Obesity was my major health crisis, and now that that has been healed or almost healed, my health is headed only one way, back to a 30-year-old instead of a 49-year-old.

I feel great. On days like today when I push myself too hard, I still feel good because five months ago I didn't have an umph to push. Besides being outside always brings joy. Today was my first centipede. It was much prettier than I had ever imagined and bigger. That was a thrill.

Fri Nov 11, 2005, 4:11 AM

Helen left me good news in my comments section. She said most 100% raw foodists get off thyroid meds in a year. Hey, I'm almost halfway there! It will be interesting to see what the blood work says in February.

I forgot to mention something that happened to me on Wednesday when I was hiking. There were too many people in the group, so we split into two groups. A fast group and a slow group. I opted, of course, to go with the fast group - always having to push. Well, the fast group, was really fast, and the area we hiked was about as steep as that horrible Blackett's Ridge I do. The pace killed me. I made it about halfway, huffing and puffing with three others behind me doing the same. But as we started from the halfway point, I needed a longer break and told everyone to go ahead of me. Two did, one remained. He was an older man, a long time guide with the group.

Now I had hiked the two days previously, and it was hot, and it was steep, and.... let's see, can I come up with any more excuses? I was physically exhausted. I did not want to do it. I wanted to quit with each step I took. But Bill, my personal guide, kept prompting me to go just a little further. I would stop, drink, breathe, and hold back my cries of just wanting to quit. We could hear the slower group. I offered to wait for them and let Bill continue. He wouldn't leave me, he wouldn't let me wait. "Let's just go a little further before you decide," he would say. "Of course the decision is yours," he would add. I would pick myself up and follow. With the beginning of each new switchback, he would say: "I think this might be the end of the climbing." And then it was. We made it before the slow group, I made it to the cheers of the fast group. I made it and didn't have to quit, didn't have to fail. Thanks to a guide, someone who had been in my shoes before and knew what it was like to be tired, slow, exhausted, and tempted to fail.

The whole time I was wishing he would just leave me there to sit by myself on a rock and wallow, I knew Bill was exactly what I wanted to be for others like me who are dealing with obesity and struggling with raw. He never gave up on me, and more importantly, didn't allow me to give up on myself.

Who knew a day of hiking would offer a revelation on my journey to thin and healthy.

As an add-in. These past two days I've lost half a pound each day. It's nice to be back on that track.

My hiking friend who is using me as her raw coach called me last night. She has lost four pounds since Monday morning and has so much energy. She is loving this diet and worried about her picnic on Sunday. I gave her some tips to get through, we'll see how she does. The biggest tip I gave her is no matter what happens never to fall into failure mode so she says. "Well, I've already cheated why not go all out." She promised she wouldn't and that no matter what happens Monday morning she's back to raw. She'll see me first thing Monday morning, so that will get her back even if she doesn't have the resolve herself. I'm very excited for her. She only has about 30 pounds to lose, but she has not been able to lose it, ever.

Oh yeah, my sister called. She's coming to Phoenix next weekend. So I'll be seeing everyone earlier than I had planned. My hope was to be almost down to 125 before I saw them, now I'll be lucky to be in the 140's. I'm 155.5 today and have 7 days? Darn, I'll still be in the 150's. Bummer. Not that I feel fat, I just wanted it to be a real shock. My son is home in 27 days. If I were to keep up my average weight loss that might get me down to 137. That's good. I won't make 125 by Christmas, but possibly by the end of the year. If it weren't for the holidays and my son coming home, this final 30 or 40 pounds would not be a big deal. I don't feel fat anymore. Sure naked I can see where that 30 or 40 pounds is, but in clothes I feel good. I've already won this battle, this final part is like tidying up after the great victory.

Sun Nov 13, 2005, 4:37 AM

This will be my fourth day in a row without going hiking or doing any heavy exercise. Yesterday I showed up for the hike too late, and they had left (I had the wrong time). Today I am going over my kid's house to set up a computer for them, get my hair dyed, and have my daughter take some pictures of me for my journal. It's only been 13 more pounds since the last picture, but she assures me I look a lot different. I feel the same, I guess I should really invest in a full-length mirror one of these days so I can see the difference like everyone else does.

Tomorrow, I'm meeting Maria to climb that horrid mountain, then Tuesday am going on my regular hike in the desert with the group. I'll go see my sister Friday, be back Friday night so I can hike on Saturday. I need to get to the gym twice this week too, I didn't go at all last week.

I think I have settled into the whole hiking thing and am winding down a little from it. I have found a great group of people to hike with and have decided it is time to start enjoying hiking rather than always trying to kill myself. Not to say I won't still push, that's just part of who I am, but I'm going to go a little easier on myself. You know, stop and smell the cactus, not just run by them. On most days anyway.

The weight drop really feels like it has slowed completely, but then I look at the calendar. I have lost 3 pounds since the 6th. This is the 7th day. I'm pretty much still on track with my half pound a day. It just used to feel so much faster, but in truth it couldn't have been. Maybe because I am getting so close my mind is convinced it can't really happen and is expecting this last 30 pounds or so to be excruciating so it is. Or maybe because I'm so close I just expect the last of it to fall off and let me be done with it, and it isn't. Who knows. Anyway, I feel great. No matter what I think of the weight loss, breaking raw is never a concern or even a thought for me. Raw is just as natural as any other way I've ever eaten.

That's not really true, because every other diet I have been on, I have been obsessed with it. With raw, I'm obsessed with what raw has done for me, but not with the food. I rarely think about it except when I go to eat. Of course, I think about what it means to be raw, what I have achieved with it, and what it can do for others all the time, so maybe that makes up for not obsessing over the food.

I've got to say, it is much more fun obsessing over this new life rather than dwelling on my obesity and how it was stilting my life.

Sat Nov 19, 2005, 4:31 PM

Sorry, I haven't journaled in a while, I've been busy. I have lots of great stories to tell though.

Today I finished a 15.5-mile hike with 800 ft elevation. It was my longest hike yet, but even better I kept pace with the fast hikers the whole 15.5 miles. To keep up my energy, today I had an orange before I left, had another one after the first four miles, then a banana at the next stop, 2.5 miles later, then 2 oranges for lunch, and my final banana 6.5 miles from the end. My feet hurt and I will be in bed early tonight, but I felt great the whole hike. The pace was pretty fast, so I am very proud of myself. At one point two hikers asked me about raw, so we spent about an hour talking about its benefits. I doubt they will do it, but it was great to talk about something I love so much.

So that was today. Yesterday, my sister came to Phoenix, so when I drove my kids to Phoenix so they could head off to Massachusettes for Thanksgiving, I got to spend the day with my sister who I adore. She saw me after I had lost 42 pounds, and I sent her the picture of me in the blue shirt, but still... When she saw me, she cried. That was so cool. My sister has never, in all my life, gotten on me about my weight or any of my crazy diets. She hated my hair and told me that all the time, but never did my weight come us as an issue (well when we were kids and she was mad at me she would call me flubso in front of friends, but kids are always mean and she had to be really mad at me). Anyway, her crying really touched me. That's love when someone cries for your happiness.

Her husband who is always complaining about my diet and how unhealthy it is hugged me hard, and made no comments when I ate my fruit and sat without food when we went to a sub shop and they all ate juicy grinders in front of me. I think he supports my efforts now. Although he told my sister before they saw me she would be sorry if I were ever thinner than her.

And she was heavy for her. She has always been thin, so it was hard for me to see her with a belly and bulges over her jeans. For as much as I want to weigh less than her, I would rather she were still her beautiful self. Anyway, even though she was heavy for her, she was still 19 pounds lighter than me, and she is 1.5" taller. My sister-in-law who came over, is down to 125. Her daughter weighs about 110, and my sister's daughter is at most 100 pounds. My mother has lost ten pounds (she eats more raw fruits and veggies now) since the last picture I took with her, so after all this, I was still the fat one. Life can be unfair at times. I'm not too worried. I was 152.5 this morning. I won't hit 125 by Christmas, but I might get 135. Ten pounds short of my unrealistic goal of six months ago isn't too shabby.

Today I met a man who lost 90 pounds. I asked him about his skin. He said that at first it was saggy and then it seemed over night it tightened up. He showed me his arms, they were pretty tight. He believes it's because he lifts weights. He said his thighs were still mushy, but he really could have lost another 30 pounds. So that gave me hope. Just a great day!

The other day I had a meeting with other computer programmers. I wore a pantsuit of my daughters. I was shocked at how good I looked. And then at the meeting, there were three other female programmers. Well, I was the thinnest one there. It felt great.

So that's it. I'm still raw, I'm still loving it. My brain is really changing. Where a while ago I worried if I would be able to stay raw when I finished losing the weight, now I can't imagine not staying raw. I don't remember if I said this before, but now when I plateau for a few days it doesn't even cross my mind that raw no longer works. Having it be such an easy part of my life just makes this whole diet amazingly easy. I still can't believe it.

Oh yeah, now when I stand up, even though I still have a flabby belly, I can see my ribs. There is actually an indentation between them and my stomach. I'm so getting there!

Mon Nov 21, 2005, 3:49 PM

Happy, happy day!! I made it up that horrible mountain (Blackett's Ridge) in 1.5 hrs. That is half an hour less than any other time I've climbed it. I think the difference is I'm eating more. I ate before I went, I ate half way up (this was only a two minute break and I had two sections of orange) and then I had two oranges at the top. I'm not depleting my energy supplies so I'm doing better. It was also a lot cooler out.

I have a new big goal. A 21 mile 3000 ft hike at the end of January. It's actually over a mountain pass that last year had snow.

My son arrived in Boston today. Of course I won't get to see him until Dec. 8th. That doesn't give me much time to get thin. I barely spoke with him today, he was pigging out on his grandmother's goodies. He's not going to like a raw house.

My daughter and son-in-law are expecting to gain 20 pounds while they are away. Their grandmother is the queen of pastries. At least they both feel they can fix that later with raw. They have a really good attitude about raw. They can't do it full time, they don't even want to, but they believe in it and are trying to incorporate as much raw into their lives without feeling deprived.

My mother has incorporated more raw into her life, and since I saw her in September has lost ten pounds. She's making better decisions about what she eats. It was very cool when I went over there to see a huge fruit bowl, full on her counter.

So in the end, I didn't just go raw for me. My whole family has benefited. Another miracle of raw. My sister is thinking of doing more raw to lose the extra 20 pounds she has on her, but not until I'm a pound thinner. Isn't she the best!

So you can see I posted two new pictures. One of me and one of me and my sister. I'll never be able to compete, never could. She's more of a mall person, I'm a hiker (although she loves to hike). All of our lives she tried to get me to go more foofoo, but I just don't have it in me.

I still have a little of that chicken neck left, but it's getting better. Now for my arms to catch up.

I'm very excited with the thought of following that theory that if I can get my body fat way down, my skin will clean itself up. I no longer think of 125 as my final goal, but 115 or 110. I've warned everyone already so I won't get any anorexia clippings in the mail. I'm hoping that will trim up my neck and arms. Then later when my skin is firm, I can think about gaining a little back to look healthy. I'll be my own experiment if this theory works or not, but the thought of getting so thin isn't a dream, it's just around the corner. March at the most, I'm thinking. Then six months to stabilize it, then I'll indulge in some gourmet raw and buy myself a dehydrator. My mouth is watering already.

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