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Donkey - Monday May 30, 2016
(Portion control & exercise)
Weight: 175.0

No weigh-in this week, although this is probably the time that I need it most!  With my son's graduation from high school, visiting relatives, and being away from home, my low-carb & vegetable options have been limited.  Plus, I was at the point where I needed to just relax and enjoy.

I'm grateful for this long holiday.  I'm tempted to go into the office a little bit today, but not really.  I need a holiday.  I wish I could do this every month -- take an extra day off for a long weekend, but if I did, I would come back to over 100 emails.  So that's a no-win.

We did hire someone who I thought could eventually cover for me in my absence, but she is really not capable of doing anything other than data entry.

It just occurred to me that I might feel a little Zen if I took walks in the morning.  It's hard to get up early though when you're exhausted and dreading the work day ahead.

At any rate, I'm going to enjoy today, that's for sure!


Progress as of today: 11.5 lbs lost so far, only 20 lbs to go!

Horn_of_plenty on 05/31/2016:
Hey Donkey...!

You sound happy in this entry. Happy and more carefree. keep going this way, you are doing really well right now.

Congrats to your son on his graduation - that's a HUGE accomplishment and you must be so proud of him.

well, i'll say if you can get enough sleep, try for a few little walks in mornings. maybe try it 1x in the week only...then move on to 2x. The walk may only be 10-15 minutes at first. It's a big change to not walking in mornings.

Donkey - Saturday May 21, 2016
(Portion control & exercise)
Weight: 175.0

Just checking in to mark the 10lb loss milestone of my year of self-improvement.  I'm about 10lbs away from a fabulous, professional waredrobe (handed down from someone else who lost weight).

Still struggling to find a work-life balance, but not going to give up.

Progress as of today: 11.5 lbs lost so far, only 20 lbs to go!

grannyannie on 05/21/2016:
Well done!

Horn_of_plenty on 05/22/2016:
Congrats to you!

work/life balance will always be a struggle, but it's up to you to either let it bring you down....or for you to overcome it and continue to strive for it. it's always a challenge between work & personal freedom which i guess work makes impossible? but it's worth it to rise to that challenge...!

Donkey - Saturday May 14, 2016
(Portion control & exercise)
Weight: 178.5

I CAN DO IT!!!!!!!

Random thoughts and happenings this week:

I had not planned on weighing in this morning (because of hormonal fluctuations which can throw off a weigh in), and I'm not sure why I did anyway -- I guess because I felt compelled to stick to this and weigh in -- good or bad.  Pleasantly surprised to see a loss -- my efforts have paid off!

The change in my eating has paid off with a small but significant weight loss (significant to me).  I have joined in my "dieting" co-workers in eating better: more fruits and vegetables, less meat,definitely less bread, more water.  It has been hard because when I'm stressed out at work, all I want to do is reach for a bowl of chips.  This week was one of my co-workers' birthday, so there was a delicious cake but I didn't have any, and felt much better for passing.

I'm doing some reading on living a more balanced life - internally, if not externally.  I suppose you could say that the readings are along the lines of Buddist thinking but I've found them helpful in putting things into perspective.  I try hard now to decompress for 30 minutes after work before eating... chatting with my family, maybe drinking a little wine or some seltzer, just letting the stress of the work day melt away before sitting down to dinner...

I didn't have time to make a lunch on Friday, and nobody was going to the deli (so that I could get a salad), so I decided to go home for lunch.  I'm so glad I did!  It was a beautiful day, and I took the opportunity to enjoy it on my way home.  Had a much healthier lunch than I would have had I stayed at work. And enjoyed the beautiful weather on the way back to the office.  I'm thinking this might be something to incorporate on a regular basis:  go home for lunch once a week.

I have more plans for my self-enrichment, which I will begin to add gradually.  On my list:  regular exercise (good for the body, mind, and soul), practicing Spanish to become more fluent (a promise I made to myself 3 years go that remains unfulfilled), taking a course of study (either self-guided or a structured but free/fun class online) to learn a new skill.

I have more thoughts I'd like to add about my work life, but I don't want to post them now in this entry as it would detract from the positive points I've mentioned here outside of work.



Progress as of today: 8 lbs lost so far, only 23.5 lbs to go!

Donkey on 05/14/2016:
Hey I've lost 8lbs so far!

Horn_of_plenty on 05/15/2016:
thinking of you & will comment more soon!

Horn_of_plenty on 05/16/2016:
See! congrats on your great loss & adding in the very powerful activity of positive thinking. When we feel we are capable is when we truly are able to reach our goals. This is how i'm approaching the rest of this month as well!

When i slimmed down for my sister's wedding, i was able to do so because i believed it was possible. I am trying to go back to this mindset now!

Our power to succeed rests a lot in our minds and what we think we are capable of. Proud of you!....you are doing great. Keep thinking this way, and don't forget about the good you are achieving within yourself.

Donkey - Sunday May 08, 2016
(Portion control & exercise)
Weight: 180.0

I haven't posted in a while because I keep forgetting to weigh in. In one sense, this is good because it means I'm not obsessed over numbers, but that's about the only silver lining.  Truth be told, I'm having a hard time staying focused, staying committed to taking better care of myself and to improving myself - as evidenced by teetering around the 180lbs mark, no consistent exercise pattern, and extra snacking at night after dinner.

Work has become very stressful.  Very busy, a new co-worker, very busy, a computer that keeps crashing, and very busy.  My workload seems to have doubled, even though we have this new gal to help take over some of my tasks, which she has (albeit not very well).  I know that this will not be forever, since the real estate season tends to taper off in September --- to a manageable "busy" rather than this out-of-control busy I'm at right now.

I'm so busy doing what I do at work, that I'm not allowed to learn other aspects of law, such as helping people set up small businesses or be more involved in estate planning.  This is not good at all, because these are 2 areas that would help me find a better job if I remain a legal assistant.  That my professional growth is being stifled is NOT good.

All of my co-workers, except the new girl -- who eats so fast at lunch:  wolfs down a pork chop lunch in 10 minutes - yikes! -- and my boss, are on a mission to eat better and lose weight.  It's hard for me to join them because I get so stressed out by the middle of the afternoon that I reach for the chips, but I know that is just self-defeating.  So I'm going to make a serious effort to eat better this coming week to establish a new habit.

And I'm going to take some steps to find a new approach to handling all the chaos around me.  If I could just keep my mouth shut, focus on my work, and not get involved in all the other drama and distraction, things might get better.  On the otherhand, it might become overwhelming if I'm silently carrying all of my burdens alone.

What I really need is a new job with insurance benefits, and I'm looking but nothing has come by since the last application I made.  I realize now that what I needed to do was not "dumb down" my resume but make it more customer-service oriented rather than production oriented.  I have been making changes to my resume in my head but not on paper yet.  Challenging and interesting but definitely not an activity that would contribute to the relaxation and calm that I so desperately need right now.


Progress as of today: 6.5 lbs lost so far, only 25 lbs to go!

puddles on 05/08/2016:
Good to hear from you. Consistency is important and also putting yourself first and your health is a must. Drama around does not help. Not sure how you can balance all of that but for me it has proven to be the key to a healthier life. Have a great day.

Horn_Of_Plenty on 05/09/2016:
Hey J / Donkey….! So happy to read a post from you and also glad to be able to give my interpretation and support to you because you have always helped me & I am feeling pretty darn good today so I am happy to share my support and help as you are asking for it. First, I want to commend you on realizing that it takes a strong, focused commitment. You aren’t alone and that’s the important part to remember. You say you are having a hard time & I am telling you to trust in the fact that we all are having a hard time. But also, depending on life and what else is going on for each individual, events and situations of course can make things ever harder for us to stay on track. I understand you completely. But you write what your faults are. You can change them. You can take a walk after dinner, maybe a smaller snack after it. You can set yourself up for success – bc you actually know perfectly well how to achieve it. You sound like me – when I sabotage my own successes. I have a pattern of knowing what’s right & then doing quite the opposite (in terms of work, career, school, relationships…just about everything – so I understand your thinking patterns also as I can relate well). However, you do not have to think this way. You do not have to suffer. My primary tip is to gain confidence. If you can’t be more confident in everything aspect of your life, you can be in at least the diet / weightloss / maintenance category. Try it. That’s what I do. It’s currently my biggest success area. Just stay determined. Choose to make choices that reflect success and you will certainly achieve it. You are capable of more than you give yourself credit for is what I’m telling you J. Try to make healthy choices for work. Bring things with you to snack on at work. Do the right thing for your health. Have a snack at work about 2 hours before lunch to cut your cravings down. Have something with protein in it. It will help you not reach for something less healthy…I have a breakfast at 8-8:30, snack at 11am and lunch at 1pm. I only snack in mornings (throughout morning), but after lunch I drink mostly water and sometimes caffeine drinks. As long as I am able to have a large lunch with lots of vegetables, I am literally full and do not need to reach for anything else… Yes, try to keep your mouth shut at work (my problem too, J, not only yours!). Listen, this is my approach lately and I urge you to follow it for REAL (you need to believe it for real!). Be thankful for the things you can (like having a job, hopefully being able to pay your bills, your own health is good)…be thankful for what you can and you must accept the things that you don’t love right now. Me too…I am learning to be accepting of my own life. I now accept that I will not be going on as many vacations or weekends away as I would have liked – can’t afford it. And I’m accepting that my weekends cannot be always so adventurous and creative if I wish to also feel good when going to the gym on the weekend as well. I am learning that I can’t have everything I want, but I can reach for some things. So for you, reach for what is attainable and lay off wishing on the things that you can’t. Just meet life halfway. You don’t need everything you ever wished for at this very moment to be happy…that’s how I think most days. So if your goal is to leave your job, you can. But you don’t have to Donkey. Work is work…just try to fulfill things for yourself outside of it. This is what I do. Feeling good at work on Monday & making it to the gym on weekends is what I’m about these days!

Donkey - Sunday Apr 24, 2016
(Portion control & exercise)
Weight: 179.5

Weighed in and hopefully I can stay in this lower set of numbers again, but I can tell you that I did not get to the 170's in a good way:  too much stress and discontent at work led to less eating.  Still have not managed to incorporate exercise into my daily routine.

I need a new job.  I did not get an interview for the job I applied for a week ago, but now I know that the next time a job pops up, I need to re-do my resume to "dumb down" a little bit.  In the meantime, I'm grateful for the job I have, although it's very stressful and not healthy. I need insurance, but I also need to earn as much as I possibly can right to save, save, save, in anticipation of when my husband stops working due to his illness.

I'm sorry, I don't have anything more encouraging to write at this time.  I feel very scattered and disorganized, diet-wise, health-wise, job-wise, family-wise, life-wise.  No plan other than to get through each day.

Progress as of today: 7 lbs lost so far, only 24.5 lbs to go!

happy-1 on 04/24/2016:
Do you have any friends that are copywriters that work in your industry/vertical? Resume writing services are junk, but a copywriter is worth the cash. You may not need to dumb down your resume, but have it more clearly written and tell a cohesive story.

Horn_Of_Plenty on 04/25/2016:
Give yourself credit J!

I think if you think more positively about yourself & that you can get thru the current job, all will be a little better for you. Even if you didn't get down to the 170's in a healthy way, i'm sure it's still OK that you lost around 5lbs. think of it as weight that is lost and work from there? That's only my suggestion...

Is there a way to make your work less stressful for yourself so that you don't have to leave?

I didn't realize your husband is sick. I send my regards and sympathy to him & you.

I wish you good things :) and warm thoughts.

Donkey - Tuesday Apr 12, 2016
(Portion control & exercise)
Weight: 180.0

Holding myself accountable:  Did not weigh in for a week or two.  2 weeks ago I was up to 181.5 and last week I weighed in at 180.0.

Not ready to post anything of significance other than to say that my work-life balance is all out of control.  Not sleeping well.  Today the anxiety was so bad at my lunch break that I thought I might be starting to have a heart attack but the sharp pain never came.  Almost went home but stuck it out.  Ended the day on a better note though.

Hoping things improve soon.  I know I have the power to do this.  Just have to find a way to get from point A (anxiety) to point B (better).

Progress as of today: 6.5 lbs lost so far, only 25 lbs to go!

thinnside40 on 04/12/2016:
I hate anxiety attacks! Have learned to talk my self down most of the time, but not always. I have calcific tendonitits in my rotator cuff and sometimes the pain with the anxiety radiates across my chest like a heart-attack and SCARES ME TO DEATH almost.

hollybelle on 04/13/2016:
Your life sounds a lot like mine right now - work-life balance not good. I started out just doing the best I could and posting here again. It has helped and I have lost to where at least all my clothes fit again some are pretty loose -you know I don't weight. I was outgrowing all my clothes. One day at a time - it gets better. You can do it!!

Horn_Of_Plenty on 04/13/2016:
Congrats on 5lb loss....

Sorry about the anxiety. I can relate as well. While driving to & from AC, it sprung up on me. But now I know I can fight them back down completely, thankfully. I have the tools thank gosh. But I feel you Donkey. It is tough at times...but you are doing good.

Keep being accountable and making good choices. Be proud of yourself for doing well despite the challenges.

puddles on 04/13/2016:
The key is keeping ourselves accountable but also not putting ourselves down when we do screw up. The efforts counts far more then you think... it also keep us starting over again. Have a great day.

Donkey - Saturday Mar 12, 2016
(Portion control & exercise)
Weight: 178.5

I was surprised for such a good weigh-in this week, but I was happy to see a new set of numbers. 

Here's a humorous story that I hope will benefit others:   I don't have benefits at my current job, although I get a decent salary.  I work for a small business, whose owner is making plans to slip into semi-retirement, and I have decided that I don't want to work for the person he hired to take over the day-to-day part of the practice.  So I applied at a large institution for less pay but fantastic benefits.

Anyway -- this happens every time I try for a new job -- the only thing I need now is to have my nails grown back really quickly (I'm a bad nail-biter) and lose 50lbs.  Then I will be "interview ready" to take on the world.  LOL....

So for those who are younger, please learn this lesson from my  bumbling life:  don't put off things now, waiting for things to happen in the future before you make those changes that are healthy for you today -- because I know there is no way I could ever possibly lose 50lbs before they start calling for interviews (if I'm fortunate to get selected for interviews). 

At my last job, I worked in an extremely stressful environment with a killer commute.  When I started working at the place I work now, I promised myself that I would take better care of myself, i.e. walk more, lose the weight I had gained, sleep more, etc.  Here I am 20-30lbs heavier, not walking more, and not practicing good sleep habits.  Yes, I'm happier but somewhere along the way, I set aside the promises I made to myself and lost my way,

So all I can do is focus on now and the future.


Progress as of today: 8 lbs lost so far, only 23.5 lbs to go!

hollybelle on 03/12/2016:
If you have read my recent posts you will see we are on a similar path. On top of being overweight and entertaining the prospect of job interview I am also 62 years old. Although I don't think I am old-minded. If you have skills - put your resume together - your best outfit on and go out there and sell yourself. Change is good and I'll bet many employers would be lucky to have you. Do the work-life balance thing because it's best for you.

Horn_Of_Plenty on 03/13/2016:
I want to urge you of one think Ms. Donkey (when I see your posts, and your name Donkey!...I can't help but laugh at the name and be happy to see a post from you!)...

Back to my original thought - I urge you to have confidence in yourself & know you are fully capable of what you wish for yourself: You say you are surprised at the loss - be proud. It's YOU who as a matter of fact did make it happen. Nobody but YOU. You can do this.

okay...next. I feel you. I feel for you. I'm talking now about when you write about "losing 50 lbs...to be interview ready." Oh, do I feel for you! I know what you mean. But I urge you once again this - be sure of yourself. No matter what your weight, your confidence is what people notice at the interview. Trust me.

I thank you for your tips at the end of your entry. Your advice is well taken. It's true what you write that we shouldn't put off the things we want till we are older. Or put off the things that are important to us because we somehow get into a rut with a new job. Me too - new jobs need time to get used to - for us to learn how to make a new schedule that works, etc. So yeah - in my life too I have gained / lost weight based on where I was at work-wise and job-wise. But your advice is well taken. What you say makes perfect sense - do not let changes in your life also affect your weight - try to rise above it - care for yourself & your health just like you care about getting a new job / learning your job. Do not put yourself second. You say it right. I may not be commenting fully based on your advice, but this is my take on what you wrote based on my own experiences.

Oh...and lower pay but excellent benefits sounds worth it!

Donkey - Saturday Mar 05, 2016
(Portion control & exercise)
Weight: 182.0

This week has been nothing but discouraging, topped off by a 1.5 pound gain.  How defeating it is to have to write higher numbers on the progress chart.

Although it was a very hard week, I have a lot to be thankful for:  my husband's trip to the ER and subsequent exams could not find anything wrong with him.  Also, because I missed an entire day of work tending to my husband and then the next day my computer did nothing but crash after crash after crash, I truly have a new respect for anybody who has to work 12 hour shifts.

Also, if I realize that I should have done things differently than I did in the past, maybe that means I've acquired some wisdom, which is a good thing and will serve a purpose for me in the future perhaps.  No good can come from beating myself up for past mistakes.

Probably the biggest conclusion is that i need to keep my work-life balance in check.  This past week, it was totally out of whack, and everything was compromised.  I must strive hard to keep that balance in my life.  It will benefit me and my relationships with others and the world much better in the long run.

Progress as of today: 4.5 lbs lost so far, only 27 lbs to go!

Donkey on 03/05/2016:
I should add that part of the life-work balance is making sure that I get some time to do some exercise. That was probably the worst culprit for gaining this week. That and a little stress eating on the Chex Mix, plus some mid-life hormonal things going on this week.

puddles on 03/06/2016:
You can only do your best and if you do your best that has to be good enough. Keep at it. Give yourself a break with the scale.

Horn_Of_Plenty on 03/07/2016:
Me too - the work / life balance is the most important thing to try to keep in balance. I actually went out with multiple friends for the first time in 3 months this past weekend and I am so thankful I had asked them and planned it with them. It's important to have a life outside of work. Even if it means relaxing time....that's sometimes just as important for many of us.

Donkey - Saturday Feb 27, 2016
(Portion control & exercise)
Weight: 180.5

Now that the warmer weather is coming, I've started walking again, and this week's weigh-in has shown that the effort has paid off.  I can't wait to be in the next set of numbers (i.e. 170s).

Last night we had Chicago-style pan pizza and a thin-crust, both cheese pizza (for Lent).  I only got a slice because I came home a little late (the family started without me, since it's not predictable as to when I will actually arrive home) and then I had to take my husband to the emergency room.

I was so looking forward to a slice of leftover pan pizza this morning for brunch.  I was really upset this morning --  I still am honked off about it, although logically, i know that I should be grateful:  first, that I have family around me, even if they ate all the pizza; second, that we can afford to eat out on occassion and that this was a treat that we all enjoyed; and third, someone(s) saved me a bunch of calories!

So I know that it's all for the best and in the big picture, it's only a pizza.  I guess what I'm more honked off about is the lack of consideration and the fact that my husband eats way, way too much, especially considering all of his health issues. (Please don't lecture me about trying to help him eat better or take care of his health better; I have tried so many ways, and now I'm done.)

My new approach to work has been ... interesting.  I am NOT a morning person, so this has been challenging to go in early to work, rather than stay late.  But I know it's worth it because it's so nice to leave at a reasonable hour and it allows me time for an evening walk, which is a healthy habit to have. I'm going to keep at it and hope to continue to reap the benefits.  "Early to bed and early to wise, make a donkey healthy, wealthy and wise."

Progress as of today: 6 lbs lost so far, only 25.5 lbs to go!

hollybelle on 02/28/2016:
I hate it when I plan to eat a leftover and go to get it and it's GONE! Then I have to plan something else! Good for you - walking and reaping the reward! I AM a morning person so I would do ok with working early in order not to stay late. Keep at it - it's worth it to get in those walks!

Horn_Of_Plenty on 03/01/2016:
Good Morning J Lady!!! I am a # lady too.. l love it when I’m on a roll (like you are!) and getting into the weight numbers I like too. I’m also on a roll & really close to goal. Feels SO amazing to reach a goal especially for me this time around as this has been my goal for well over 6 months & even closer to a year I’d say. Yup, only pizza… Is your hubby ok? I agree with you – go into work early. Get there. AND GET HOME early…worth it to a degree for sure. It’s nice to be outside especially approaching Spring as we are. I left work early yesterday to go to the doctor (actually only a therapist once a month – but I always say to my boss I’m going to the dr) and I was driving around 3:30-4:30pm and the sun was out and it was warmer than expected – I had my sunroof open! Felt great. especially warmer bc it was more midday – and not getting cooler yet just yet….get out of work early so you have the evening for yourself & your family. It’s better.

Donkey - Sunday Feb 21, 2016
(Portion control & exercise)
Weight: 181.5

No weigh-in this week but went for a nice long walk with my daughter yesterrday, since it was a warmer day outside.  Illinois (US) winters can feel really defeating.  I hope to go for a walk tonight too.

I have to be careful because I have plantar fasciitis in my right foot, and too much walking starts my foot hurting again (which then leads to knee and lower back problems).  Tonight's walk will be shorter.  Still, it's good to be walking again.

I am determined not to let this year's real estate season hold me for ransom from my family, my home, and my life this year.  Working until 7pm every night and going in on weekends to try to catch up -- not this year.

First, I am taking a day off once a month, or at least a half a day.  I'm rather introverted, so my co-worker said, "You know, you should really think about taking some time off and doing things you enjoy doing:  playing with cats, going to the library, going out for lunch..."  So, you know what?  That's what I'm going to do this year - once a month. 

Also, rather than staying until 7pm at night, I'm going to switch my sleep schedule so that I go into work early to get work done.  By doing this, I would use my time more efficiently and productively, with fitting exercise into my daily routine, and I would be able to get home at a decent hour and enjoy the remaining hours of the day with the people I love most.

Progress as of today: 5 lbs lost so far, only 26.5 lbs to go!

puddles on 02/21/2016:
I think that is a very good plan. Family time is very important. Enjoy your evening.

grannyannie on 02/21/2016:
I've had plantar fasciitis but I've been fine and no pain for about 4 or 5 months. I do prevention though - a brace at night, slippers with arch support, good PF shoes and sandals, and I only go barefoot when necessary.

Horn_Of_Plenty on 02/22/2016:
hi J. I like the way you are thinking. It's very logical & sounds reasonable as well. Taking a day once a month sounds nice too. I am considering doing this too, although I have used up my days, in March so that when I reach my sister's wedding i'm not totally beat come April! haha

hollybelle on 02/23/2016:
Donkey - I had plantar fasciitis and I have found that I must put good inserts in my shoes at all times - even my house slippers - and definitely no flats! I found some leather inserts by Pedag to be the best - they aren't cheap but worth it - I think they run around $30 and you can buy on line.

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