blogging, Crafting to lose weight, dealing with food cravings, Having fun, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, needle felting, weight loss journal, Writing

Crafting and Weight Loss Update

I promised a while back that I would post some pics of the resin crafts that I’ve been doing.  I’ve also been doing a bit of needle felting.  I’ve been having a heck of a time this morning with posting, so I hope this will work, since it’s my fourth try! I’m going to place all of my text together and then post the pictures.

The first few frames contain broken glass that’s either found, leftover from other projects, or purposely smashed bottles or jars that I decided to reuse instead of recycle.

The next frames contain glass stones that would normally be used in vases or with candle displays.  Both of these types look really pretty either hung or propped in windows with the light shining through them.

My last picture is just a little snippet of the needle felting that I’ve been doing.  My moray eel still needs teeth and some embellishments.

The best thing about crafting is that it keeps my hands out of the fridge and pantry and my mind thinking of things other than my next meal or snack!  Luckily, it seems to be working because I’ve finally lost a little more weight; three more stubborn pounds!!  Seven more pounds to go in order to have a BMI in the “normal” range.

I hope everyone have a magnificent weekend, and I hope you like my crafting.  I’m going to hit “publish” whether, or not, the pictures post in the proper order that I’ve placed them in, because I’m really tired of this posting tool not working for me this morning! 🙂

00broken glass 6 window00broken glass 4









00brokenglass 1









00round glass 6 windo00round glass 4









00round glass1









00needle felted starfish eel and fish Well, there you have it!  What have all of you been up to lately?  Happy Weekend!!

blogging, Crafting to lose weight, dealing with food cravings, emotional eating, Food Addiction, Friday Fixes, learning, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, Medical Weight Loss Program, needle felting, optifast, Self-Soothing, setting goals, Tips fot weight loss, weight loss journal, Wellness Center, Writing

Friday Fixes: Are You Just Beginning Optifast?

optifastI was in the middle of writing a post on self-confidence (which I promise to finish), when I got a comment from a new blogger over at My Big Fat Journey.  It turns out that she’s been reading my blog and is just beginning her Optifast journey.  I was very touched by her kind comment, as well as extremely excited about the new lifestyle that she’s embarking on. 

Being in my 15th week of Optifast certainly doesn’t make me an old pro, by any means, but there are some bits of advice that I’d like to give to anyone reading that may be about to begin, or  thinking of beginning, Optifast.

  1. Use Optifast as part of a medically monitored weight loss program:  Before I began my plan, I did lots of internet research.  One thing I found was that there are people selling the product on Amazon.  While it may be pennies cheaper, it doesn’t feature the benefits of being medically supervised.  Cutting down to 800 calories per day could exacerbate existing health problems. Regular blood work and EKGs are done throughout the program to assure that all blood chemistry and electrolytes are at safe levels. Please don’t do Optifast alone–a doctor’s supervision is critical to your health. 
  2. Take full advantage of all that your doctor’s office has to offer: I’m fortunate to be completing my program through a bariatric office that offers weekly Lifestyle Education Classes, monthly support groups, and counseling through both a registered dietician and behavior modification therapist.  The medical center where my program is located also features an integrated wellness and fitness center.  I immerse myself in these programs.  Even when classes seem to overlap, or repeat information, I recognize the reinforcing benefits of hearing positive weight management information again and again.  So much of weight gain has to do with our head more than our hunger.  Counseling can help you to get to the root of the reason that you use food as  mental and emotional fortification rather than as an energy source for your body. Take all of the help from offered professionals that you can get.
  3. Getting through those first two weeks : I’m not going to lie, the first two weeks of nothing but shakes feels tough!  However, every emotion and pang of hunger that you feel is necessary.  Giving up something that comforts you is difficult, but it’s important to see that hunger isn’t going to kill you.  It’s also important to take away the unhealthy habit of overeating that you’ve used to comfort yourself in order for you to explore new, beneficial ways to soothe yourself.  I swear to you that after two weeks the huger pangs will pass and you’ll feel completely satisfied with your shakes.  I sometimes need to remind myself to have my evening shake because I’m just not hungry.
  4. Set healthy goals beyond weight loss: Now that you’re drinking your meals and no longer using food as your source of comfort and entertainment, you need to find positive healthy ways to occupy your extra time.  My goals were to: 1. Start a blog 2. Spend more time with friends 3. Learn a new hobby or craft.  I’ve successfully master all three of my goals.  I try to blog 4-5 times per week and I’ve made amazing friends here on WordPress.  I now have set days that I spend with friends exercising, shopping, or just hanging out and having fun.  I also learned to needle felt–something that I’d always wanted to do.  Stay busy is so important, and you’ll find that your goals soon morph into healthy substitutions for overeating.
  5. Find someone else to do the cooking for a while: I realize that this tip is very dependent on your situation.  I live with my adult children and husband, so I didn’t feel too badly in asking them to fend for themselves in the beginning of my journey. However, if you’re the chief cook in a single parent household or have a spouse too busy to cook, try to cook things that aren’t too tempting.  I found that baking anything like homemade bread or pizza absolutely murderous to handle.  It’s only natural for your body to respond to the smell of food cooking with an increase in salivation and digestive juices.  Even though I’ve not transitioned to food, my husband and I are cooking only healthy, whole, properly portioned meals to form the habit for when I am eating with the family. Even though I’m not eating, I’m getting enjoyment from feeding my family foods that I know are good for them.  And, nope, I never, ever take a taste–It’s shakes only for this girl!
  6. Ignore the number on the scale: While a big part of weight loss is watching the pounds vanish, don’t become scale obsessed.  The first couple of weeks, depending on your starting weight, you’ll notice some rather decent weight drops.  I lost 10 pounds in my first two weeks.  After your initial loss, you can expect to lose 1-3 pounds per week on average.  Don’t let “only” a one pound loss discourage you.  Just think of what your weight loss would be if you weren’t doing anything to help yourself–chances are, it would be nil!  Remember, if you’re exercising regularly you’re losing inches and building muscle.  Though I’m one pound away from a 40 pound weight loss, I’ve lost a ton of inches.  I’ve gone from a size 24 pant to a size 16–and the 16s are getting baggy!
  7. Treat yourself:  When I first began losing weight, I was determined to not “waste” money on new clothing until all of the weight was off.  I greatly underestimated how large my clothing would get as I disappeared!  Go shopping every once in a while.  You’ll be amazed  at how fabulous you feel in pants that fit and in tops that show off your new figure!  You deserve to look as gorgeous as you feel!  BE PROUD OF YOURSELF!!

I hope these tidbits help, and please, please, please share your stories with me!  I get so stoked when I read about the weight loss progress of others! 



blogging, Crafting to lose weight, dealing with food cravings, emotional eating, enjoying family, Exercise, Friendship, learning, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, Medical Weight Loss Program, Mindful Eating, needle felting, optifast, Tips fot weight loss, Travel, weight loss journal, Wellness Center

Disappearing into Transition


Nope, this isn't me, but I'm getting there!
Nope, this isn’t me, but I’m getting there!

Yesterday, was my weigh-in day at the bariatric center.  They surprised me by taking my measurements, as well.  I lost another 2.5 pounds and I’ve lost four inches from my chest, six inches from my waist five inches from my hips, and three inches from my upper arms. Woo Hoo!!!

I also met with the dietician and we decided that I’ll make my transition back to food in six weeks.  This makes me really nervous, but she assures me that I’ll still lose weight even though I’ll be slowly adding additional calories to my diet.

Transition is a four-week process and it’s stressed to follow it to the letter, as to avoid any stall in weight loss.  Week 1 involves eliminating 1 shake for 1 serving of a lean protein and a non starch vegetable.

Week 2 still has 4 Optifast products per day, but adds one serving of fruit to be eaten in addition to the existing lean protein and non starch vegetable.

Week 3 includes 3 Optifast products per day, 1 meal that includes 1 serving of lean protein, and 1-2 servings of non starchy vegetables, 1 serving of fruit, and 1 serving of dairy.  The fruit and dairy can be as a snack or part of a meal.

Week 4 features 2 Optifast products per day and 2 meals that include lean proteins and non starchy vegetables, 1 serving of fruit, 1 serving of dairy, and one starch per day. Like with week 3, the fruit and dairy can be used as snacks. Week 4 is the eating plan that I’ll stick with for as long as I want to lose weight.  Once I’m just wanting to maintain my weight, I’ll add 1-2 additional servings of starch.

Transition will bring my caloric intake up to 1000-1100 calories per day.  This is a little scary!  Even more daunting, is that my husband and I will be on vacation during weeks 2 and 3 of my transition.  I’m going armed with my food scale and measuring cups, and luckily, I have access to a kitchen both weeks, so I can cook for myself.  Unfortunately, there may be a few times that I have to eat at a restaurant, but I know some good tricks to keep me out of trouble, and I won’t be shy about bringing my scale and measuring cups to the restaurant with me!

Of course, exercise will still be a very important part of my weight loss regime.  Though my program with the personal trainers will end in four weeks, they’ve educated me in how to use the equipment at the wellness center and have given me a variety of routines to do.

As frightening as transition may seem for me, I know I’ll be ready.  I’ve learned so much about exercise and eating properly.  I’ve also learned to replace my desire to overeat with healthier things like exercising, blogging, crafting, or hanging out with friends and family.   These next weeks will be spent continuing to mentally and physically prepare myself to succeed once transition begins.

I want to thank all of my blogging buddies for your continued love & support. You have no idea how much connecting with all of you means to me! ❤



blogging, cats, Crafting to lose weight, enjoying family, Exercise, losing weight, Medical Weight Loss Program, needle felting, optifast, weight loss journal

Day 24: Just Chillaxin’

These kitties like to relax by watching my kitty on TV.  How do you like to chill? (Photo by me on Photofunia)
These kitties like to relax by watching my kitty on TV. How do you like to chill? (Photo by me on Photofunia)

I woke up this morning with a sore lower back.  Knowing that I’ve been pushing myself too hard with my workouts, I deemed today an official day of rest.  The snowy weather and dim sky seemed to agree with me.  My neighborhood, which is usually bustling with the noises of children playing, stood in silent solidarity with my repose.  My cozy warm family room and comfy recliner lulled me into several cat naps in between needle felting.  It’s been a really long while since I’ve had a relaxing day like this.

It’s time for Downton Abbey, my favorite show, and then the hubby and I are going to play a game of Scrabble before going to sleep.  Tomorrow I will be back to the regular routine, including working out, but today was a much-needed day of relaxation!

How do you relax on the weekend? 

Crafting to lose weight, dealing with food cravings, Food Addiction, losing weight, Medical Weight Loss Program, needle felting, optifast, weight loss journal

Crafting to Beat Cravings

When I began this weight loss adventure, I knew I’d have to find some way to keep myself away from the pantry, so I asked my husband to get me some needle felting materials for Christmas.  I’d never needle felted before, or attempted any type of fabric art (other than using silk in a few of my mixed media art pieces).  I consulted the trusty inter-web and in no time I found enough materials and tutorials to felt my caloric dissonance away.

After completing a prepackaged kit to make an adorable bunny (sorry I haven’t taken a pic of it), I decided to strike out on my own. With no pattern to call my own, and What Does the Fox Say? ear-worming its way into my brain, I decided to give into its calling and felt a fox.

What DOES the fox say?  Sorry to put that song in your head! (photo by me)
What DOES the fox say? Sorry to put that song in your head! (photo by me)

Though the picture doesn’t show it, he’s about four inches tall,  2.5 inches wide and 3.5 inches in length from nose to hind quarters.  He took about 6-7 hours to complete and I poked myself with the very sharp felting needle about eight times!  My number one crafting rule is no food (but tons of water) while felting! Here’s a side view:

Oh, what a fine, foxy fellow! (Photo by me)
Oh, what a fine, foxy fellow! (Photo by me)

My next attempt was at the request of my eldest daughter.  She thought a sea turtle would be divine. My first step was to consult Google images for a good picture, however, my turtle isn’t 100% anatomically correct.  My second step was to buy more wool roving and a finger protector from Michael’s Arts and Crafts store (no, I didn’t just buy those two things–it is truly impossible to leave Michael’s with just a few items).  Next, I set to felting, but soon found that wearing a finger protector was like wearing a condom in a monogamous relationship, it just didn’t feel right.  Fifteen total hours and 30 finger pricks later, I ended up with this little lady:

Making her way from the depths of the ocean, the mother sea turtle will search for the perfect place to deposit her eggs. Actually, I'm not sure if it's a girl or a boy! (Photo by me)
Making her way from the depths of the ocean, the mother sea turtle will search for the perfect place to deposit her eggs. Actually, I’m not sure if it’s a girl or a boy! (Photo by me)

Here’s a different view.  It’s about six inches long, six inches wide from front flipper to flipper , 2.5 inches high and very solidly felted.

Look at that face! (Photo by me)
Look at that face! (Photo by me)

I’m not sure what my next felting adventure will bring; perhaps a Ninja Turtle or a gnome.  At least the hours that I’ve put into these two kept me out of the kitchen!

What do you do to keep your mind off of food when you’re trying to lose weight?  Please share your ideas in the comments below.

Also, any ideas of what I should felt next?