Typically on any given day I would easily consume four to five diet sodas. Easily. In fact, I would always start my day with one. Fresh out of the shower, I'd get my bathrobe on, fire up the Sonicare electric toothbrush, and go to the refrigerator during the two minutes the toothbrush was going -- which is just enough time to get a Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke, whichever was on sale that week. And on the days I would go to Taco Bell or Subway for lunch, I'd purchase the largest Fountain Cup they had -- usually 48 ounces, I think -- and fill it to the brim with Diet Soda. And I'd usually down one for dinner too.
So hopefully, you all now see the significance of me only having ONE Diet Pepsi this week. And the only reason I had it was because we had turkey burgers for dinners one night and I simply can't imagine eating that with anything else.
I decided this week to drink water instead of diet soda, just to see if it made me feel any differently, healthier maybe. I was inspired by a fellow blogger who is blogging about her own weight loss. She eliminated diet soda from her diet and noted that she felt better and even slept better, which she could tell in part because of the many dreams she had been having.
So I decided to give it a shot, hoping that in addition to possibly feeling better and less sluggish, that perhaps replacing diet soda with water would help me lose more weight this week. (I'll let you know later in this post if it did). Here's what I did notice: My skin is much more hydrated. In the past, I'd wake up in the morning with my face feeling really dry and tight. I'd slather on some face cream and yet a couple of minutes later, I'd feel like I needed more. This week, that didn't happen. I still put on face cream, but the water definitely made a difference with my skin.
I also noticed, like my blogger peer, that I did have more dreams. Strange ones. I dreamt one night that I got a second job at the Gap on Powell Street in San Francisco. And I LOVED it! I also dreamt that my family and I moved into my parents house (my mom was still alive in this dream), and the kids and my husband and I all shared a room. Of course, I'm not sure if I should attribute these dreams as having anything to do with eliminating diet soda and, thus, getting a better night's sleep. I think they have more to do with my husband being one of the 22,000 California teachers who were handed pink slips.
I also went to the gym, as promised in last week's blog post, four times this week. That's more times than I've gone since I started my weight loss challenge. I've done, on average, 30 minutes each time on the elliptical machine, followed by 60 leg presses on the machine at the gym, something my physical therapist wanted me to do to help strenghthen my knee. Tonight I leg pressed 100 pounds. The other times I only did 90 pounds, but the guy before me (easily in his 60's) leg pressed 500 pounds, so I felt I needed to kick it up a notch.
Tonight at the gym. Special thanks to my gym buddy Andrea for delaying our workout so I could download some new music on my iPhone. Lady Gaga and Black Eyed Peas are definitely better to work out to than all those sappy ballads that had taken up about 90 percent of my former playlist.
I feel GREAT! I really do. My legs feel stronger, and my knee isn't hurting as much. In fact, it's almost not hurting at all. My physical therapist, Jeannie, is thrilled with my progress. In fact, she's eliminated my twice weekly visits (which have been costing me a $15 co-payment and $4 bridge fair per visit) for two weeks, to focus on my workouts at the gym instead. She's going to check back with me in a couple of weeks and we'll go from there to see if she discharges me.
Realizing that exercise could help alleviate my knee pain was an eye opener for me. My lifestyle had become so sedentary, with no exercise incorporated whatsoever. I don't know if not exercising could have caused my knee pain, but I do know that exercising now is helping to prevent it. For me, that's enough to make a real lifestyle change. I definitely don't want to be a weak, flabby, forty-year-old. I want to be strong, vibrant, healthy and hydrated.
On that note, I have to share a text message I received this week from my brother Geoff. The one who used to do karate kicks that came just about an inch from hitting my face when we were younger. The one who gave me arm noogies that always left a bruise. And the one with whom I argued non-stop, driving our parents crazy to the point where decisions like who would get to sit in the front seat of the car when we were driving with mom were decided by me having Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and my brother having Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Honestly, I don't know what happened on that seventh day.
This picture, taken in the 1970's, of my big brother Geoff, me in the eye patch I had to wear for a time in third grade because of my"lazy eye," and my mom in her curly perm and bell bottom jeans, makes me laugh every time I see it.
"Please don't take offense to this," he texted. "But since you've lost weight, I just thought of a nickname for the old you -- Jennifat. Now you are back to Jennifer...congrats! Don't be Jennifat again."
And then he typed in that winking smiley face. Only a big brother could get away with that.
I'm happy to report that little sis lost weight this week! I lost the pound I gained last week, plus another half pound. Bringing my total weight loss to 13 pounds!