Monday, May 25, 2009


As of this morning I've met and exceeded my weight loss goal.

My original goal was to get down to 150 lbs from a starting weight of 256.6 lbs, for a total of 106.6 lbs lost. I've now lost 107.4.

My goal going forward is to keep my weight between 148 lbs and 155 lbs, and to never let it exceed 155 no matter what. Never again. Never, NEVER again will I let myself look the way I used to look, feel the way I used to feel. NEVER. I want to savor this feeling, keep it, and remember how good it felt to finally be at goal.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

So close, so close...

Only 4 tenths of a pound away from goal. Can't believe it.

I also kind of started a relationship with a new guy...I don't know where it will go but so far, so good. He can pick me up as if I weigh nothing and referred to me as a "tiny little thing". :-)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Another milestone reached!

Just passed the 40% mark today; since July 2008 I have lost 40% of my weight! I'm 3.6 pounds from goal and feeling good!

Monday, May 18, 2009

I think this plateau is busted!

After recovering from pneumonia my weight loss skidded to a halt and I bounced around between 157 and 159 lbs for almost a month.

Today I weighed in at 154.4, a total loss of 102.2 pounds from my high in July of 256.6 pounds. AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Made it to the century mark!

My weight loss has slowed to a trickle since I recovered from pneumonia and I've also been extremely busy with work, but I am taking special time out to post this morning:

I have lost 100 pounds. WOW!

100 freaking pounds.

100 stinking pounds.

100 pounds.

I can't believe it!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Still stuck at 159

I've been good and I'm still stuck weighing in between 159 and 160. I've seen it as low as 158.6 and as high as 160.8 this week. It's PISSING ME OFF!

Plus the quitting smoking is not going well.


What's wrong with me?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

No changes except...

I've been trying to get back into a good routine and it has not been easy; I am very sore from my lift class but I have kept forcing myself to keep going to the gym even though it's so HARD!

I haven't lost any weight this week either. :-(

Plus this weekend I have been VERY naughty with the smoking. I'm back to my old habits, and I have a date tomorrow with a guy who HATES cigarette smoke. Why do I bother?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Getting there...

It has been almost 2 weeks since I was diagnosed with pneumonia and I am on my second course of antibiotics. Thank god I'm off the Levaquin and can start working out again.

Today I weighed in at 160.2, but I attribute a lot of my recent weight loss to my illness. I have not worked out regularly in almost two weeks and I miss it. I did get on my stationary bike today for 20 minutes and it was pretty difficult to stick it out that long. Before I got sick, I was on it for 30 minutes at a time.

As for quitting smoking...I have not completely kicked the habit yet but I have cut down dramatically. I'm smoking maybe 1/3 the number of cigarettes that I was previously. The idea is to keep cutting that down until I'm not smoking at all anymore. I can't just quit cold turkey, I've tried and it is a recipe for disaster. I really want to quit smoking...two serious respiratory illnesses in six months is telling me something: smoking is bad for you! I knew that, but I also have asthma and asthmatics ESPECIALLY shouldn't smoke.

I need to be as kind to my lungs as I am trying to be to the rest of my body. The rest of my body has rewarded my efforts with improved energy, stamina, and vigor, plus a reliably healthy blood pressure for the first time in my adult life and the confidence and energy I need to get out there and really enjoy my life. I think my lungs are JEALOUS. That's why they went and got pneumonia. They're trying to tell me something. Finally, I am ready to listen. I am ready to love my lungs.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pneumonia and quitting smoking update, plus weight loss.

My weight has plunged this week, probably due to my lack of appetite caused by Levaquin (a strong antibiotic).

I had a follow-up at the doctor today and had another chest x-ray. The pneumonia is mostly gone. Mostly. My peak flow was terrible and my pulse-ox was not great so I had a nebulizer treatment which improved both, and my doc told me to USE MY ADVAIR (I have an advair inhaler already) and to QUIT SMOKING (duh).

I confess that I have had 5-6 cigarettes today, but normally by now I'd have smoked a pack so I think I am doing pretty well. Progress for me often comes in baby steps. No more than 10 in any one day this week. Next week I want to shoot for 7-8 a day. Then 5-6 a day. And so on. I can't just STOP SMOKING. It's too hard. Cutting down dramatically, then gradually week on week, is probably more realistic for me. I just have to be disciplined about it.

Hope everyone else is doing well.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Quitting smoking, Day 0

On the way home from work I stopped off at Walgreen's and bought a box of nicotine patches. I have been a moderate to heavy smoker for 15 years and I am SICK SICK SICK of it.

I know the smoking caused the pneumonia. What else could it be? What other 33 year-old gets PNEUMONIA????

I'm sick of having a smelly house, smelly car, smelly clothes, and smelly breath.

I'm sick of always having to clean up after my habit; ashtrays smell bad to me too.

I don't like being sick and I don't like that it takes me a month to fully recover from a simple cold.

So now I'm wearing a SUPER DUPER STRENGTH nicotine patch.

Time since my last cigarette: 0 days, 1 hour, 3 minutes.

We'll see how long I last. Normally by now I would have smoked at least 2 on the way home and probably another since coming home. I am going to try to apply the same determination and willpower to THIS that I have to weight loss. I figure I've lost 93.6 pounds, I know a little something about WILLPOWER.

Wish me luck. I need it. I've had 2 serious respiratory illnesses in the last 6 months (bronchitis in late 2008 and pneumonia last week) and I am sick of it. Sick of coughing, sick of wheezing, sick of STINKING. Sick of throwing away good money to do it. I spend at least $50 a week on cigarettes. That's retarded.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Getting over pneumonia....slowly

I'm getting over the pneumonia very slowly. The muscle aches have gone but I'm left with a horrible cough. I'm taking Mucinex to try to cough up all the gunk and get rid of it. I have obeyed my doctor's orders to stay away from the gym; I get short of breath pretty easily just doing normal day-to-day things, and my medication is making me a bit nauseated. Not a good combo for the gym.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A hollow victory

I've dropped over a pound since my last posting but it is due to the pneumonia I was diagnosed with yesterday. Banned from the gym for at least a week, possibly two. Sucks!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Another mini-goal met, another milestone achieved!

This morning I met my mini-goal #8 of losing 35% of my starting weight. I have 1 more mini-goal between myself and my goal weight. I never thought I'd see this! I'm so close.

Plus, I achieved another milestone...another "decade" of weight lost. I've now lost 90.2 pounds. That is just amazing. I need to get 90.2 pounds of fat and stand next to it.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Can't deny it anymore

It's been coming on for about a month but there is no point in denying it any longer...I am once again in the grip of a severe depression. It's been about 2-3 years since I felt like this but I spent almost all of my 20s feeling like this so I know what it feels like.

Dunno when I'll snap out of it. Not planning on seeking help anytime soon; help never helped. It goes away when it's ready to go away.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Getting close to goal...

Looking at my ticker, I am 17.6 lbs away from my goal weight of 150 lbs and about 12-13 lbs outside of the healthy BMI range.

The thing is, I don't think losing 17.6 lbs is going to get rid of the flab around my middle, hips, or thighs. When I get to 150 lbs, I'm sure I will still not be happy with my body. I keep wondering what comes after goal. What next? Was my goal realistic? Is 150 lbs still too much for someone who is 5'6" with a medium frame? Why is it that some people who are my height and weigh about 140 claim to be a size 4-6 while I will probably be an 8? How does that work?

What do I do? I don't know. I guess I should reach goal, have a physical (as I planned), and reassess.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I love my lift class

I'm a little sore this morning from my lift class yesterday evening. The soreness usually takes a couple of days to fully develop and another day or two to disappear, but it's been worth it.

In the last month or so I've been getting the "oh wow, you look so SKINNY" comments and I attribute a lot of the recent inch loss to that lift class. It's really great. The instructor doesn't push us; rather, she encourages us to do one more, one more! (She literally says "one more one more!") But she does not encourage us to hurt ourselves and does also say that we should go at our own pace and she does not expect us to keep up with her in terms of reps, but she does expect us to try.

In that class the sweat pours off me. Literally. The instructor says the point of the class is to work towards "failure," i.e. muscle failure. That means the last rep you do is the last rep you can do. It's kicking my butt, but in a good way!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

How come I can't find any bras?

As I continue dropping weight, I continue to need new bras. I'm currently wearing a 36C and it's too large, but the only 34 bras I can find are of the tarty, lacy, underwire type. How come I can't find a plain bra with no underwire ANYWHERE? I say "anywhere" but I've only looked at Wal-Mart and Target; I go through bras quickly so I don't want to spend a lot of money on them.

Why why why? I know adult bras go down to 32 and further. What happened to 34?

Monday, March 23, 2009

I have seen the 160s!

This morning I got to see the 160s for the first time since college! Weighed in at 169.6! I don't consider myself an official member of "Club 160s" yet...I want to weigh in several days in a row in the 160s before I consider myself REALLY there.

I'm still sort of sad about my loose skin but I keep hoping it will eventually tighten up with good nutrition and plenty of exercise. Time will tell.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I have been dreading this.

I had a look at myself in the mirror from all angles (including from the rear) and have seen what I've been dreading: LOOSE SKIN. I'm 20 pounds away from goal and I'm seeing some sagging and a tiny bit of puckering in one spot. It will only get worse as I lose more weight.

Now I'm bummed. REALLY bummed. I was hoping this would not happen.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Body measurements, then and now

Months ago I was strongly urged to take periodic body measurements and I'm so glad I listened to that advice.

My first measurement was on 08/20/2008:

Chest: 41
Waist: 42
Hips: 49

My measurements this morning (03/15/2009) were:

Chest: 32.5
Waist: 29.5
Hips: 37.5

That's 8.5 inches lost off the chest, 11.5 inches lost off the waist, and 11.5 off the hips. Pretty cool huh?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Gym divas!

I was reading an article today on about gym etiquette and while the examples in the article are very extreme, I have some of my own pet peeves about gym users.

I am a member of 24 Hour Fitness and I find that their clubs are by and large well-run, well-maintained, and that the staffers are polite. However, there are always exceptions. I live in one of the U.S.'s largest cities and regularly attend 3 different 24 Hour Fitness locations, depending on my schedule and the day of the week.

One of those locations is right down the street from my office. When I arrive in the locker room to change, it is usually full of little old ladies who have just completed their water aerobics class. They also track pool and shower water into every corner of the locker room. There's often not a square inch of dry floor in the joint. This means I have to keep my feet off the floor until I've put my athletic shoes on, which is hard to do. I'm like...if you KNOW you're going to be dripping water everywhere, why not get an extra towel to dry the floor after you're done changing and showering? It may be hours before the staff comes in to clean the locker room, and it's not fair to the rest of us to change clothes while levitating just to avoid the Hurricane Katrina-esque flood that you left on the floor.

Also...ladies...when you come to the gym and shower and need to dry your hair afterwards, why not bring your own travel-sized hair dryer? Most gyms have electrical outlets in the bathrooms. Some even provide wall-mounted hair dryers, like in a hotel. Many of the women at my gym use the hand dryer instead, presumably because they can style their hair with both hands. But...what if someone wants to dry their hands? You have to wait until these princesses are done, or you can just wipe your hands on your pants. It's really irritating.

Plus...the area where I work is heavily Chinese and most of the women in the locker room are Mandarin speakers. Great! However...when you are looking at me and laughing and speaking in Mandarin, I assume that you're talking about me. That's kind of rude. I speak other languages too, but I generally avoid doing so in public. I especially don't score on people right in front of them in any language, because that person could always turn around and PWN you in that foreign language. I've done it to people before who assumed the white girl couldn't understand Spanish! So...speaking Mandarin is fine! Great! But be mindful that those of us who can't speak it may interpret your body language and facial expressions to mean that you're scoring on us in front of us. I never say anything to them but sometimes I have left that locker room absolutely certain that willowy, svelte, beautiful Chinese girls were making fun of me. Maybe I'm just being paranoid. I don't know.

One more locker-room peeve...if me and my stuff are blocking your locker, say "excuse me" instead of just pushing my stuff out of the way or shoving past me and expecting me to lean to the side while you extract your items from your locker. Also...if I've staked out a spot on the locker room bench and I'm blocking your locker, I'll gladly move aside long enough for you to get your stuff out of your locker and stake out a spot for yourself, but some women will get their things one item at a time, requiring me to constantly move. Anywhere anyone sits in the locker room, they will be blocking someone's locker. If someone's blocking my locker, I grab all of my stuff out the locker and stake out another spot so I don't have to disturb that person repeatedly. It's just good manners.

Every gym has a Mr or Mrs SWEATY PANTS, who wears those ridiculous outfits that are designed to maximize sweat and, presumably, weight loss (all they do is make you sweat off water). What's NASTY is that the elastic bands on the wrists are not water tight, so sweat pours out and collects in puddles on the floor. That is DISGUSTING. Those outfits don't make you more fit and they don't make you lose weight. They're just obnoxious. Even if you clean up the sweat puddles after you are done (and most people don't), we still have to look at them and smell them while you're working out, and someone could slip on them. Also...if you sweat a LOT when working out, please towel off instead of shaking your sweaty head and splattering the rest of us with your nasty sweat. We used to have this one guy at my regular gym that I nicknamed "Puddles" because there would be two MASSIVE puddles of sweat on either side of the elliptical whenever he worked out. Everyone else gave that guy a wide berth. Wonder why?? I haven't seen him in a while and I definitely don't miss his nasty sweaty self.

OK. I know a lot of women never venture over to the weights section (they should), but I do. I like free weights but I don't lift ridiculously heavy weights. Every gym has very muscular beefcake types who lift RIDICULOUS weights. Awesome! They look incredible. However...if you can't control that weight on the way down, maybe you ought to be lifting something lighter? When someone drops two 100-pound dumbbells on the floor not only is the sound ear-splitting, but it shakes the floor. I've seen the vibrations from this crack mirrors on the wall. And in gyms where the weight room is upstairs, doing this repeatedly could weaken the floor. Plus, it's annoying and obnoxious. So...STOP IT. Nobody thinks you're a stud, we just think you're an idiot because you're ignoring the signs on the wall that tell you in large print and all caps to NOT drop your weights on the floor.

Cardio machines. None of them have your name on them. I admit that I have my favorite machines just like anyone else. But if I get there and someone's on my favorite elliptical machine, I just use a different one. I don't pitch a shit fit because you're on "my" machine. Also, wipe down the machine when you're done using it. I understand that the sanitizer bottles are often empty or they're out of paper towels, but at least wipe your sweat off. And you should be washing your hands before and after working out anyway.

Weight machines. They're popular! And the gym gets busy at lunchtime. That means that you can't spend a friggin hour on each one. Some people will do a few reps, then rest for 3-5 minutes while sitting on the machine when at least a couple of people could have worked in during that time. And if you can see that someone is waiting for that same machine you don't have to rush through your reps (after all, you were there first) but don't take forever either. If you're the type whose fitness goals require long rests between short bursts of heavy lifting, maybe you should go to the gym when it's not so busy...y'know...out of consideration for others.

Men. We see you looking at us. We go to the gym to work out, not to be checked out. Well, maybe some women go to be checked out, but they're the ones wearing skintight revealing spandex. Stare at them, not at people like me. Y'know...flattering and all...but also annoying. And rude. I don't stare at you, even when I'd like to.

Soloists! In my lift class there are one or two extremely buff women per week. They have incredible amazing bodies with definition I'd kill for. They look fantastic. They've worked hard to achieve that look. I realize that and applaud them for it; I'd like to look like them someday. However...if the lift class you're in is really sooo easy that you have to do each exercise standing on one foot, or squatting, or using insanely heavy weights, or doing twice as many reps as the instructor...or just doing your own studmuffiny beefcakey thing...maybe you should be in a different, more advanced class? I mean, we see you soloing over there. And we're very impressed by your buffness and jealous of it. But must you rub it in our faces for an entire hour? If you're not paying attention to the instructor....why are you there?

Whew! That was cathartic. I should add that the vast majority of people who use my gyms are well-behaved, courteous, and considerate of other gym users. These people are the rare, minor irritations that you'll find at almost any gym. And unfortunately, you just have to learn to live with them. They're good for some funny stories sometimes though.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What works for me

At work, I'm asked at least once a week how I did it. "How did you do it?" "What are you doing?" People seem disappointed by the answer: "Diet and exercise." It's a little more complicated than that, though.

Diet is a HUGE factor in successful weight loss, I think. I don't think WHAT you eat is important, but HOW MUCH you eat is. I eat what I want, to a point. If I want to have chicken and vegetables for dinner, I have it. If I want to have pizza for dinner, I have it. However, I measure my portions and count calories religiously. If I want to have a little bit of chocolate, I have it. However, what I eat has changed dramatically.

I used to eat out nearly every day. When I did cook at home, I cooked fatty meals. I ate a lot of Mexican food, barbecue, burgers and fries, pizza, etc. Some people can eat that way every day and never get fat. I am not one of them! I still eat those things, but very infrequently.

Exercise is also very important. One of the main reasons I started this journey was to improve my cardiovascular health which was poor. I was 32 years old and had extremely high blood pressure and was showing mild, early symptoms of congestive heart failure. I decided I was too young to die, too young to let obesity kill me. So I started exercising. I used to retain fluid in my feet and ankles and I was tired all the time. Not anymore. My heart is much healthier than it used to be! And since you need a heart to live, I decided I needed to take better care of it and one excellent way to do that was to start exercising.

Diets like South Beach, Atkins, etc. are silly. People who ask me how I did it assume I am eating a low-carb diet. Nope. I try to get a healthy balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat, but if I don't hit a specific percentage every day it doesn't bother me. I think the more strict a diet is, the more likely it is to fail. I tried to approach this as a permanent lifestyle change and started eating healthy foods, but foods that I like to eat. I can't see anyone following the Atkins diet for life. I also refused to submit myself to Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem's food deliveries, and I refused to join Weight Watchers and spaz out about points for the rest of my life. No, no, no. I need to be able to cook my own meals and use my own knowledge and intuition to know what is good for me and what is not. I cannot rely on a plan to tell me forever what I can or cannot, or should or should not eat. I know these plans have worked for other people, but I personally think they are stupid and a waste of money. What do you do once you've lost the weight and stop eating their packaged meals? When do you learn to cook healthy meals for yourself? I did not want to use any crutches. Plus, I had a LOT of weight to lose...over 100 pounds. In their ads, they show so-and-so losing 30 or 40 pounds and in tiny print at the bottom of the screen, it says "results not typical." That's like them admitting that their program doesn't really work!

Basically I chalk up my success so far to discipline, willpower, motivation, education, and being more in tune with my own body. It has taken discipline to keep going to the gym even when I don't really feel like going. It has taken willpower to avoid foods that are bad for me and eat healthy food instead. It has taken motivation to keep going for my goal. It has taken education for me to learn what I should be eating, or what to do when the weight loss plateaus, or how to avoid injuring myself when exercising. And being more in tune with my body has helped immensely. I used to eat out of boredom. Now, I don't. I've learned to tell the difference between boredom and hunger. I eat when I'm hungry. I stop eating when I'm no longer hungry. If I'm not hungry, I don't eat. Simple. And if something hurts at the gym...stop doing it. Muscles can burn when you're lifting weights, but if you feel sharp pain...STOP before you hurt yourself! One of my biggest fears has been a catastrophic injury like a torn tendon or muscle, a screwed-up knee, a messed-up shoulder, etc. I know that a catastrophic injury like that would send me off the rails plan-wise, so I have tried to educate myself on proper form so I don't injure myself. So far, so good.

So yes..."diet and exercise".

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Grrr stupid scale rrrrrrr

I was good on the weekend; I didn't really pig out, and I've been good since...and my scale is STUCK! Warm weather does make me retain water, but this is ridiculous. My hands feel all fat and puffy. I hate it when I get like this!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Non-scale victories

People who have been reading my blog since the beginning may be aware that I was sent to the emergency room in June 2008 for my sky-high blood pressure (at the time, 172/127). The doc who told me to go DIRECTLY to the hospital was my OB/GYN. I was due for another annual in October 2008 but I was too busy with work, so I finally got around to having my annual done today.

The doc who sent me to the emergency room popped her head out when I showed up for my appointment and was hanging around the waiting room; she said "Someone will be with you in just a minute." I don't think she recognized me.

I could only get an appointment with the nurse practitioner, but that's OK! No problem with that. After she finished the exam I asked her if she could get my OB/GYN to stop by and say hello, mostly because I wanted her to see the change. See, I've lost 80 lbs since she last saw me. So there I was at the desk finishing up, and I hear a shout behind me: "Well HELLO, Skinny Minnie!" She said I looked fantastic and said "Wow, I must have REALLY scared you, huh!" She was amazed that one of her patients actually listened to her when she told them to lose weight.

That's a non-scale victory.

Plus, before when I would go to the doctor they would weigh me and/or take my blood pressure and then I'd be sat down for the standard "you're too fat/you're killing yourself/this is what can happen to you" lecture. This time, none of that happened. They took my blood pressure (reading was normal) and without comment, noted it in my chart. I was in and out in maybe 20 minutes. That's another non-scale victory!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Another "decade" of weight lost

I weighed in at 176.4 lbs this morning, making it officially over 80 POUNDS that I've lost! 80! That is HUGE! I'm excited!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Went shopping

I had lunch with my mother and grandmother yesterday, then we went shopping together at JC Penney (we all love it).

My mother and I took my grandma to Chili's, which is her favorite restaurant. My grandma and I both ordered the Guiltless Chicken Platter, which used to come with a half ear of corn but no longer does, so I ordered an extra whole cob (at $1.49, EGADS) and split it with my grandma. My mom ordered the bacon cheeseburger and boy was it hard to eat steamed broccoli while she ate french fries.

Afterwards we went to the mall and hit JC Penney. I saw this great skirt but they only had 3 sizes: 16, 12, and 6. I wear a 12-14 in most things now, so I tried on the 12 and it was loose. So loose that I could easily have gone down to a 10 if they had had one. I figure I'll pin the loose fabric. I didn't buy a new top to go with it because I already have a great black sweater from J. Crew that will go perfectly with it. I also bought a couple of short-sleeved shirts that were on sale 2 for $14, and a new pair of pants for work. I have pants in that cut already, but they are a size 14 and are a pretty slim cut. They're getting baggy, so I bought the same style of pants in a 12. I tried on a totally different cut of pants in a 10, but that was pushing it; they were too tight for me to zip up all the way. The 12s in that cut were too big, so I figured I might be able to get into the 10. The difference between the two pairs was so big that I double-checked the labels, but they said 10 and 12. Oh well. I'll be wearing a 10 probably by May, so I can wait.

Yay! Clothes shopping is getting sort of fun now. :-)

Monthly cycles

I've found that as my weight drops, the effects of PMS (headaches, cramps, bloating) have worsened. I had my period this week so I shot up by 3 lbs, then it came off plus some.

Also, as I get closer to my goal, I am weaning myself off microwave ready meals like Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice and am beginning to develop an arsenal of healthy, easy-to-prepare recipes. My work has kept me extremely busy and when I get home, I'm tired and in no mood to slave over the stove for an hour. So I buy mostly frozen vegetables and pre-cooked frozen meat. I do buy fresh fruit; the frozen stuff is gross. I eat enough fruit to go through pounds of it a week without it spoiling, but vegetables would mostly spoil before I could finish them. So I cut corners by getting the frozen stuff. Nothing wrong with it!

One dish I've taken to recently is couscous with chicken and vegetables. I prepare about 3 cups of dry couscous at a time, season it with Mrs Dash, a little kosher salt, some harissa, and a couple of bay leaves and put it in the fridge. That way it's there and ready when I want it. I take a cup of cooked couscous, a cup of frozen spinach, 2/3 cups of frozen peas & carrots, and nuke them all together for 90 seconds, stir, nuke for another 90 seconds, squirt some lemon juice on it, and it's ready to go. I then nuke a cooked chicken breast for 3 minutes, cut it up, and put it on top of all of that. It's a low-calorie but HUGE and FILLING meal. I calculated this meal at 430 calories, 51 g carbs, 36 g protein, 6.5 g fat, and 6 g of fiber. Even when I'm very hungry, I can rarely finish the entire meal.

There are a lot of carbs in that meal; I don't know if people who follow this blog are aware of the details of what I eat, but I am not following a low-carb diet. In fact, I'm not following any diet at all. I try to eat healthy foods like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, etc. but I do not take much notice of percentages, carbs, calories from fat, calories from protein, etc. I eat what I like and what is appealing, and control the portions strictly. If I want beef I have it. If I want rice I have it. If I want chili I have it. But I don't have LOTS of it! I had pizza this week from Pizza Hut. One slice of medium hand-tossed pepperoni pizza from there is 230 calories. There is room for a slice or two of that in pretty much any diet.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

If you have Sprouts near you...check it out

In several states, there is a health food supermarket chain called Sprouts; it's not Whole Foods, it's not Central Market, it's not Trader Joe's; it's not really like any of them, though it sells mostly healthy (but usually not organic) foods. It's not like a "normal" supermarket in that it does not sell a lot of processed foods, and the ones they do sell are usually brands that are not familiar to most people in the U.S. (though they would be to Whole Foods shoppers).

There are 2 main reasons I go to Sprouts, even though the one closest to me is a 15 minute drive and I pass by three supermarkets to get to it. One is produce; it's not always the cheapest for everything, but they publish their ads online so you can see what's on sale. They have some incredible deals on fresh fruits and vegetables. I bought a lot of apples, pears, oranges, onions, avocados, tomatos, etc. for under $10. The other main reason is the bulk aisles; they sell couscous, quinoa, nuts, all sorts of grains, etc. in bulk. The selection is not as good as what you would see at Whole Foods, but again they have most of what MOST people would be looking for. They had bulk couscous for $1.99 a pound. You sometimes see it lower than that around here, but it's difficult to find it cheaper. Couscous isn't really what I would consider a very healthy food; eat a lot of it and the calories really add up, but it's quick and easy to prepare.

Basically if you're finding it tougher to make healthy choices due to this crappy economy and you have a Sprouts near you, check it out; you might be able to stretch that food dollar and keep making those healthy choices. (And no, I don't work for them!)


So far this weekend I am doing well with my eating and exercising. On Friday, my boss and I raided the pizza buffet at Cici's, and I think I ate an entire medium pizza on my own...and dipped the crusts into RANCH DRESSING. Yup. I ate that. I used to do that once a week, minimum. This was my first trip to the Cici's pizza buffet in a couple of months. And I enjoyed it. It was DIVINE. No post-pig out reckoning either; when I stepped on the scale Saturday morning, I weighed the same as what I did Friday morning. (And weighed the same this morning too, DAMMIT!)

Saturday I behaved VERY well, drank lots of water, ate lots of fiber, exercised. Today so far I have been very good....bought nothing but healthy food when I went to the grocery store (I've lost my taste for sweet things, mostly, but I could still eat a whole bag of Lays on my own). Then one of my friends invited me over for dinner tonight; his wife is making Indian I ate a very light lunch in anticipation of the waistline-expanding meal his wife will be making. She's a fantastic cook, but every time I have dinner there I gain a pound or two!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

30% loss achieved!

As of this morning I have lost 30% of my weight! My eventual goal is to lose 42% of my weight, so I'm getting there! I've also seen a new "decade" on the scale...weighed in at 179.6 this morning. Wow! Out of the 180s, at least for today. :-)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The past week

I ate right and exercised all week and gained 2.5 lbs, then had pizza last night and it disappeared, plus some. Weird! Oh well, not complaining. My clothes didn't fit any differently all week, I think it was just water or something.

I also had four...yes, FOUR...cavities drilled this week and my mouth is still a little bit sore! Keeps me from eating crunchy delicious foods like pretzels and chips (and apples).

I also spent my entire tax refund (plus some) on a new computer plus a Blu-Ray player and a really SWEET universal remote. I want to buy a house later this year so from now on, it's save save save and live lean until I move. Won't be hard; I'll just go back to how I was living before, haha!

In terms of weight loss I've now lost 29% of my starting weight and I'm maybe 3 lbs away from hitting 30%. My goal starting out was to lose 42% of my starting weight, or 106 lbs. I've lost 74.6 lbs so I'm well on my way. I feel great! I have so much energy and I feel great about myself, my self-esteem and confidence has had such a boost from this. It's been so worth it.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Non-scale victories

This weekend I went to an outlet mall and bought clothes at three stores I have not been into in years: Banana Republic, The Gap, and J. Crew. The max size of most items in these shops is 14, and it's a pretty unforgiving 14. An XL at J. Crew would be an L in most other brands, I think!

I was able to find clothes that fit at all three stores...and the khakis I bought at Banana Republic weren't even 14s. They were 12s. I think they look fantastic. It's been so long since I have been able to wear fashionable, flattering clothes. I'm almost looking forward to going to work to show off my new duds!

The other non-scale victory I had this weekend was when I took my blood pressure on Saturday. It was 128/68, pulse 75. That is a normal healthy reading! If you recall, I was sent to the emergency room last year by a doctor when I clocked a reading of 172/127, approximately (can't recall the exact numbers but they were over 170/120) and a pulse of 120 bpm. That is an astonishingly high reading for anyone. A diastolic of over 120 is a medical emergency. Organ damage can ensue.

Mere months later my blood pressure is NORMAL, NORMAL, NORMAL! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

The rich tapestry of my life

Tomorrow I plan on doing some of the errands that have been neglected due to my busy work schedule. Tomorrow morning I plan to wake up early and take my car in for an oil change and a few other routine tinkers. I have to get to the place at 7am on the dot if I want to be out of there before noon, so wish me luck on that one.

After that I am going to meet with a real estate agent to begin the process of HOUSE HUNTING. People say it's really stressful but honestly given the stress I've had in my life over the last two years, it should be a walk in the park and even a lot of fun. Ask me again in a few months.

After that I am going to the OUTLET MALL, yippee yay yay yay! At this outlet mall they have stores like J. Crew, The Gap, Aeropostale, Calvin Klein, Banana Republic, etc. These are all brands that were off-limits to me at my beginning size. Now that I'm a lot thinner (not thin, but THINNER) I finally have the nerve to walk into these places and try clothes on. They also have Bass, Cole Haan, and Nine West shoes plus a Coach outlet store. I think I may be in shopping heaven tomorrow. I'm looking forward to having some cute new duds for spring. All of my clothes are too big for me, and since it's February and I'm in the South, warmer weather is just around the corner. I also need to buy new workout clothes because mine are all too large. I even need new underwear and new shoes. Everything is too big for me. I didn't anticipate my FEET getting smaller, but they did! Yikes. Shoes are expensive. That outlet mall has a Lane Bryant, too, but I won't be going in there. I've EARNED not going in there!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Are Americans really the fattest people on earth?

Short answer: No. There are several nations where the percentage of overweight/obese adults is higher than it is here, but most of them are small island nations in the Pacific that most Americans have never heard of. Are we the fattest developed nation on earth? Yes, for now.

I lived in the UK for many years and the overweight/obesity statistics there varied wildly, giving a range of 50/60 (male/female) prevalence for overweight/obesity all the way up to 60/70%. Most statistics put the UK just behind the US in terms of overweight/obesity prevalence, but I saw the occasional statistic that put the UK ahead.

You can safely say that about 30% of Americans are clinically obese and about 24-25% of British people are clinically obese. I fully believe that American obesity rates will plateau in the coming years and the British will catch up to us along with the Mexicans, the French, the Canadians, and the Australians.

When Americans go to the UK, they almost always go to London and stay in London, never leaving the city except perhaps to visit Stonehenge or Windsor Castle. London is the UK's slimmest city so if you never travel to Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, etc. you get a skewed picture of how big British people really are. They're huge. They're gigantic. They are just as big as we are. When I came back here to one of America's fattest cities in one of America's fattest states, I had anticipated people here being much bigger than people in my small city in northern Britain. I was shocked by how NOT fat people here were compared to their British counterparts. Don't get me wrong, we are a VERY fat nation...but so are the British!

Basically the British have found a silver lining in their skyrocketing obesity rates, and that is that they are not as fat as we are. YET. They have children under 10 developing type II diabetes at astounding rates, they have controversies with gastric bypass surgery on the NHS, they have controversies with the NHS having to buy new equipment (beds, hoists, etc) for super-obese patients...there were even stories about how crematoriums could not accomodate the new extra-wide coffins manufactured for the more "zaftig deceased" British.

Sound familiar? It should.

So, my fellow Americans, take heart in knowing that while we are fat, so are Europeans, Canadians, Australians, and Central Americans. When Europeans lecture you and expound on their theories as to why we are so fat...ignore them. What do they know? Their obesity rates are rising much faster than ours are (because they are catching up to us). If they knew how to fight obesity, they wouldn't be so obese themselves.

Listen to your DOCTORS, and don't feel bad when other countries point the finger. Eat healthy food. Ditch fast food. Exercise. Count calories. Live a healthy lifestyle for yourself and your children. And don't be ashamed. Just take action. A lot of us are in the same boat. There is no magic pill, no silver bullet. It's environment and lifestyle, pure and simple. Our bodies are not adapted to the abundance of food and sedentary lifestyles that we lead. Listen to your body, not cackling foreigners calling you fat. Take it slow and steady. We can take off the extra pounds. We MUST take off the extra pounds. We are at the point now where the fat is more than an aesthetic issue. We are at the point where it threatens to shorten the average life expectancy of our country. We are at the point where it will add billions in extra healthcare-related expenses to our yearly budgets. We all pay for it. We are all responsible.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Adjusting Your Thinking

I have been morbidly obese for so many years...almost 1/3 of my life...that it is difficult for me to begin thinking as someone who is merely overweight. When I look in the mirror I expect to see a morbidly obese person staring back at me. When I look at photos of myself I expect to see an extremely fat person smiling out from the photograph. I don't recognize myself anymore.

I no longer have to worry about wearing out the crotches in my pants before the pants themselves wear out. That's something a lot of obese people deal with...the crotches and inner thighs of our pants wear out quickly because of the constant friction from our thighs rubbing together when we walk. My thighs no longer rub together when I walk.

I haven't had a "non-obese summer" in a long time, but summer in the South can be very unpleasant when you endure it wearing long sleeves and long pants the whole time. Plus, you have to dust powder on your body to keep from chafing...anywhere where you rub together (thighs, upper arms, fat rolls around the middle, etc.) you have to powder yourself or you'll pay for it later. I remember taking a vacation to a warm destination several years ago and after 2 days there I was laying on the bed in my underwear with my inner thighs rubbed raw from friction and chafing from simply WALKING and SWEATING with my thunder thighs rubbing together.

I had to plan my life, my wardrobe, everything around these problems. Chafing. Occasional incontinence. (Yes, I said incontinence.) Bringing little containers of powder with me so I could re-powder at work in the middle of the day. It's just unbelievable.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

No longer obese!

With my BMI sitting at 29.8, I am technically now OVERWEIGHT...not OBESE!


I haven't been "only overweight" since college. A friend dug up some photos of me from 10-11 years ago and I was so FAT in those pictures. I thought I was skinnier back then...nope, I wasn't. I'm the slimmest I've been in many years. I'm still fat, but not VERY fat. YAY!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A downward trend...again?

They say when you bust a plateau you drop a lot of weight in a short period of time. I dropped 2 lbs overnight; I've been eating more but I have also changed my workout to incorporate more strength training and a bit less cardio. I have some weak areas (mostly upper body) that I've really been focusing on recently.

Hoping this isn't just a fluke...time will tell...I'm very nearly no longer officially obese and I'm excited about that!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The water seems to be gone....

I've dropped some weight, I'm sure most of it was the water appears to be gone though my fingers are still a little puffy and stiff so I'm still retaining some.

I believe it's due to a medication prescribed by my doctor for the acne caused by the weight loss. The medication is called spironolactone and since it also acts as a diuretic I'm guessing it dehydrated me and caused me to retain water. Another unpleasant side effect of it is it causes constipation. I waited a week after running out to refill my prescription and if you do that, you get to experience those unpleasant side effects all over again.

I'm guessing that didn't help the plateau.

I've also changed my workout routine; I had been using the elliptical nearly every day for many months, and when I became too busy at work to go to the gym at lunchtime I would do the 30 Day Shred video. Now when I go to the gym I change it up, using the stair stepper, treadmill for HIIT, stationary bicycle, etc. I've also increased the weights on my strength training, as I noticed I could no longer "work myself sore" with the weights I was lifting. Now I AM sore!

I have also increased the calories I'm eating; I noticed that I was averaging between 1200-1300 calories a day, a side effect of being "too busy" to eat. I am gradually ramping up my caloric intake back to a reasonable level. 1200-1300 is not enough for a woman my size.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Retaining water! Ugh!

I ran out of one of my medications (for the acne caused by losing weight) and one of its side effects was dehydration. Since I ran out a few days ago, I've gained 2 lbs of water weight; I know it's water weight because my fingers are stiff and a ring I wear on my right hand is tight when it is normally pretty loose. I've been drinking lots of water to try to flush it out but so far, nothing. I am refilling that prescription today and hopefully that extra water should GO AWAY!

I've been so good with workouts, going to the gym, my diet, etc. It's FRUSTRATING.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

One thing I've noticed....

At my peak weight, I popped Zantacs like they were M&Ms. I used to wake up in the middle of the night with horrifying heartburn. The pain was excruciating. I'd go through a bottle of that stuff every 2 weeks.


I haven't taken one in I don't know how long. I don't get heartburn anymore!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A photo, finally...

...but since it's me in my pajama bottoms and bra, I won't post it directly here.

It's a side-by-side comparison of me at 245 lbs and again at 189.6 lbs.

You can click HERE for it; be warned, I'm scantily clad. However, I figured if I was going to take photos, I needed to be 100% honest. These photos are mostly for my own comparisons but they're some of the only ones I have of my journey, so I've pasted smiley faces over my own face to maintain my privacy.

Be kind!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I see...180s!

Weighed in at 189.6 this morning!


I haven't seen the 180s since I was in college, and I graduated from college almost 12 years ago. I am the THINNEST I've been in 12 years. How cool is THAT?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Body measurements, then and now

I didn't measure myself at the very beginning and I am kicking myself for that, but...

On 08/20/2008, my stats were 41/42/49.

Today, they are 34/32.5/40.5.


Slow but steady downward progress....

Slowly but surely the scale is moving down again, and the measurements I took this morning indicate that I am still losing inches...I think this plateau may be busted. I hope so. I've been varying my workouts and trying to not pay so much attention to what I eat. I had a couple of "cheat days" where I took no notice of what I ate and just ate what I wanted. Maybe it "shocked" my metabolism. Who knows. 191.2 lbs this morning!

That's a total loss of 65.4 lbs so far. WOO HOO!

Monday, January 5, 2009

...or maybe not?

I was very diligent with my food and exercise over the weekend and weighed in at 192 lbs this morning. I've never seen the scale that low. We'll see if I can keep this up!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I have to accept it...this is a plateau.

I have been stuck in the mid-190s for a while now. It's so immensely frustrating. If anyone has any plateau-busting tips I'd appreciate it! I've already changed up my workout. Thanks!