DAY 739: Whoa, we’re halfway there!


It’s day 16.  Do you know where your children are?

I posted this yesterday on DietBet, but it bears repeating:  I am SO. SICK. OF SALAD.

I’ve had a lot of late nights recently, resulting in needing to order food instead of eating the yummy, healthy, Whole30-compliant dinners I have waiting for me at home.  The only thing that seems safe to eat in those circumstances is a very basic build-your-own salad without dressing from a fresh salad joint.  And man, I am so over salad at this point.  I’m also over shelling out additional cash on pretentious salads — yeah, that’s a thing — on top of the substantial amount of money I’ve already spent to make the meals I’m neglecting in the first place.  GRUMBLE, GRUMBLE, GRUMBLE.  I’m looking mad forward to eating at home all weekend.

Yesterday, the halfway point, was a decent day.  I had a meeting that went on entirely too long, and when I emerged from the staircase afterwards on the way back to my office, two co-workers were chatting by the elevators.  One suddenly stopped herself mid-sentence and called out, “Is that… is that you?”  I turned around and said, “Yes, I’m me!”  She started saying she thought it was me, but she wasn’t sure; I looked so good, could I help her with losing weight?!  She must have said 3 or 4 times how different or good she thought I looked.  (I rarely see this person.)  That felt pretty nice.  (Thanks, super flowy, former oh-honey top I was wearing yesterday!)

Yesterday evening was a good-bye gathering for a colleague, and I was the designated cupcake picker-upper.  Not just any cupcakes, mind you.  They spent Wednesday night in my fridge, all day Thursday in my office, and Thursday evening staring at me while everyone else partook.  That fudgy chocolate frosting looked amazing, but was it?  I have only the word of other people — and foggy, fond memories — to go on.  Passing on those babies wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, actually; honestly, having them at home and in my office for nearly a full day was fine.  I didn’t think about them at all.  It was watching everyone else eat (and enjoy) them that gave me a pang.  I’m telling myself it was mostly FOMO while I remind myself what sugar does to my insides.  That shit looked sooooo yummy, though.  *single tear

The one thing that has started feeling like a sacrifice is coffee.  Go figure, right?  The one thing I gave up voluntarily, outside of the program’s guidelines, is the one that has started to hurt.  BUT, BUT, BUT!  Yesterday was the first time in over a week I did not get a headache!  I had several early on, then a few days without, and then straight headaches for about a week and a half.  They were more of the dull, nagging variety than the throbbing, painful variety; enough to be annoying and prevent clear thinking or ease in falling asleep, but not a light enough touch that I could avoid taking something to make it go away.  The night before last, I noticed the headache was a little lower in strength than the ones leading up to it, and I rolled the dice:  I went to bed without popping Excedrin, and the headache went away.  I slept normally all night and had no remnants of the headache when I woke up in the morning.  Then, no headache during the day, and I went to sleep pain free!  Magic!  It’s not exactly tiger blood, but I’ll take it.

You know, one thing  I have taken from this is that being open about my dietary restrictions has been very helpful, and not embarrassing.  This comes as a complete surprise to me, given how uncomfortable I have been all my life with letting people into this weight-loss stuff with me.  It feels like THE most personal thing I could share, no matter how limited the sharing is.  I feel appreciative and humbled by being proven dead wrong about this.  The implicit accountability, support, and encouragement from people has been incredible.  I’ve even intentionally told my parents I’m doing this, and they won’t even see me during these 30 days.  LIGHT BULB!  I don’t have to do everything alone.  A lesson decades in the making.

Sadly, I STILL have not made it to the gym.  It’s on the docket for tomorrow, right between SLEEP IN and PLAN NEXT WEEK’S MENUS.

Fifteen down, fifteen to go!

DAY 683: Body work

Decent news from the world of podiatry: my bone spur is NOT the issue.  In fact, it has shrunken since I first went in to have it examined.  The discomfort I’m feeling now is from strain on my plantar fascia ligament, which is tight and stretches when I take take steps, causing inflammation and the popping sensation in my heel.  My doctor offered to give me a cortisol injection today that would take care of the unpleasant feeling instantaneously, and possibly permanently, but I decided to hold off.  He’s prescribed me orthotic inserts that will help correct my immediate problem, and they won’t be ready for 3-4 weeks.  My (self-reported) pain level is at about a 3, so I figure that if it gets worse between now and the time I go back to the podiatrist’s office to pick up the orthotics, I’ll get the shot then (or sooner, if there’s a sudden spike).  Otherwise, I’ll give the orthotics (and, hopefully, a bit of weight loss!) a chance to make an impact and then go from there.

It is interesting how my body has responded to my weight re-gain.  I had trained it to be accustomed to a certain amount of movement with less and less mass to carry, and now, it has rapidly re-accumulated a bunch of that mass which was partially caused by, and also which partially contributed to, a significant decrease in movement.  The way that added weight has shown up on me has been interesting.  Whereas I lost it from all over, it really feels like 90% of it went directly to my waist when it came back.  Yes, my face and fingers have pudged out, but the rings I couldn’t wear when I was previously at this weight are still fitting from when I had reached my lowest, but the pants I was wearing when I was last at this weight aren’t.  I know this isn’t any kind of earth-shattering revelation, but the areas that are hardest to lose from, are easiest to gain to.  We all have our trouble spots, eh?  REMINDER TO FUTURE SELF:  Don’t mess around, girl.  It’s too hard to work the fat back off!  Not worth it.

This is so much work.  I’m looking forward to getting back to the place where it just felt routine and second-nature.

Wishing all of you strength and perseverance through the weekend!

DAY 409: Change of a dress

The crime:  overindulging and under-exercising for several weeks.

The punishment:  sizing out of a garment in the wrong direction.

Welp, that’s done.  I won’t be wearing the dress I had bought for the wedding this weekend, to the wedding this weekend.

I guess I’ll have to find some other occasion, because damn it, I will rock that dress.  I will wear it somewhere fabulous with the hot-pink heels that sass it up even more.  Then I will post (faceless) photos of it and everyone will be like, “OOOOOH, I get it now.”


Anyway, I have been doing well with making up lost ground ever since I snapped out of my awful lapse on my mission, and I’ve already undone a significant amount of the damage.  I won’t feel over it until I’m under where I had been, but I am very pleased with the progress.  It’s never a bad time to remind yourself that you’re awesome.

I’m awesome.  Awesome and fearless.

And I’m coming for you, sexy dress.  I can’t wait to get inside you.  #clothesporn

*drops mic*

DAY 347: Getting changed

It’s amazing being able to walk into any store and know that there is something in there that’s gonna fit.  It’s even more amazing being able to walk into any store knowing that most things will fit.  I’m geeking out over discovering my personal fashion and exploring my tastes, now that I can actually do that.

After so long being in plus sizes and having to find attire by scouring the deep corners of the Internet or remaining a hostage of every big girl’s love-hate relationship with Lane Bryant, it still hasn’t fully clicked that I have options now.  I’ve even had the totally unexpected experience of browsing the clearance section of the Kohl’s website for workout gear, only to feel frustrated that only the plus sizes were discounted and they were all TOO BIG.  What an awesome problem to have!

Yesterday, as I was getting ready in the morning, I saw a sweater hanging in my closet that I didn’t recognize.  I wondered if I had ever worn it, and if not, why?  I pulled it off the hanger and immediately understood:  it’s a size L.  I don’t remember ever wearing it because it was an oh-honey purchase from years ago.  Well, it’s an oh-honey article no more.  It had its grand debut yesterday.  It was a pretty rad day.

As I was walking around in my L sweater, I peeped my reflection in every mirror I passed.  I kept thinking, “I look thin today!” That thought was validated early on, when I went to pick up a package from the mailroom at my office.  I was talking to the receptionist about I don’t even remember what, but told her, “I like it!”  One of the mail guys had strolled to the counter at that point and said to me, “I like that,” with at hand gesture that captured my general space.  “You like…?”  I asked.  He said, “That.  What you’re doing.  You’re going all the way, aren’t you?” Oh.  That.  I laughed and said, “That’s the plan!”  (Quick holla at 6-months-ago me who would have turned tomato-red and deflected the hell out of that compliment.)

Beyond changing the way I dress and the way I’ve begun to accept affirmations, I’ve also changed the way I change.  Before, when I would get to the gym, I would take my exercise clothes into a bathroom stall with me to change, out of modesty and embarrassment.  Somewhere within the last 10-15 pounds, I stopped doing that.  I change with the people now.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m never gonna be one of these fully naked people lettin’ it all hang out as I plod around the locker room, but I’m finally comfortable taking my shirt off with my back turned to the rest of the room as I change my sports bra over my bra-bra.  It may sound silly, but when you started in the realm of self-consciousness and self-body shaming where I did, you’d have to give me props for this tremendous progress.

So, less than 3 weeks away from my one-year anniversary on this wild ride, that’s where I’m at.  Can’t complain.

DAY 292: Happy medium

This week was a griiiiiiiiiiiind.  To celebrate our survival, a friend and I made plans for dinner out and amazing reflexology foot massages last night.  The good news and the bad news:  the reflexology place couldn’t schedule us until 8:00 PM, so we decided to go shopping between leaving work and going to dinner to pass the time.

Ah, yes.  I haven’t quite spent enough money recently.  😉  (At least it was pay day!  [?])

Incidentally, this is the same friend who was with me for haircuts, food, and shopping months ago when I was at the nervous beginning of my mission.  Back then, there was scarcely anything I could fit into in mainstream stores, so I picked up one shirt that looked pretty and bought it without trying it on, hoping to fit into it eventually.  (Update:  I shrank into it for the summer season, and it now hangs off me.  Mini-mission accomplished!)  Last night, as is my new normal in clothing stores, I could not be stopped.  Hey, it was all 60% off, why not go hard?  However, my mentality was to buy a few items not for the current season — I have too much already that’s not going to fit come fall — but for the start of the next cold season.  I shared this with my friend, who thought it was a great idea.  We then awayed to the dressing rooms.

I ended up finding a pair of pants in a color I’ve never worn pants in before, eggplant purple.  The flaw in choosing pants for next year is that you actually have no idea what that size will be.  It’s more complicated with numbers like 10, 12, 14, 16, than it is with sizes S, M, L, XL.  So, I went ahead for the purple pants (OMG!  I have purple pants!) one size down from what I’m currently wearing, figuring that I’ll fit into them before this season is over and could even get away with them into the spring, given the PURPLE factor.  Have I mentioned that these pants are PURPLE?! They’re PURPLE.

Things hit a snag in the sweater department.  I’ve been rocking size XL on top at this particular store since the time I started being able to wear their clothing, so I took a size L into the dressing room to try and gauge whether it was the right size to get for next year by seeing how tight on me it was in the present.  A strange thing happened:  it fit right.  I explained this to my friend when we popped out of our dressing rooms for each other’s approval on what we were trying on, and I got to utter the phrase, “Maybe I should get a medium.”


I have not owned anything with “M” on the tag since elementary school.  That’s no joke.  I’ve never had mediums hanging in my closet as an adult.  And that means that I have never actually bought anything size medium for myself.

As I picked up the size medium at the sweater display, this all hit me, and I thought, “What am I doing?  This sweater might still be all wrong on me in a medium come fall or winter.  Maybe I should just save my money.”  Then, I had to cross-check myself on that and thought, “I’m just freaking out because I’ve never bought anything medium before.  I like this sweater and it looks good on me.  I need to just buy it.”  But I couldn’t decide which argument was right, so I put the sweater back and I stood frozen beside the table of sweaters, holding onto a pair of purple pants and wearing a look of total confusion.  I bet that didn’t look crazy at all.

Finally, my friend emerged from the dressing room, and I told her I needed her brain:  do I buy the sweater in the smaller size on the risk that it won’t actually fit or look right on some frame I can’t really predict 10 months from now, or save my money in the present and get a sweater I know fits when I actually am whatever size I will be 10 months from now?  She made a face, said a few things about how the sweater wasn’t form-fitting, she really liked the color and how it looked on me, and how I was showing some uncharacteristic nerves or doubt by putting the sweater back.  She finished with, “I think that’s a piss-poor reason not to get it.”  So I picked it back up and took it directly to the register.

I love my friends.

I love my purple pants.

I love my medium sweater.

DAY 288: Middle ground

My experience with weight loss has been that the part you want to disappear the most is the most stubborn.  It’s probably an optical illusion, or just that that part is so large to begin with that it’s just a longer slog to work it off, but it’s agonizing waiting to see it finally start to shrink.  For some women, that part is the hips, butt, or thighs.  For this woman, it’s the stomach.

My stomach is misnamed.  It’s more of an asshole.

It forces my toes into an endless game of peek-a-boo.  It makes a mockery of my rack by sticking out farther.  It smothers my lap.  It stretches my shirts, makes buttons struggle to close around it, and makes skirts look ridiculous on me.  It’s the antagonist in this story, and it must go.

Well, finally — finally! — it has started giving up ground.  All of a sudden, my jacket covers it with as much ease as it covers the rest of my torso.  I’m sliding into jeans without unbuttoning or unzipping them.  I’m wearing September’s oh-honey pants.  The biggest victory of all?  My love handles are more like let’s-just-be-friends handles.

It’s been a long time coming, but this stomach is starting to get smaller!

Sooooo, I have to enact that promise I made to myself for when this day finally came:  start the ab work.

I did a few ab exercises on New Year’s Day, just for the hell of it, and I am still sore four days later.  It’s no surprise to me, but I have no core strength.  The bad news:  this is going to suck.  The good news:  this is going to burn A LOT of calories.

I’m coming for you, stomach!

DAY 271: Before pants

I pulled these out today.  They’re my Lane Bryant (gag) size 24 (vomit) “nice” pants that are on my milestones aspirations list as the ones I want to be able to fit into one leg of some day soon.

Here’s where we’re at on progress to goal:


For the record, I did try to fit into one leg today just to see, and it almost actually happened.  If my calves weren’t Superman size, I think it would have been a go.  I’ll run the experiment again in a couple more lost pants sizes and see.

In the present… check out all that extra fabric!

The first photo is with the pants zipped up and pulled as high up as they will go (which is just below my bust), and pulled all the way to the side (NOT the front).  The photo is turned in the wrong direction in this post, but I noticed it after uploading and am far too lazy to fix it.  😉

The photo in the middle is with the pants pulled up to where they’re supposed to be with the extra fabric pulled forward to make them fit my form.

The final photo is the bouquet of fabric in my hand as seen from my vantage point after I took the middle picture in the mirror.

I’ve been feeling really raggedy this week, so I’m glad I did this.  I’ve donated several boxes of clothing every month since July or August, and this is the only article of clothing that no longer fits — aside from the before dress — that I’ve kept.  I’ve tried these pants on a couple of times since starting my weight loss, but the loss hasn’t been as striking before today.  Today, it was impossible for them to stay on; they just fell right to the floor, no matter how many ways I bent or twisted to anchor the waist band onto a curve so they’d at least hang off me.  I can’t believe these were my go-to professional attire just 9 months ago.  They look ridiculous now, both on me and off.

I still have time to make the weight goal I set for myself for the end of this year, and I may have found the motivation I need to get me there.  I think I’ll keep my sad pants out in plain sight for a while.

DAY 249: Thanks.

Yesterday was amazing.

I ate cheese.  I ate chips.  I ate salsa.  I ate crackers.  I ate artichoke dip.  I ate turkey.  I ate stuffing.  I ate mashed potatoes.  I ate rice.  I ate bread.  I ate salad.  I ate green bean casserole.  I ate cheesecake.  I ate peanut butter chocolate chip cookie bars.

I have no fear or regrets about any of that.

Before the meal (in the early morning), I took myself on a 4-mile walk around my parents’ incredibly hilly neighborhood and through a nearby park.  In the park, I twice passed a VERY good-looking guy in an orange shirt who was jogging.  The first time we passed each other, we gave each other a polite-stranger smile.  The second time, I was power-walking up a steep hill and he was jogging down it.  He was smiling already when he saw me, and I involuntarily gave him a MASSIVE grin when I saw him smiling, which made him smile bigger and laugh, which made me laugh.  I couldn’t tell if it was silly or flirtatious, or maybe both, but I kept hoping to run into him again.  I didn’t.  Maybe I will some other time I’m getting in my outdoor cardio at my parents’ house.

I spent the rest of the day cooking.

I ate my meal wearing an outfit composed of entirely new clothes, which wouldn’t have had a chance of fitting me last Thanksgiving.

I ate one moderate serving of everything, because I’ve taught myself when — and how — to stop.  No seconds.  No hunger.

I gave my family the public version of what I’m thankful for.  This is the private version:

I’m thankful that the beach towel I used to have to use to dry off after showering at their house is now comically large for that purpose, and I’ll have to ask my mom for a different towel.

I’m thankful that the toilet on the main floor of the house isn’t working properly, and I have to either go upstairs or downstairs every time I need to use the bathroom.

I’m thankful that I no longer have to pause 2 or 3 times on my way back up the stairs from the basement to secretly catch my breath, so as not to arrive at the top of the steps all winded and embarrassed.

I’m thankful that my parents live in the middle of nothing but steep hills of various heights that I can walk around.  I can feel the effects of that in my legs and butt, and it hurts so good.

I’m thankful that I could wake up this morning and eat cereal when everyone else was eating the traditional leftover pie for breakfast.

Even if I don’t lose any weight this week, I’m thankful for all of the above, because it proves to me that I’ve passed this test of will at a challenging moment of my mission that coincides with a challenging moment on the calendar.

Being mentally back in the saddle is by far the most important thing.  The weight loss will come.  I believe that again.

DAY 244: Ranty pants

I had several paragraphs of a completely different post all typed up, and then something happened that changed my train of thought.  A friend on a quest to lose 20 pounds (at least half of which is vanity weight) group texted me and two of her other friends to announce what a GREAT workout she’d just had.

I’m not proud of the fact that I found this deeply annoying, or that my immediate reaction was silencing my phone and turning it screen-down on the couch beside me without responding to my friend, but that’s what happened.

Some of my irritation is because I’m putting unfair expectations on this person.  Just because my weight-loss M.O. is not talking about it in person doesn’t mean she shouldn’t.  It also doesn’t mean she’s bragging (even though she kind of was); she’s just giving herself congratulations in a group of people whose support she ought to be able to count on.  She and I have tip-toed around the subject of my progress on more than one occasion, and she’s even volunteered that I’ve inspired her to take charge of her own mission, so why not check in with her so-called friend who helped her take that step?

More of my irritation is that this girl has like no work to do.  It’s easy to be motivated and enthusiastic when you only have 20 pounds to lose.  If that was all I had to do, I’d have been done by now.  Several times.  So, yeah, this is my jealousy coming out in the form of frustration.  I still have more than 20 pounds left to go.  She’s going to totally complete her mission before I’m done with the second half of mine.  I know it’s selfish, but I can’t help it.  I’d kill to have only 20 pounds to lose.

MOST of my irritation is that I’m reacting this way.  It should motivate me to go get in a killer workout of my own.  It should make me proud that I helped her get there in some small way.  It should make me genuinely happy for my friend, especially because I know firsthand how hard this process is, and how good it feels to totally crush a workout.  Yet it doesn’t.  It just makes me kind of bitter.

I think this is the ugly side of why I haven’t been so keen to talk about my weight loss with people in my real life.

Luckily (?), I’ve been on a shopping bender all weekend.  My purchases have included some much-needed new clothes, as well as some oh-honey articles for the next size down.  I couldn’t afford it by any stretch of the imagination, and the whole point of these shopping trips was supposed to be holiday shopping for other people, but I came home with hundreds of dollars of stuff to hang in my own closet.  (I did get some gifts for the people on my list!  And… moderate exercise?  **bats eyelashes**)  Among my buys are 3 pairs of business pants that I can’t freaking wait to wear.  It’s expensive and slightly reckless, but the method of having to work in order to play with my new toys has been working for me.

I’ve clearly replaced one compulsion (eating like shit) with another (shopping).  That’s another ugly part of my personality:  compulsion.  The good news is, it is possible to change compulsive behaviors.  It’s just really hard.

Which is why support is important.

I’ll have to try harder to give it.  Others’ weight-loss experiences are not mine, and aren’t about me.  It’s not enough for me to learn to accept praise; I’m also apparently going to need to learn to give it to someone who’s actually asking for it.

Damn self-improvement.

DAY 198: Fat girl, skinny jeans

That’s right, y’all.  Mama’s rockin’ skinny jeans today.

Probably not uncoincidentally, I got 4 more weight-loss affirmations — one from a new person, three from previous commenters — and was aggressively hit on by a stranger at Panera when I was in the middle of a business lunch with a co-worker.  (Do guys try to pick up girls by asking for their Facebook profile pages now instead of their digits?  Because that’s what happened.  Zero smooth points, Panera Lurker Guy.)

And yeah, that’s right:  I wore skinny jeans to work.

This has been a weird day.

I am finally starting to get comfortable with accepting compliments from people on my progress.  It took a long time, but I’ve reached a place where I can actually own their praise and feel like I deserve it, and it has become part of what motivates me to keep going.  The male attention, well… that’s always been uncomfortable, and I can feel it’s going to be a long while before I’m anywhere near OK with it.

My co-worker who was with me for that odd interaction laughed about it with me on our way back to the office, where we bumped in to another work friend who asked what was so funny.  We told her what had happened, and then, the girls both started telling me I’d better get used to it, it’s going to keep happening, blah blah blah.  I’ve always sort of felt on the outside of the whole “male gaze” phenomenon.  I sympathized with my girlfriends who experienced unwanted attention, harassment, assault, and/or feared these things or worse.  I always felt immune to it because who in their right mind was going to have any interest in directing any of that at a fat girl?

I guess that all changes when you start fitting into skinny jeans.

Of course, most of it is harmless and probably even well-intentioned.  I’ve just always been an observer of it rather than the object of it.  It’s still hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that random men are going to openly hit on me in public.  I don’t really believe that yet, I just keep hearing from my (biased) girlfriends that it’s going to happen more and more.

This is why they should only make skinny jeans for skinny people!  RFGs (Recovering Fat Girls) aren’t prepared for this part of the thin experience yet!  Well, if it does continue to happen, I’ll have to start somehow programming my brain to think of it as another version of the flattering comments I’m finally starting to get used to.

Next up:  leggings!