DAY 731: Happy worth day, dear body

Two years ago today, I made The Change.

It was tentative at first, but it stuck… for a while.  For months and months, I gained steam and experienced a lot of successful changes physically, mentally, and emotionally.  After nearly a full year of hard work, I eagerly laced up my running shoes and went for my first-ever outdoor run in the refreshing spring air after work.

It was also my last outdoor run.

I spent the remainder of 2016 undoing most of the work I’d done from March 23rd, 2015, until that date.  I couldn’t even bring myself to post on my first worth day because I was too busy falling off the wagon, sabotaging myself, and feeling 360 degrees of shitty about it.  One little thing went wrong, and then I allowed every little thing to go wrong and nearly ruin my weight loss.  What a waste.

This year, I’m not at the size I thought I would be when I imagined myself two years out at my start date on this day in 2015.  I’m trying to claw my way back to the levels of health and happiness I had managed to reach previously, before I will really be able to believe I can attain my ultimate goals.  If I started out two years ago feeling tentative, that’s amped waaaaaaaaaay up this time around.

Shakiness aside, I am making sure to recognize my efforts today.  The path I’ve taken hasn’t been straight or without significant obstacles, but it’s started taking me back towards  where I’ve long wanted — and needed — to go.  As my mission enters its toddlerhood, I recommit to the girl who has always occupied, and will always occupy, this body:  I will be fearless.  I will work hard.  I will see to it that my last outdoor run was only my most recent outdoor run, not my final outdoor run.  I will one day stop being ashamed of this body and strive to not only accept it, but to see it as beautiful.

I am worth it.

Happy worth day, dear body.

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 349: Dem bones, dem bones

Collar bones, hand bones, ribs, foot bones, cheek bones… it never gets old being able to see bits of my skeleton peaking out at me from beneath my skin!

Today, am I pleased to welcome the latest newcomer to the bone party:  the thumb bones.  Did everyone but me know that if you look at your hand from the side, with your pinky facing outwards, there are two narrow, visible bones that run parallel to each other, from your bottom thumb knuckle to the side of your wrist??  Well, I didn’t!  I mean, I should have known about these secret bones because they’re just like the ones attached to all my other fingers, but I have never seen them before and never wondered whether they might be there.  When I discovered this anatomical breakthrough yesterday, I proceeded to spend at least 5 minutes bending my thumb up and down so that those bones were essentially waving at me.  (There’s a possibility I’m regressing into childhood, but one problem at a time.)  I can’t believe how exciting it is to see new bones.  Really, any normal/always-been-thin person reading this right now probably has one eyebrow involuntarily raised, the way I might if I were reading someone’s blog about the wonder that is the human toe nail:  who cares?  I CARE.  MY BONES ARE COMING OUT OF HIDING.  Fat, be gone!

Also from the same neighborhood, I found I can now enclose my wrist between the thumb and forefinger of my opposite hand, whereas I previously couldn’t even fit my thumb and middle fingers around my wrist.  I guess I lost weight from my wrists/hands last time.  Ha!  The Where Did I Lose From game, such a party classic.

I’m also seeing ribs.  RIBS.  My ribs.  I can also feel other ones that haven’t popped out.  I kind of hope my ribs will keep some of the mystery alive forever; I don’t really want to see all of them, as they kind of freak me out for some reason and I just start laughing when I catch a glimpse of the ones I can see.  BUT, evidence that my midsection is finally starting to go away?  Yeah, that works.  I’ll happily accept.  😀


The lower part of my body is a bit of a wet blanket on the bone party that the upper part is throwing.

My right knee is doing this strange clicking when I go down stairs (NOT up).  It’s actually been doing that for about 5 months.  It doesn’t hurt, but it is unsettling, and I’m wondering whether it might be worth a trip to the doctor.  I don’t want to end up with damage that makes exercise painful or difficult.  Does anyone else have experience with this?  I’d love your recommendations.

The second bummer is that damn heel spur I found out about over the summer.  It’s still there, and over recent days, it has breached the barrier between annoying and painful for the first time.  It’s started to hurt.  When I originally saw my podiatrist about it back in July, he said that if I could live with the annoyance, we shouldn’t worry about it as long as it wasn’t interfering with my normal routine or causing pain.  I’m gonna need to go back and see him, I think.  From what I remember from my first visit, the intermediate step towards a solution was a cortisol shot or shots in my foot.  (I just felt you cringe, but don’t worry, I have a superhuman lack of discomfort with  or fear of needles.)  If that doesn’t solve the problem, there may need to be a surgical intervention.  Because my heel is one of the bones I can’t see, I have no idea what’s going on in there or how bad it is.  It doesn’t seem extreme enough to require surgery, so I’m hoping to be able to avoid that, but I’m trying to lay a mental groundwork of acceptance of that for myself so I can plan around it and not get derailed from my weight-loss plans if that is the way things end up going.  At any rate, my doctor said all those months ago that he had a reasonable expectation that it would resolve itself naturally within a year.  Up until now, it seemed like that’s what it was doing, but this feels to me like a decisive turn for the worse.  Ugh.  The irony is, I’ve actually been doing lower-intensity cardio the last several weeks, AND I’m smaller than I’ve ever been, so there should be LESS strain on my heel.  Yet that has coincided with the uncomfortable sensation.  Heel spur, you’re drunk.

Anyway, that’s what’s up with my skeleton.  Glad we had this talk.

DAY 324: The big reveal

I issued myself a dare a while back.  The dare was that when this photo happened, I would stop being coy and secretive about the numbers.  I was REEEEEALLY pushing myself on the whole fearless thing.

OK, past-me.  Here goes.




Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 8.31.24 PM

That, ladies and gentlemen, is my current weight.  I JUST SHARED MY WEIGHT.

And that’s ONEDERLAND.

That makes TWO BFDs.

Now for the rest of the numbers:

  • Starting weight (March 7th, 2015):  303 pounds*
  • Diet Bet starting weight (April 17th, 2015):  279.2 pounds**
  • Final goal weight:  140 pounds (doctor approved!)  (Well, the official line is that I’ll see how 140 feels.  If there’s more to do at that point, I’ll do it.)

Um, I haven’t been in the 190s since I was on my way up the scale in my sophomore year of college, which was the worst year of my life.  It’s when all kinds of horrible things happened and I coped with the sadness and stress by eating everything in sight.  No one who has met me since I was 19 has ever seen me this size.  Ever.  That’s BFD number three.

For the official record, I saw 199 on the scale for the first time 2 weeks back, but it was a morning scale read, which doesn’t count in my mind.  I’ve even seen 198 in the morning, but again, it doesn’t count.  I’m going to say something crazy now, which is that yesterday, I felt 199.  So tonight at the gym, I weighed myself, and for the first time in over a decade, I got to move the 50-pound weight to 150 instead of 200.  I’m in the 150 club.  That’s BFD number four.

Finally, I have unhidden my Diet Bet weight chart on my profile.  Don’t believe me?  Here’s the proof.  That’s BFD number five.

Screen Shot 2016-02-10 at 8.36.19 PM


And now that that’s all out in the open… rest of sentence.

If you need me, I’ll be walking in a winter onederland.



*I remember my weight on this date because it was the night before I left on an international trip and I weighed myself for the first time in weeks because I was worried about spending hours in an uncomfortably small airplane seat.  It was my heaviest weight in my life.  Yeah, that ride did suck; not only was I physically uncomfortable, but I had that number emblazoned on my brain the entire time.  Luckily, I came back having magically shed nearly 10 pounds (without trying), and I let that be my momentum.  The conscious choice to lose it all forever was on March 23rd, a few days after getting home from said trip.  At my doctor’s appointment on March 26th, I was at 289.

**This may look like a lot to lose within a short period, but it just falls the fuck off when you’re 303 pounds and suddenly adopt the healthy lifestyle your body has always wanted.  It’s also a lot of water weight.  I wasn’t doing anything extreme; I’ve always been level-headed and healthy in my approach.  I’m going to do this right from start to finish.  Promise.

DAY 322: Monu-MENTAL

I’m taking an improv class.  The people are upbeat, fun, silly, and just looking for a good experience.  I find myself smiling throughout the class from the great creative outlet and clever social exchanges with peers, and I leave feeling energized and happy.  (Thanks for bankrolling my fun, Diet Bet!)

The sort of strange thing is that the class meets in an elementary school library.  (The school is, of course, closed during our sessions.)  It’s probably good juju for us to be subliminally reminded of our free-spirited inner children by the colorful decorations and toys around the room, but some of the set-up is a little impractical.  When our instructor wants us to do seated scenes, the only chairs at our disposal are meant for 5-year-old butts, not adult ones.  For someone who used to love ass-planting, the idea of sitting in one of these flimsy little seats was an, um, uncomfortable prospect.

This weekend, there was no way around it:  chair games galore.  I couldn’t shake the gif-style image my brain conjured up of me sitting on one of these children’s desk chairs and having it crumble to smithereens beneath my mass, and the thought of that horrified me.  I really wanted to participate in everything, but I was hanging back and hoping to abstain unnoticed to avoid busting a chair and embarrassing myself beyond redemption.

And then I realized:  I am a 31-year-old woman afraid of a piece of furniture.  CHILDREN’S furniture.

Dafuq?  That’s not how a fearless person acts.

So I shook it off.  I stopped thinking about how I’m probably the heaviest person in the class — certainly the heaviest girl.  I reminded myself that I’ve lost over 100 pounds, and if I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t even be in this class entertaining the possibility of putting my ass on that tiny chair.  I put my mental gif into my “mind vice,” à la Jack Donaghy, and crushed it.  I told myself it would be fine.

And I sat in a chair, like I’ve done a million times in my life, and did not crush it.

It was fine.

I will be fine.

But I still keep having nuisance thoughts creep into my mind.  It’s such a weird psychological place to be in, suddenly feeling a spike of nervousness about things I can do now, but that I used to not be able to do when I was at my biggest.  When I took a bath last week and could lie in the tub with both of my arms at my side because they fit now — that was a weird naked triumph.  When I was charging to work this morning and realized I was flying through the turnstiles to get to the train without making contact with the sides of it, I had an involuntary flashback to when that was impossible.  When a stranger sat beside me on the train and spent the whole ride trying to gingerly keep her body piled on her side of the line separating our seats, I remembered when that girl was me.  I don’t think people who have never dealt with significant weight loss ever think about this stuff.  I wonder if I always will?

Later today, I caught my reflection in the mirror of the bathroom at the office and saw a cheek bone on my face.  A cheek bone.  I started whipping my face around back and forth, averting my eyes and then quickly zooming them back to look at my reflection, as if trying to catch my cheek bone off-guard before it could run away.  It was still there.  And it has a twin on the other side of my face.

I couldn’t believe it.

I was about to reach up and touch my cheek bones to make sure they were real, when someone came out of one of the bathroom stalls. It was a co-worker I rarely see, but who has made a few subtle remarks on my weight loss before.  She caught me in a weird moment, posed with my hands half-raised to my cheeks and a strange grin on my face.

Instead of commenting on what must have been an odd thing to see, she looked at me and paid me an awesome compliment, with a huge smile of her own:  “You look great!

It turned into a 5-minute conversation about her own struggle with weight loss.  She asked me how I had been feeling since I’ve been changing, and I told her I felt better than I looked, and that my doctor was looking forward to not recognizing me soon.  She shared a doctor story of her own:  her doctor recently told her that she needs to lose 30 pounds.  She took hearing that really hard; she had a baby last year and is now back to her pre-pregnancy weight and happy with her size.  I told her she didn’t have 30 pounds to lose and she looked wonderful to me!  She said she didn’t think so, either; she agreed with her doctor that she could stand to lose maybe 15 pounds, but 30 sounded extreme to her.  It was deflating.  She said that ever since then, she’s really struggled with motivation.  She started asking me how I got started, so I shared a few things with her.  Even when she was describing her tough experience at her doctor’s office, she was smiling at me.  She ended the conversation with, “What you’re doing is inspiring me.”

That was AMAZING.  Honestly, I thought she didn’t even like me; turns out, she was kind of… studying me?  All this time, I was misinterpreting her glances and expressions.  I never would have known she was quietly cheering me on if not for that conversation.

That’s when I thought of the biggest change in myself:  being able to talk about it.  I am now talking about it with real people, in real life, out loud.  I don’t get all awkward or squirmy, and I don’t avoid the compliments anymore.  And guess what?  That makes people share more of their own experiences, and it becomes a way to help them.  It leads to conversations where you learn something more about someone you were previously making bad assumptions about, and it teaches you something about your place in your environment.

The personal growth during the physical shrinking is the best part of this.  It’s better than losing 100 pounds, it’s better than collar bones, it’s better than running a mile without stopping, it’s better than facing down a child’s chair, it’s better than breezing through a turnstile untouched, it’s better than fitting on less than half of a bench on public transportation, and it’s better than visible cheek bones.  But it took achieving all of those milestones to get here and finally start to see something I’ve been trying to find all along:  my true self.

The next person who asks me how I feel may just make me cry, and that’s the most open and honest answer I could possibly give to that question.

DAY 301: New York times

This was a monumental weekend for me, so I’m just gonna go ahead and overshare the whole thing.

If you follow my posts on DietBet, you may know that I spent the MLK Day weekend in New York. I have a handful of NYC-based friends who are all from different parts of my life, but each is dear to me in a special way. Before life became a monomaniacal weight-loss revolution, I used to visit New York several times a year to see these special people, but until this weekend, I hadn’t been there since the summer of 2014. This was my first totally free weekend in a while and will be my last for the next 3 months, so I decided it was high time I catch up with my favorite New Yorkers.

I left work early on Friday to hop on my bus outta town. As a Recovering Fat Girl, I traveled in a totally mad fashion, sacrificing luggage space most people reserve for clothes so I could instead fit cold lunch to eat during the trip and my snack staples for every single day I’d be gone. (Traveling light is a lifestyle impossibility for me these days, but I’m posting this from the train back and not at all regretting that choice – just ask those carrots I’m about to tear into.) During the bus ride to New York, I had no Internet service and couldn’t concentrate on the magazines I’d brought along to read because the dude next to me was distracting me with his endless phone calls. That’s when I remembered that my lifelong friend, the daughter of my dad’s friends since college who truly grew up with me and has shared so many experiences and family memories with me that we think of each other as sisters, had been trying to get a hold of me. I sent Sis a text and asked if she could talk now, and a few minutes later, we were on the phone. (Two can play that game, noisy seat neighbor! / I have become the enemy.)

Long story short, her reason for trying to reach me was to ask me to be her maid of honor in her wedding next year.

I had figured and hoped that she would ask me to be a bridesmaid, but I didn’t see MoH coming, even in spite of our close relationship. I was so moved when she asked me that I couldn’t even speak. She of course knew why and said, “DON’T CRY, you’re gonna make ME cry!” My response was, “Fuck you, I’m on a bus!” Sweet story, huh? More for family lore. 😉 We both laughed, gushed about how much we love each other, and then she re-asked me so I could accept without profanities, like a fucking lady.

This means a lot, lot, lot to me. I can’t wait to stand beside my only “sister” on the happiest day of her life. I’ve also never been anyone’s maid of honor before, so honored is exactly how I’m feeling.

And to take this in a completely selfish direction, I can’t help thinking that I actually might not be that sad, fat, single girl whom people assume was put in the wedding party out of pity when Sis’s wedding day comes. I’m going to be able to buy my dress from the same store as the other bridesmaids. I’m going to wear it without being self-conscious. I’m going to walk down the aisle without getting winded. I’m going to be able to stand around in heels all day without thinking about it. I’m not going to ruin her pictures. I’m going to eat her wedding cake without fearing that people around me are looking at me and thinking, “ooooh, she really shouldn’t be eating that.” And I’m going to dance my ass off at that reception without breaking a sweat.

The remainder of the bus ride passed pretty quickly, as I was lost in my excited thoughts.

Once I arrived in New York, I subwayed it to meet a friend for dinner. He looked up from the table where he was waiting when he heard the door open, but did a double-take because he didn’t realize it was me. When I got to the table, he stood up and just said, “Hi! You look great!” And then I ate my face off and it was awesome.

When we reached his building, I hoofed up these stairs all the way to his 5th-story walk-up and wasn’t winded until the 4th floor instead of the 4th step.


I weighed in for a round of a Transformer DietBet at his apartment the next morning. Later, I met his boyfriend and wasn’t the slightest bit shy.

After that, I met up for brunch with a friend, my cousin, and his girlfriend whom I was meeting for the first time. We stayed chatting and laughing for hours. I ate my face off and it was awesome.

That night, we watched a mind-blowingly awful AFC divisional game and then went to my friend’s favorite Indian restaurant for dinner. I ate my face off and it was awesome.

Yesterday was day 300 of my mission. I commemorated it with a banana for breakfast, then brunch at a restaurant where another friend works in the Flat Iron District. I hugged the shit out of him and laughed harder than I have in ages with him and the girlfriend who came with me. He sent essentially the entire menu to our table for free. I ate my face off and it was awesome.

We stumbled through our food coma daze back outside to watch the other AFC divisional game, and it was the first snow. I felt my inner child surge back to life as I caught giant snowflakes in my mouth while zigzagging around the tourists on 5th Avenue and feeling the cold wind whip around me while we waited for our transfer on a platform outside. We got home, watched the game, and concluded the day with pierogies. I ate my face off and it was awesome.

This morning, I peeled my calorie-soaked, sleep-deprived self off my friend’s sleeper couch and staggered to the train station to go home. I took a banana with me, then chose a cup of watermelon and a bran muffin from among the donuts, pastries, and bagels for breakfast, and a hearty salad from among the sandwiches, pizzas, and fried chicken for my on-board lunch for later. I know how to not eat my face off, and it is awesome.

Experiencing New York without that extra hundred pounds was a completely different way of doing it. I wanted to walk everywhere and I exhausted my friends with my nonsense. I tackled all those subway and apartment-building stairs with reckless abandon. I wove in and out of gawking tourists in Midtown with the speed and agility of an aggressive ballerina. I ate shitty stuff, but not a gluttonous amount of it. I fit comfortably onto the subway, inside of elevators, and into restaurant booths. I felt like I got to fully participate in every part of the weekend, and it’s all because of how different my life is now, after all this weight loss and what comes along with it.

I’m seeing my doctor tomorrow, and even though I didn’t hit the weight I was hoping to in time to see her, I am really looking forward to the check-up. I can’t wait to tell her how much I ate my face off, and how awesome it was do it with the joy in my heart that comes from knowing it wasn’t a big deal because I’ve got this. I can’t wait to tell her I’ve lost 100 pounds and am gonna finish the job this year. I’m so excited to eat the healthy meals I spent the first part of my last morning at my friend’s house planning out today. I can’t wait to see what the scale says on Sunday. I can’t wait to pick out my MoH dress.

And yet, I’ve somehow learned to be patient enough to permit indulgent brunches with loved ones here and there. That’s part of being fearless. I’m practically giddy with the knowledge that I almost definitely gained weight over the last 3 days, and I’m about to work it all off and then some. That’s part of being confident.  I’m anxious to get the hell off of this train so I can go to the gym today.  That’s part of being healthy.

Am I a little crazy? Hell, yeah. Am I emotionally high from quality social contact this weekend? No contest. Am I a giant nerd about this whole weight-loss thing all of a sudden? For sure. Want me to say it? OK: I’m a total loser.

That’s what makes me a winner. 😀

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 193: Eraced

On account of expected crazy rain this weekend, my 4.01K has been “postponed.”

I would be a liar if I said I wasn’t relieved.  I never made it past the “run 2 miles” training session in the C25K program, and I’m feeling generally exhausted.  I’ve been working too much at work and working too much at home, and mama needs some sleep.  Plus, it’s nice to have a day of my weekend back to try and recoup before having to launch right into the next week.  Even though it was the shortest distance race that I’ve ever heard of, I wasn’t ready for it, and I’m glad I don’t have to be mad at myself for either flaking out or not being able to run as much of it as I wanted to.  Hopefully, if/by the time it’s rescheduled, I’ll be in better physical condition to meet my own expectations in it.  (Equally hopefully, my schedule will permit me to participate on the new date!)

I’m also not disappointed that my race is off this weekend because… I think my heel spur is on the way out.  It may have even already healed.  With that terribly annoying injury potentially eliminated, I want to be careful not to resurrect it.  It would probably be a good idea to give my feet a bit of a rest for a few more days.

By way of another quick update, the first Diet Bet I ever hosted recently closed, and I just barely eked out a win.  Hosting well is no joke, and it wound up being more time consuming than I’d imagined, but that was because of my own meticulousness and the type of game it was.  I think most people had a good time playing, though, and I know that several got close to their goals and/or busted through plateaus while playing, so that makes it all worth it!  I had a lot of fun hosting (in spite of what may have just sounded like complaints0, and I look forward to being able to do it again before too long.  For the near future, though, I’m taking a hiatus from DB.

I’m still in a kickstarter (that ends next week) and 2 transformers (of which one is ending in 2 weeks), which I feel I can handle because the monthly loss percentages are lower than the kickstarters, so I’m by no means leaving the community.  For practical reasons, I have to take a break because I won’t be able to weigh in while traveling internationally late this month into early November.  I also want to be able to enjoy that trip instead of worrying about being absent from a website, so it’s a good time for a sabbatical.  Beyond that, judging by nothing but the way my body has changed over the last couple of weeks, I believe I’m in the midst of a change in fat-to-muscle ratio that accounts for the slowdown I’ve hit recently.  That means I’m still losing fat, but it’s not reflecting as a loss on the scale because of the increased muscle mass.  It’s fantastic, but not the right scenario in which to be betting money on averaging a 1% drop in weight every week.

NOTHING IS CHANGING, THOUGH!  I’m still 100% in this.  I will still be interacting on DB and I will still be blogging like a crazy old cat lady with stories to tell.  More importantly, I will still be eating the right things and taking care of myself.  I will fit into more oh-honey clothes.  I will wear my new skinny jeans in public.  I will shake my shit at Zumba.  I will work my muscles.  I will elevate my heart rate.  I will get enough sleep.  I will drink enough water.  I will be BFF with Jiminy.  I will have a happy birthday.  I will lose inches.  I will lose weight.

When my race is rescheduled, with any luck, I will jog it!

DAY 163: Working out is working out for me!

I had two BFD-NSVs at the gym today:

  1. I hit a personal best on the weight loss setting of the elliptical.  The weight loss setting is intervals for 28 minutes:  4 minutes on cross ramp 4 at low resistance, 4 minutes on cross ramp 10 (the highest level) at high resistance, repeat until a 5-minute cool-down (which I use as an opportunity to run like hell instead of to wind down).  It makes me sweat like a mofo while getting in cardio AND some toning in the legs, butt, and arms.  I usually net around 3 miles in the 33 minutes of exercise.  Tonight, I shattered my “usual” and beat my former personal best of 3.19 by .02 of a mile.  My new personal best:  3.21!  I’d love to work up to 3.25 by the end of the year.  It sounds like it should be easy, but it won’t be.  That extra .02, I KILLED for it.  I’m surprised I didn’t make the elliptical take off and fly away for all the noise it was making going at the top speed I hit!
  2. I jogged tonight.  I mean, REAL jogging.  I haven’t jogged more than 90 seconds in at least 5 years, so this is HUGE.  In the spring, I was doing a little jogging on the treadmill, but it always left me sore the next day — I was still too big to be putting that kind of stress on my joints.  All these pounds later, I’m finally working up the nerve to start visiting the treadmill in a non-walking capacity again.  Tonight was apparently the night.  I don’t know if it was the adrenaline from reaching my new elliptical PB or just that I was excited that I got the gym earlier than usual and had some extra time to squeeze in more cardio before it was time to go home, but I looked at the treadmill tonight and had a you-don’t-look-so-tough moment.  “I’m gonna jog for five minutes,” I told myself.  And then, I just did it.  WHAT?

Something kind of weird/cool linked my workouts tonight.  First of all, it’s worth noting that they almost didn’t happen; I let myself fall victim to gymtimidation more often than I should.  Tonight, there was a row of skinny girls casually using the ellipticals while flipping through fashion magazines and not breaking a sweat, all without headphones in.  I might have immediately abandoned my plans for the elliptical tonight had the ONE that was still available not been one with the moving handlebars.  I told myself, “You know what?  Let’s show these pretty girls what a real workout looks like.”

They were gone 5 minutes later.

Then, of course, a headphoneless DUDE got on the machine RIGHT BESIDE ME and started his work-out.  I started feeling self-conscious again, but then I thought, “Oh, you wanna get all up next to me while I’m working here?  OK, fella.  I’m gonna outlast you.”

And I did.

In the last 2 minutes of my run, which were the most intense because I had decided to break my previous PB at that point, another pretty girl hopped on beside me.  This time, I grinned smugly to my sweaty reflection in the machine and amped my legs into overdrive.  At the end of the workout, all self-consciousness was gone.  When I saw 3.21 on the display, I raised my arms in the air in a victory pose.  I didn’t even notice if anyone looked at me funny for doing that.

Right after that, I grabbed a treadmill all the way against the wall, with one person directly in front of me doing her own run.  I noticed 2 minutes into my jog that that person was raising her arms in a victory pose every 60 seconds.  Oddly, that helped me keep going.

Oh, and the patron saint of women was watching me the whole time from the tray on my treadmill:


Someone had left a Rosie the Riveter sticker behind — with the backing still covering the adhesive portion.  After my successful jog, I stuck it in the front cover of my exercise log book (pictured).

OK, universe.  I hear you!  I’m raising my own bar.

Let’s lose some more weight, shall we?

DAY 153: Halftime

I can hardly believe it, but not too long ago, I reached the halfway point of my mission.

I had originally envisioned reaching this significant milestone sometime around my birthday in October, but I hit it more than two months ahead of schedule.  (As a lifelong overachiever, I’m pretty stoked about that.)  I had long planned to commemorate hitting the halfway point with something equally meaningful and that, like getting healthy, I have also always wanted to do:  get a single piercing in a non-lobe part of my ear.  Very early into my weight loss, I decided that for my birthday this year, I would give myself halfway-to-goal weight as a present, and finally put that coveted extra hole in my head.

Well, my body had other ideas.  It decided to scorch that timetable and reassign some of the meaning of the piercing.  (NO PROBLEM THERE!)

In July, when I knew halftime was imminent, my BFF from high school and I had a conversation in which we organically decided to go together so that she could get the two new tattoos she wanted and I could get the new piercing I wanted.  By coincidence, her two tattoos are each behind one of her ears, so there’s a bit of a friendship-bracelet aspect to my piercing now, too.  Between our competing and overbooked traveling schedules this summer, the soonest we could get in for our planned body defacements was this past Friday.  And we got ‘er done.


This piercing represents a binding contract:  No turning back.

This jewelry represents a binding contract:  Live with strength.

When I was choosing the stud for the piercing, I was torn between this one and a white-gold star.  The star had obvious symbolism (I’m a star! *eye roll*) and was less expensive.  I was drawn to this triangular cluster of three circles immediately, though.  I ultimately chose it over the star because I think it best represents the person I want to be and believe I am becoming: feminine and strong.  There’s nothing dainty about this earring, but it’s classic, elegant, and distinctly feminine.  In terms of the shape, circles have no beginning or end, they just keep going — I’ve got to just keep going.  My favorite thing, though, is the triangle that those circles form.  I recently heard an interview with an architect on a podcast I listen to, where the architect said that the triangle is the strongest shape because each side can bear an equal load, and even when one side bears more, its other two legs are capable of supporting it so it won’t collapse.  I found that interesting at the time — interesting enough to remember it many weeks later — but I didn’t attach any additional meaning to that sound byte until it came back to me as I was selecting my jewelry.  I smile every time I catch a glimmer of my new earring in the mirror and I think of that.

So, I have pierced the moment at halftime.  I’m never going back to that pathetic train wreck I was before.  In femininity and strength, I have been reborn.

The best part about being halfway there is, I know I’ve got this now.  When I first started, I had no idea if I would be able to see it through to the end this time.  There was a great deal of ground to be covered, and I had to completely change everything about the way I was living to make it possible to cover any of it.  It was a daunting task, and one I’ve run from before.  For whatever wonderful reason, though, I got down this time.  I got strong.  I got disciplined.  I got tough.  I got fearless.

I know I can lose this last half of the weight because, well, I’ve already done it once.  “I can’t” is the least valid it’s ever been.  I can’t NOTHING.

That’s pretty damn exciting.