DAY 739: Whoa, we’re halfway there!

BONJOVI-2

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 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.”

…Probably.

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 317: ME WANT COOKIIIIIIIIIIE

I’m gonna give away the ending here:  I ate 3 cookies today.  Three delicious, dense, perfectly-textured cookies from a caterer for a meeting that was not even mine.  One was chocolate chip, one was white-chocolate-dipped chocolate-chocolate chip, and one was white-chocolate-dipped gingerbread.

I am SO GLAD I did that.

You know, it’s not often that I really want to indulge these days.  When I do feel a craving, I can usually identify it as a passing fancy entirely brought on by the power of suggestion, i.e. yumminess simply being there.  Before I knew there were sinful foods around, I wasn’t thinking about them, and therefore I didn’t actually want them.  When I performed the superhuman feat of resisting my mom’s legendary chocolate chip cookies while holed up at my parents’ house for 4 nights and 4 days last month, I was really working on conquering cravings and mastering will power.  I know I won’t always be perfect, but I sure was for those hours of constant temptation.  (My medal should be arriving any day now.)

So how can I possibly be glad that I went on what some would consider a binge on cookies mere hours ago?  Well, here’s why:

  1. I really fucking wanted cookies, and I am a human in a world where cookies exist, and giving up treats for life was never part of my deal with myself.  So I ate cookies and promised myself I would enjoy every bite, and that’s exactly what I did.
  2. This was not some slippery slope into reversion to the girl I was 100+ pounds ago.  I ate my 3 cookies, finished the day of work, and went to the gym before coming home.
  3. Counterintuitively, the cookies are the reason I worked out, AND the reason I did my full workout.  In fact, the intensity with which I wanted those cookies earlier matched the intensity with which I did NOT want to go to the gym tonight.  But the cookies are what got me there.  And when I wanted to quit 10 minutes into my hour, as I was staring at the seconds ticking down to the 10-minute mark and preparing to stop my run and hop off the elliptical, my eyes scanned left and saw that I had only burned 198 calories.  That’s not even one cookie gone.  That settled that; I wasn’t going anywhere.  5.24 miles and 798 torched calories later, it’s safe to say those cookies are history.  Even if that’s all I burned off today, the fact that I did HIIT for an hour means that my body is going to spend the next several hours attacking other calories.  I still created my caloric deficit today and got in a quality sweat.

 

Thank you, cookies!  You were everything I wanted and more, and I will always think of you fondly.

I’m just gonna piggy-back off of that and give a shout out to my body.  It’s doing wonderful work lately.  Last week, I gave it both pints of the Häagen Dazs that spent several weeks in my freezer, and my body basically laughed at me by giving me a four-pound drop on the scale — my biggest drop since early October.  Like, “Really?  You think I’m scared of a little ice cream?  I remember this stuff.  Nice try.”  I’m so glad my body and my mind have the same defiant streak.

Then yesterday morning, for the sheer hell of it, I decided to try on my purple oh-honey pants that were more than a size too small at the time of purchase less than a month ago.  BOOM!  Those suckers fit.  When I got them, they didn’t even make it up around my hips; they now zip and fasten fine.  They are NOT ready for public display because they give me some bulge spillage (sexy), but they will be soon enough.

So it seems my doctor was right:  my body loves me right now.  And I love it!

Moral of the story:  I’m not endorsing a Häagen Dazs diet here, but don’t let anyone tell you desserts are always a bad idea.  Sometimes they’re exactly what you need: mind, body, and soul.

 

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.”

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 200: Milestones update

Welcome to the fourth installment of my milestones updates!

This is occurring at an opportune time in my progress, because I’ve hit the dreaded slowdown.  Ironically, the changes I’m seeing in my body have never been more pronounced, but the scale has never been less cooperative.  Good thing I have other ways of measuring the victories!  You can skip the first 3 sections if you’re not into the recaps from the first 150 days.  Otherwise, let the self-horn-tooting begin!


Achieved within first 71 days

  1. Find a sports bra that fits so I can even work out. When I first started losing weight, I couldn’t get into any of the ones I could find.
  2. Grab my foot from behind when my leg is bent at the knee in order to stretch out my thigh.
  3. Walk at a 3.0 MPH pace without struggling.  This feels SO SLOW now!
  4. Make it up one flight of stairs without getting winded.
  5. Stop snoring and start sleeping better.
  6. Lose 10 lbs.
  7. Lose 25 lbs.
  8. Be under the weight limit to stand on the step stool.


Achieved between days 72 and 100

  1. Sit on my own furniture.
  2. Paint my own toe nails without contorting myself.  
  3. Close my towel the whole way around me when I get out of the shower.  
  4. Wear the oh-honey pair of pants I bought on April 11th.
  5. Wear the oh-honey shirt I bought on May 2nd.   
  6. Walk a mile at 3.5 MPH.  This is now my normal walking speed.
  7. Get 3 miles on the fat burn setting on the elliptical.   
  8. Tie my shoes without having to sit down.
  9. Go down a notch on my Vivo Fit band.   
  10. Lose 50 lbs.
  11. Lose 10% of starting weight.   
  12. GOAL REDACTED.
  13. Put ankle on opposite knee without having to use hands.   …wow.
  14. Fit into a restaurant booth.  
  15. Wear shirt size XL.
  16. Do 200 miles in a month.


Achieved between days 100 and 150

  1. Fit into my plaid rain coat.  This sucker is baggy now!
  2. Go down a half shoe size.
  3. Wear a dress.  I am officially a dress lover.
  4. Fit comfortably into airplane seats.  No problem.  🙂
  5. GOAL REDACTED.
  6. Get away from pre-diabetic sugar levels.  You know something’s wrong with your head when you look forward to going back to see your doctor in four months with hopes of getting more blood work done.
  7. Fold down the tray table from the seat in front of me on a plane.
  8. Lose 25% from heaviest weight.
  9. Lose 75 pounds.
  10. Wear my ring on my middle finger.
  11. Wear a swimsuit in public.
  12. Hike up a mother-effing mountain, with mother-effing company.
  13. Reach halfway point of weight-loss mission!**
  14. Laugh-cried while trying on the “before” dress, which I put on by stepping through the neck hole.**
  15. Purchased and wore high heels!**


Achieved between days 150 and 200

  1. Fit into my red jacket.
  2. Jogged 5 minutes without stopping.**  On a total whim.
  3. Jogged a mile without stopping.  On a total whim.
  4. Jogged 1.5 mile without stopping.**
  5. Wore shirt size L.
  6. Wore skinny jeans.**
  7. Bent over and touch my toes without bending at the knee.** 
  8. Wore a skirt.**
  9. Got too small for an oh-honey item of clothing.**  BFD!  BFD!
  10. Crossed my legs.
  11. Fit into only my side of the bench on Metro.
  12. Did 225+ miles in a month.**
  13. Hosted my first Diet Bet!**
  14. This progress on my first Transformer (which I’ll be winning next week!):
    Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 10.21.09 PM


Goals to be achieved

  1. Jog in and complete a 5K.
  2. Fit into one leg of my fat-girl gray pants.
  3. Wear a single-digit dress size.
  4. Wear a single-digit pants size.
  5. No longer be in “overweight” category (BMI <25).
  6. Wear shirt size M.
  7. GOAL REDACTED.
  8. Reach final weight goal.
  9. GOAL REDACTED.
  10. GOAL REDACTED.
  11. GOAL REDACTED.
  12. Get out of plus sizes.
  13. Switch to the small Vivo Fit band.
  14. Wear a belt.
  15. See my feet over my belly when I look down (standing still).
  16. Fit into roller coasters. I couldn’t do it at a theme park 2 years ago, and had to wait around for my friend to go through the line and ride it by herself — sucked for both of us.I’m absolutely sure I could cross this off now, but I haven’t had the chance to test it yet, so it stays on the to-do list.
  17. Do 250 miles in a month.

Watch this space.

*Some goals are too personal/embarrassing to publish, so I’m curating selectively.
**These were not on my list of goals, but they were notable milestones that I hit during this period.