DAY 715: Not drawn to scale

Getting back on the horse has been so exhausting and challenging, I can’t help but curse past-me for having gotten off in the first place.  That was dumb, past-me.  SHAME ON YOU/ME/US.

As I’ve most recently lamented, sleep has been a problem lately.  Just when the remedy to that arrived (my new mattress and box spring finally came at the end of last week!), I had a nasty allergic flare-up amid a sudden onset of spring that has woken me up persistently throughout the night so I can give in to full-body coughing fits.  It’s really just the loveliest.  I can only imagine how much worse it would be without my Rx antihistamines and allergy shots (though I really don’t have to imagine)!

This, and a slightly indulgent Saturday (two meals out that included mostly healthy choices, with the exception of one cocktail and one pastry, and zero gym time although I still made all my daily steps), converged to stall my weight loss.  My scale has been showing me wildly inconsistent numbers that seem like they’re just being randomly generated by some gremlin living inside the scale, and I’ve given in to weighing in often multiple times a day just to try to identify what my real weight might be.  Foolish and counter-productive, is what I’d call that venture.  I am now swearing off the scale until the end of this week.  I know for my own sake I can’t weigh in more than once a week.  Back to that.

Also, I’ve been generally slacking at the gym.  I still go for the most part, but I’ve been letting myself off the hook of really pushing myself.  I know the pounds aren’t gonna drop off for free; I have to pay for that shit with my sweat.  What I’ve been doing hasn’t been cutting it.  I know that, and yet I haven’t been pushing myself.  Come on, self.  Scale gremlin lives off this kind of laxness.

I’m also wearing orthotics now, as prescribed by my podiatrist.  As my body adjusts to their correctional effects, there’s some stiffness and soreness in random joints up and down my legs.  I know it’s temporary, but it is a bit of a hindrance.

Things are finally trending toward equilibrium, though, and I’ve slowly noticed I’m feeling more rested when I first get up in the morning.  I’ve even dared to let myself believe that the slimmer neck and shoulders on the body I’m seeing in the mirror might be real.

During my Sunday visit to the gym, I did some interval jogging on the treadmill for the first time in ages, maxing out on 3 minutes straight at 5.0 MPH.  Last night at the gym, I self-insisted on my arms circuit and event tried a new machine that had always been a little intimidating to me (the rower) before pushing myself on the elliptical (which only exists in models I don’t like at my gym).   Still not a profuse sweat, but a good start.  And honestly, the post-workout soreness from the two days combined is highly satisfying.

This morning, walking down the stairs to leave my building, I felt more energetic and lighter on my feet.

And then when I arrived at work today, I got the affirmation of a co-worker.

Her:  “You look like you’ve lost some weight.  Have you been losing weight?”
Me (out loud):  cheshire

Me (internally):  “Why, yes.  Yes, I have.”  (HEAR ME, SCALE GREMLIN!  HEAR ME!  **shakes fist**)

In your face, container of brownies that mocked me at the grocery store last Friday.  You can bite me.

DAY 686: Healthy competition

All right, I’ve officially done it: I’ve taken my mission to the streets.  And by “the streets,” I mean real life.

A friend and I have been gradually falling into a rhythm of accountability partnership for a few months now.  When I first got securely back on the wagon post-migraine, I announced to her on the following Monday morning that I was in an iron-clad agreement with myself to go to the gym that night.  She said she was planning on going to her gym that night, too.  We agreed to check in with each other later that evening about whether we had both met our obligations.  I told her when she asked me if I went, that if I said no, I wanted her to immediately follow up with, “Why the fuck not?”  Anything less than “because my legs fell off” would be an unacceptable excuse.  Fortunately – perhaps even consequently – when she did check in with me that evening, my answer was yes.

At the end of last week, we were talking about wanting to do a friendly steps challenge, but we have two different fitness trackers: I have Jiminy (commonly known as a VivoFit), and she has a Fitbit.  The idea seemed like a non-starter until we realized, hey, there’s an app for everything – there’s surely an app for competition between incompatible brands of fitness trackers.  Sure enough, I found an app/website called Stridekick, which we both immediately joined and created a private challenge on.  That challenge starts today.

While I do have a competitive streak that tends to become pretty fierce sometimes, the real driving force in this for me isn’t the pride points I’ll score when I mercilessly kick my friend’s ass; it’s from knowing the accountability is going to be instantaneous and displayed in hard numbers.  Jiminy will immediately betray me if my numbers aren’t up to scratch, so I’ve gotta earn those steps.  You can do challenges other than total steps on Sidetrack, and also against as many people as you want instead of just 1:1, but this seemed the best place to start.  My friend and I have similar schedules, so it’s a fair fight in terms of possible time investment.  There’s a bit of competition in DietBet, of course, with monetary stakes, but I like the personal element the head-to-head competition adds.  Plus, this brings positive reinforcement to my potential to succeed in my DietBets, and in my overall mission in the long term.  It seems a worthwhile experiment, at least.

Both my Stridekick challenge and my DietBets end with this month, so a lot will be revealed on February 28th.  No time to lose, so if you’ll excuse me, I’d better… uh… get to steppin’.

DAY 681: Febru-wary

Oh, man. I finally hit the gym for the first time in ages two nights ago, and I was sore the entire next day.  I’m actually still feeling it in my muscles even today, but I have a deal with myself to hit the gym religiously every other day no matter what, until there is no soreness the next day.  At that point, I’ll add strength training back into the mix and do that every other day, but cardio every time I go to the gym, which will be at least 5 days per week.  That will get me back to where I was when things were all going right.

Sooo, like a good little-big girl, I went back tonight.  I didn’t make it as long or push myself as hard as I did two nights ago, but I did what I needed to do.  It does feel good to know I’m moving again, and the physical exertion cyclically reinforces the effort of the good eating habits.

Unfortunately, I moved in July, and I HATE my new(ish) gym.  I hate, hate, hate it.  The equipment is cruddy, it’s always way too crowded, and the people it’s crowded with are mostly meathead guys who think they’re bad-asses, but really, they’re skinny little punks who sit on the weight machines and pay more attention to their phone than the time elapsing between their sets.  Assholes.  Furthermore, none of the machines — cardio or weights — are the type I like or am used to, and there aren’t enough of them to go around so as to avoid waiting to work out.  Seriously, I hate this damn gym.

All this to say, the coaxing I have to do to get myself to go to the gym when I’m feeling under motivated, is even more difficult now that I have to go do something hard at a place I despise.  I mean, it could be worse, but man, does this place suck!

Added to that, I have a fun new twist on an old story: the heel spur I’ve had since July of 2015 is still around.  Not only is it still around, but it’s begun to become painful instead of just annoying.  Now that I’ve resumed working out, I’ve noticed a difference in the way I’m distributing my weight on my feet, which has made me conscientious of how I walk and stand in regular daily situations.  I’ve apparently been compensating for the discomfort caused by my bone spur.  I don’t want that to cause a whole new set of problems, so I’m seeing my podiatrist on Friday.  I hope he can take care of it right then and there instead of asking me to do stretches at home for a few weeks or something, cuz I’m not trying to deal with this anymore.  If I end up needing any form of treatment that requires me to be off of my feet for any period of time, I’m prepared for that, and I will find ways to keep moving so I get some burn in.  It just has to stop.

February is off to a kind of meh start, but I am still feeling committed and resolute, even if a little wary.

DAY 395: The Skinny on Obesity

One of my tried-and-true tricks for helping myself refocus when I need a reminder of why losing weight is THE priority, is to watch some of the videos that helped positively reinforce my mindset at the very beginning.  I’ve mentioned this before in specific reference to the British series “Fat Doctor” and the role it played in shaping my work early on.  (I still recommend that one, particularly the episode I’ve linked to in my 12/1/15 entry.)  My current rut is the first time I’ve gained back a great deal of weight, and it feels the worst because of the milestone(s) I undid by allowing that to happen.  So, I’ve been doing a lot of self-cheerleading to recreate my positive attitude and remind myself that I’ve done it before, therefore, I can do it again.

Several weeks ago, I discovered a series of documentary-style videos by the University of California called The Skinny on Obesity.  I watched the whole set in the dead of winter when it was hard to convince myself that going outside was really necessary, and the motivation I got out of it was enough to last me a few weeks.  Not only was it interesting and informative, but it was presented in a very clear and matter-of-fact way that was easy to follow.  I learned a lot from these videos and have already returned to them many times for more inspiration and education.  Altogether, the entire suite takes just about an hour to watch, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.  However, if I had to recommend only one video, it would be this one.  More than anything I’ve ever read, watched, or heard, this presents information in such a clear way that it made me feel like I understand food at a basic level for the first time in all of my years on Earth.  Watching this video in particular, it was like a series of light bulbs going off.  Just eye-opening stuff.

Soooo, partially in thanks to the lessons these shorts have re-taught me, I’m on a vegetarian diet this week.  I’ve done this a few times since beginning my mission over a year ago, and it’s consistently yielded good results.  I’m not totally after just a drop on the scale this time, though; I’m in a position where I actually need to re-detox — which I remember the symptoms of and can feel happening — and reset the way I think about and consume food.  My plan of attack in the gym this week is light:  just arm weights and maybe a mile here or there on the elliptical if the mood takes me, or in the unlikely event that I don’t make my steps on a given day.  Next week, I intend to ramp it up.

One reason I’m letting myself off the hook physically is that I don’t want to overwhelm myself with so many readjustments that I’m setting myself up for further frustrations when I fall short, which is bound to happen when you try to change every single thing in one fell swoop.  Unfortunately, though, the self-hook-letting-off is primarily out of responsibility:  I have a knee injury.  I say that without knowing what it actually is; I just know I have some occasional shooting pain and there’s a lot of cracking and sustained soreness going on.  I want to get below the lowest weight I had hit and see if that’s enough to alleviate it, but without overexerting it in the process.  So, elliptical only so it doesn’t put too much pressure on my joints, and not until next week once I’ve got the food part on lock.  Also, I’m in a really shitty mood this week, so it’s just not the time to be forcing myself into stuff I know I’ll be too petulant to actually do, which will only create disappointment in myself.  (Ahh, self-awareness.)

Something that was reinforced to me through this whole lost month I just had is that all the pieces I had delicately set up to keep myself on track are very important.  It’s not just the big, obvious parts, like meal planning and working out; it’s also the small forms of positive reinforcement through podcasts, articles, videos, and writing in this blog.  It all matters, so it all needs to happen.  Lesson re-learned.

On that note, I hope you’ll watch the videos I plugged and find some motivation in them for yourself.  If nothing else, the educational value is incredible, so share far and wide!

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 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 339: Walk this way!

It may not always seem like it, but I try to keep this blog strictly focused on my experience with weight loss and getting healthy, not on my other personal experiences (unless they pertinently intersect).  I’ve been a little absent from the blog circuit the last two weeks because I’ve been dealing with a complicated situation at work that has taken up a lot of my energy and brain space, and as a result, I really haven’t had the drive to write about the  great un-fattening.  I’m getting a better handle on things now, and I think I have a pertinent intersection to exploit here.

Before I drag you there, though, I’ll cut to the chase:  I’m still dealing, and it’s not always pretty or perfect, but I am 100% still on the wagon.  Full disclosure:  I had three extra pieces of chocolate yesterday. *shrugs*  That was my only unplanned transgression throughout this entire ordeal, and I’ve been getting my burn on all the while, so I’m gonna go ahead and not berate myself over a few hundred extra — and, might I add, delicious — calories.  As someone who would have previously gone hog wild and capitulated to the pressure by buying up the entire post-Valentine’s Day candy clearance aisle  at the CVS down the street, I’m gonna call three extra pieces of chocolate a total NON-event.  I’m not kidding, guys.  I feel about chocolate the way Oprah feels about bread.  Three pieces in one night, instead of a bag of chocolate every night, ain’t no thing.

Now, on to the part where I’m somehow keeping myself from cracking.

I’ve made previous references in this blog to the hell that was January of 2015.  What I’m going through professionally right now is not comparable in terms of the events, but it gets damn close in terms of the pressure.  The big difference between last January and this February is that, after months of making myself into a better sharer of my struggles, I want to talk about it.  The trouble with that is that there are limits on being able to talk about it for practical reasons, especially with people at work.  The rest of the trouble is that talking about work with people who don’t work with you is a REEEEEEAL BORE for them.  Honestly, I’m a pretty good conversationalist and I care deeply about my loved ones, but sometimes when they start discussing their job woes with me, I can feel my eyes start to glaze over and I have to make an effort to stay invested in the conversation.  A person who doesn’t work with you is just never going to be able to relate to or share your level of outrage, frustration, gossipy awe, etc., because they aren’t in the game with you.  I know that rationally, and even as I’m reminding myself of those facts, I find myself bummed that the handful of people I’ve shared details with outside of work haven’t responded to my in-person dramatizations, scandalized e-mails, or heavily punctuated texts in a way that meets my satisfaction.  I keep it to myself and it eats away at me; I share it with others and it turns out not to be that constructive (even if it does mitigate some of the stress).  What’s a girl to do?

Move.  That’s what.

Last Thursday, I had a full-on breakdown.  It involved a type of crying I haven’t done in so long that I can’t remember, the corner of a dark room, and a call to my parents.  I walked my ass to the gym after work, determined to get my control back, and I punished that elliptical.  Steps, check.

On Sunday, I had a jam-packed day of social commitments, starting from before the gym opened and lasting through after it closed — damn you, restricted weekend hours!  To ensure that I got all my steps in, I walked 6 miles to my friend’s house in the morning so we could start the day together.  Steps exceeded before 9 AM.

Yesterday and the day before, we had monsoon-level rain storms.  On Tuesday, I went to the gym, anyway.  Yesterday, I saw a break in the downpour in the early afternoon and repurposed my lunch hour to an hour of walking in long circles around a park near my office.  I made steps both days.

I’m still on my perfect streak with hitting my daily steps goals for February.  I refuse to be stopped.  This is the real test, right?  What am I made of?

I’m made of the will to succeed.  I will NOT let work derail me.  Not this time.

I’ve done my best thinking about this whole situation during my long walks or runs.  I am so thankful to the me of last year for deciding to change my life.  If I were still that same person, before taking the literal steps that turned it all around, I wouldn’t be able to handle this.  Even now, I have a whole list of excuses available to me to backslide and stuff my face with sugar:  I’m tired.  I’m stressed.  I’m confused.  I’m frustrated.  I’m on my period.  (Not sorry that you know that.  Women menstruate.  Then they talk about it.  Be a grownup and get over it.)  The difference is, I’m finding that I actually don’t want to eat to feel better.  I want to move.  Moving to relieve stress is at least productive.  Eating to relieve stress is opening a door to the past that is better left cemented shut.

Anyway, there are a few people who read this who have reached out to make sure I’m OK because I’ve been conspicuously and uncharacteristically quiet on my blog and on Diet Bet.  Thank you so much for your concern.  I sincerely appreciate it, and I’m touched by your messages.  I am OK.  Really.  I may be a little inactive for a bit longer on the internet, but I promise you, I am not being inactive anywhere else.

DAY 319: Protein shake-up

I’ve noticed something strange this week:  I’m hungry.

Ever since I got myself to within a limited daily range of calories, I have not felt hungry except when it’s time to eat.  My body is accustomed to the 7-7:30 breakfast, 10-10:30 AM snack, 1-1:30 lunch, 4-4:30 PM snack, and 7-7:30 dinner schedule I’ve been on since late March, and it’s been a dream.  I’m programmed now, both mentally and physically, to expect food at these 3-hour intervals, so I don’t fall for trick cravings or get hungry at unusual times.  I know when the food is coming, I get hungry for it right before my meals, and I feel satisfied afterwards.

Annoyingly, this week has been different.  I’m voracious when I wake up, which is really strange.  Mornings are typically the time when I’m hungriest, but this week, I’ve been waking up with the appetite of someone who hasn’t eaten in days.  I feel OK after breakfast until AM snack, but then the intervening time up until lunch is a real slog.  Normally, I’m impervious to the smells of other people’s lunches in my office if they eat earlier than I do (which is most of them), but I’m painfully aware this week of how jealous I am that they’re eating and I’m not as soon as I pick up the scent of someone else’s food.  I finally eat lunch, and I’m not satisfied with it, so it’s misery until PM snack, which is also not satisfying.  I leave the office, internally whine my way through a workout at the gym, and go home all crabby because I’m hungry, sweaty, and tired, with no expectation of being satiated by the dinner I’m about to consume.  That prophecy fulfills itself and I end up eating another snack, which also fails to make me feel full, so then I’m mad at myself for taking in extra calories that did nothing for me in the end.  It pretty much sucks.

Last night, with my mind and stomach both churning as I was lying in bed hoping to fall asleep, it hit me:  I didn’t allot for enough protein in my meal planning this week.

Wow.  Rookie mistake.

I think I got a little too cocky with my planning game ever since I stopped using My Fitness Pal religiously to calculate my food for the week.  In my defense, it’s been working, but things have changed a bit since I’ve been on my souping kick.  Until this week, I was getting enough fish or chicken from my lunches to account for what is often an absence of meat in my soupy dinners in terms of my protein intake, but this week, I missed the mark.  My lunches are a VERY small portion of beef and broccoli (in which the ratio of broccoli to beef is very much higher on the broccoli side) with whole grain rice, and my dinners are a smaller-than-usual portion of puréed bean and parsnip soup with a side of Brussels sprouts (surprise, surprise).  My cooking this week yielded enough for maybe 4 real servings, but I portioned out 6 to last me through the week.  It isn’t enough in that respect alone, not to mention the very limited amount of protein I’m getting from it because of my poor macro planning.  Result:  hunger.

Soooooo, I’ve already concocted a much more robust meal plan for next week, which WILL give me the appropriate amount of protein and will hopefully get my hunger back in check.  I’m looking forward to my honey-curried chicken salads and turkey meatball soup with farro and kale.

This weight-loss scene, man.  So much to learn.


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 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. 😀