DAY 300: Milestones update


As promised, here is a long-overdue milestones update to commemorate day 300 of my mission!

Even though it’s been 100 days between updates rather than the usual 50 I’ve tried to stick to, there are fewer notable milestones that I hit this time.  HOWEVER, they are much more significant.  Among these major accomplishments, which I view as probably my most important, #6 is the one I’m proudest of.  I’m getting over some of my awkwardness around how fat I used to be/still am.  I still haven’t gotten to the point where I feel OK with sharing my starting weight or my goal weight, but I have un-redacted all of my goals, and that’s a pretty big step (and also pretty big clues as to what those numbers are).  The personal growth is an amazing byproduct of the hard work and physical changes.

I won’t completely spoil it all in the preamble.  Check it out for yourselves.  (Skip to the end if you’re not interested in reliving my first 200 days.)

Achieved within first 71 days

  1. Found 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. Grabbed my foot from behind when my leg is bent at the knee in order to stretch out my thigh.
  3. Walked at a 3.0 MPH pace without struggling.
  4. Made it up one flight of stairs without getting winded.
  5. Stopped snoring and start sleeping better.
  6. Lost 10 lbs.
  7. Lost 25 lbs.
  8. Got under the weight limit to stand on the step stool.

Achieved between days 72 and 100

  1. Sat on my own furniture.
  2. Painted my own toe nails without contorting myself.  
  3. Closed my towel the whole way around me when I get out of the shower.  
  4. Wore the oh-honey pair of pants I bought on April 11th.
  5. Wore the oh-honey shirt I bought on May 2nd.   
  6. Walked a mile at 3.5 MPH.
  7. Got 3 miles on the fat burn setting on the elliptical.   
  8. Tied my shoes without having to sit down.
  9. Went down a notch on my Vivo Fit band.   
  10. Lost 50 lbs.
  11. Lost 10% of starting weight.
  12. Stood for prolonged periods of time without numbness in my leg.  (FORMERLY REDACTED GOAL)
  13. Put ankle on opposite knee without having to use hands.   
  14. Fit into a restaurant booth.  
  15. Wore shirt size XL.
  16. Did 200 miles in a month.

Achieved between days 100 and 150

  1. Fit into my plaid rain coat.
  2. Went down a half shoe size.
  3. Wore a dress.
  4. Fit comfortably into airplane seats.
  5. No longer in “extremely obese” category (BMI <40).  (FORMERLY REDACTED GOAL)
  6. Got away from pre-diabetic sugar levels.
  7. Folded 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. Wore my ring on my middle finger.
  11. Wore a swimsuit in public.
  12. Hiked up a mother-effing mountain, with mother-effing company.
  13. Reached 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.**  
  3. Jogged a mile without stopping.
  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.**  
  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!**

Achieved between days 200 and 300

  1. Switched to the small Vivo Fit band.
  2. Got out of plus sizes.
  3. Wore two oh-honey rings that have never fit before.**
  4. Lost 30% of starting weight.**
  5. Lost 100 pounds.
  6. Got the hell over myself and some of my weird privacy hang-ups.**

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. No longer be in “obese” category (BMI <30).  (FORMERLY REDACTED GOAL)
  8. Reach final weight goal.
  9. Reach 50% of starting weight.  (FORMERLY REDACTED GOAL)
  10. Lose 150 pounds.  (FORMERLY REDACTED GOAL)
  11. Wear a belt.
  12. See my feet over my belly when I look down (standing still).
  13. 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.
  14. Do 250 miles in a month.
  15. Fit large VivoFit band around my ankle.

Watch this space.

**These were not on my list of goals, but they were notable milestones that I hit during this period.

DAY 292: Happy medium

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

I love my friends.

I love my purple pants.

I love my medium sweater.

DAY 290: Sweet dreams

My subconscious is hilarious.  Between the competitive baking shows I’m now hooked on watching and the absence of sugary deliciousness in my life since leaving my family after Christmas “break,” I am constantly dreaming of desserts!  I wake up in the morning half-convinced that it was all true, and I really spent the past several hours pigging out on brownies, cupcakes, cookies, cakes, pies, fudge, ice cream, and solid blocks of chocolate.

I’ve had this type of strange dreaming happen before:  when I very first started losing, and over the summer when it started getting tiresome.  I’m not worried about it, I’m purely amused.  It’s like my inner child is screaming for goodies and the only way it can have them is in my nocturnal imagination.  OK, inner child!  Enjoy the fake calories!

One of the key things I’ve embraced from the start is not to practice absolute, categorical denial of anything.  I have sound reasons beyond the obvious “I don’t wanna,” and they’re my big 3:

  1. It’s unrealistic.  Eliminating entire swaths of food from your diet may yield drastic losses in the beginning, but it’s not sustainable in the long term.  Once you inevitably reintroduce your no-no food group, there’s a much higher likelihood that you will over-indulge like a fiend, and you’ll end up right back where you started.  Furthermore, are you really going to go through the rest of your life without ever having another slice of birthday cake, glass of champagne, or piece of candy?  No, you’re not, and you don’t want to.  Admit it now and you can work around it.
  2. It’s unhealthy.  The secret to all of this is balance.  If you cut out a whole brick of the food pyramid, you’ll have to figure out how to consume the good nutrients that were in that brick from somewhere else.  That’s math you’re not going to want to do.  Just eat less of the less-good stuff and you’ll be fine.
  3. It’s avoiding the real problem.  If you’re an over-eater, losing weight is extra challenging, and that’s because you don’t know how to eat just enough.  Without mastering moderation and portion control, you’re not going to truly change the bad habits that landed you in Fat Land in the first place.  You have to invest the time in training yourself to learn this new way of nourishing yourself.  Swearing off certain foods is not the way to do that.


***Of course, there are exceptions to this:  foods with no nutritional value, or that are chemical based rather than nutrient based, like pop.  I fully gave that shit up ages ago.  Everyone should!

In summary, the best approach — inherent difficulty notwithstanding! — is to keep everything in your diet, but learn how to control it.  It’s absolutely easier said than done, but it’s the only way.  Staying away from some foods entirely will only make your cravings for those foods harder and harder to resist until you eventually cave massively and end up hating yourself for the binge you go on.  It’s the oldest cliché in the weight-loss book, but it is a lifestyle change, and that means… CHANGING YOUR LIFESTYLE.

Meal planning and preparation solved almost all of that problem for me, and it’s why I can feel comfortable having a pint of Häagen-Dazs in my freezer right now.  I bought it two days ago and had actually forgotten it was there until I opened my freezer door this morning while putting my lunch together and saw it.  At this time last year, it would have been impossible for both of us to be in the same living quarters without me either constantly thinking about it or devouring the whole tub in one sitting.  This pint is for a special occasion, though, making it a low-risk temptation.  (Full disclosure:  There are 2 pints in there, but the second one will be for a later date when I feel like it’s appropriate.)

Conventional wisdom in weight loss is that you’re not supposed to reward yourself or celebrate milestones with food.  That makes perfect sense to me and I have adhered to it like a champ.  However, I’m making an exception for a few notable events coming up the week of January 17th:

  • The 17th is day 300 of my mission.  That’s a BFD, and it deserves recognition.
  • The 17th and 18th are also weigh-out dates for two of my DietBets that I have rather big numbers to pull in order to hit, but the fact that I was able to make it even a possibility that I could win after falling back around the holidays is reason enough to celebrate for me.
  • The 19th, I have a follow-up appointment with my doctor.  The last time I saw her was in mid-July, when she told me she bet she wouldn’t even recognize me the next time she saw me.  I had someone who recently came back to work from maternity leave actually not recognize me when we saw each other yesterday for the first time in 4 months, so I’m hoping my doctor’s prediction will be true.  And that will be after SIX months without seeing each other!
  • I’m closing in on losing 100 pounds, and if I keep up the pace, it’ll happen in time for that week.


So, yes.  Chocolate-peanut butter ice cream is in order that week.

I’m crazy enough to be looking forward to more sweet dreams tonight!

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 286: Fun with food

One of the ways I’ve found of making this whole weight-loss racket enjoyable has been through trying new recipes.  I’ve always liked cooking, but I got away from it for a long time because of a combination of no time (full-time job + grad school is a BAD idea), a presumed lack of logic in preparing full meals for one person, and sheer laziness — Hot Pockets are easier.

In 2015, long before any weight-loss efforts commenced, I had the idea (NOT resolution style!) that I would try making at least one new recipe every week.  I can gladly report that I was successful in that endeavor.  I doubled up on new recipes a few times, which made up for weeks when I was traveling and not doing any cooking.  It was a great experiment, and it led me to become more creative and adventuresome in the kitchen.  It also helped me discover that there are foods I didn’t think I liked that — hey! — I do like!  (I’m looking at you, Brussels sprouts.  I’m sorry I stalked you.  Please repeal your restraining order against me.)

When I threw in the added element of trying to lose weight, my food preparation routine was a true gift.  Not only did it ensure that my meals were already planned, pre-portioned, and ready to grab and eat, it also made it virtually impossible for me to get bored of what I was eating.    To keep up with the need for at least one new recipe every week, I subscribed to the paper editions of Cooking Light, Clean Eating, All Recipes, Eating Well, and Bon Appétit.  I also started following a few cooking blogs at Brussels-sprouts levels of obsession.  I can’t get enough!  I’ve loved this accidental culinary eduction, and I’ve even grown to love my ritual of cooking pretty much all day Sunday in preparation for the week ahead.

Through my forays into the wide world of recipes, I have developed a particular appreciation, and knack, for picking apart several recipes and Frankensteining them with my own strokes of inspiration into formulas that I think would add up to something yummy.  It has not led me astray yet.  I was particularly proud of what I concocted for this week:  spiced butternut squash soup.

I used to shy away from making very involved soups like this.  All the recipes I’ve ever seen for butternut squash soup call for roasting the squash, then cooking it stove top for a while with all the seasonings and other ingredients (which usually include heavy cream, a no-no for me), THEN putting the whole mess into a blender fresh from the hot pot, and serving.  That sounded like a poorly sequenced series of steps to me, and it also daunted me to think about handling a hot mixture and putting it directly into my finicky blender.  Finally feeling confident enough to tinker around with this myself, and since the eastern US has finally decided it should start acting like winter here, I went for it this week.

Luckily, my local grocery stores carry pre-sliced, pre-seeded chunks of butternut squash, so that spared me probably an hour’s worth of work.  A pound and 4 ounces costs a surprisingly reasonable $2.99, so I was able to pick up 3 packs for what I would normally spend on a large package of chicken breast.  I cut the squash cubes into slightly smaller chunks, then tossed them directly into a pot of boiling water as if getting ready to make mashed potatoes.  Ain’t nobody got time for roasting.  Once the chunks were tender, I strained them, let them cool for about 20 minutes, and then blended them with coconut milk and vegetable broth until smooth.  Finally, I poured the contents of the blender back into the pot and seasoned the hell out of it with savory spices, then let it cook at a simmer until the thickness just kind of looked right.

It.  Tastes.  AWESOME.

I will admit that much of the reason I’m posting this is that I just want to broadcast my soup success to anyone who will listen.  Beyond that, though, it’s a great example of how this process of losing weight can go when it goes well.  It’s ALL an experiment.  It’s about forcing yourself to be brave enough to try something new and knowing that there’s no wrong way to do a good (read: healthy) thing for the right (read: healthy) reasons.  It boils down to one thing:  TRY.  You might even have fun.  🙂

So, I’m extra into soups now, and have learned through one of my aforementioned recipe magazine subscriptions that “souping” is the new juicing.  It’s just what it sounds like.  You heard it here first!  Maybe!  Anyway, I think I’d like to try a new soup every week for January.  If anyone out there in the DietBet crowd/blogosphere has a beloved soup recipe they’d be kind enough to share, please post it here or send it to me in a message.  I’d really appreciate your help in building my ever-expanding recipe arsenal!

Many thanks and happy souping!

DAY 281: ENTJ(-A)

I just got back from a week-long holiday fog.  For some reason, part of my family time included taking the (unofficial) Myers-Briggs personality test with 3 members of my family and 2 friends from high school.

I have a slight history with this test.  I’ve taken it a handful of times over the years, sometimes in professional contexts and sometimes in a spirit of what-the-hell.  I never committed my “type” to memory because every time I took it, I got a different result.  It was interesting to read, but it never felt entirely right.  Too many of my answers were really “it depends,” so I would give neutral answers, making it hard to type me accurately.  Furthermore, I’m generally a special combination of adaptable and indecisive, so I’m kind of just always ready to react and can figure my way through things in the absence of a plan, rare though those situations may be for me because I always need a plan.  The zodiac has me totally pegged; Myers-Briggs, not so much.  Go figure, huh?

Well, this time, I took a test modeled on Myers-Briggs 3 times on 3 different metrics and got the exact same type each time.  It was a type I’ve never gotten before.  How can I be sure of that when I JUST said that I never bothered remembering the type because it was different every time?  Every other time, the types had to do with being diplomatic, being solicitous, being dependable.  The results I got this time were different.  This I would have remembered.  I took it three times because I was so stricken by the result of taking it the first time, that I demanded a recount and took it a second time on a second site, and was so shocked by that that I found a third test to take.  I would have taken it a fourth if I wasn’t so exhausted from the incessant self-analysis (or if a link to another reputable measure had fallen directly into my lap).

Yeah, I got a little obsessive about all of a sudden being a solid ENTJ  (Extraverted, iNtuitive, Thinking, Judging).

I had very strong reactions to reading the various synopses about type ENTJ.  Before I launch into this full throttle — and I’ll avoid detailing every single fee-fee I experienced so as not to annoy the hell out of anyone reading this — I will say that I know it’s useless to put too much stock into these things.  Our human idiosyncrasies make it so that anyone can be any type in any given situation, and these types are indicators of tendencies towards certain behaviors rather than a black-and-white classification of who one is at one’s core.  (And arguably, my reaction to discovering my type disproves the test results.  Meta enough for ya?)  Still, I was a little blown away at some of what I read about my typology.  Here are two snippets of the worst of it:

“Few other types can equal their ability to remain resolute in conflict, sending the valiant (and often leading the charge) into the mouth of hell. When challenged, the ENTJ may by reflex become argumentative. Alternatively (s)he may unleash an icy gaze that serves notice: the ENTJ is not one to be trifled with.”  —

My family and long-time friends found it hilarious that I was at once associated with fiery hell and icy gazes.  Someone in the room made a joking comment about my being “the icy mouth of hell.”  One of my good friends of 15 years, when I finished reading this page aloud with a completely baffled inflection and horrified look on my face, responded to my indignation with a pause and then, “This comes as a surprise to no one.”  But to me, it makes me sound hot-headed and cold-hearted.  The rest of the write-up basically called this type a callous, insensitive jerk.  There are a lot of things in the synopsis that are true, but I really struggled with the idea that I might be that hardened.  I expressed that, and my loved ones helped me understand that I could probably come off that way for people who don’t know me, especially in a formal/professional setting, but that I had never made any of them feel that way.  They reminded me that I’m the one they come to with their problems — why would they do that if I really were the icy mouth of hell?  Still, is this what strangers get from me, even if I’m not trying to project a don’t-fuck-with-me vibe (which, admittedly, I often am)?  Yikes.

My interpretation?  “You’re kind of an intimidating bitch with no regard for human emotion.”

Next nugget:

“[…]ENTJs are characterized by an often ruthless level of rationality, using their drive, determination and sharp minds to achieve whatever end they’ve set for themselves. Perhaps it is best that they make up only three percent of the population, lest they overwhelm the more timid and sensitive personality types that make up much of the rest of the world…” —

While ENTJs make up only 3% of the (US) population, only 1% are women (and this source says ENTJs are only 2% of the population, not even 3).  Next… ruthless?!  I’m rational, yeah, but SHIT.  Ruthless?  That word came up A LOT in all the different things I read while indulging my narcissism, and it was hard to ignore.  The only other word that came up with that frequency was “arrogant,” which to me is the most abhorrent trait in a human being, and I hate that I may be that way myself. takes this typing a step further with a hyphenated suffix at the end of the 4-letter code, either the letter A (assertive) or T (turbulent [which I think would be better described as timid]).  Guess which one this ENTJ asshole got?  A, of course.  ENTJ-A.  Being ruthless, arrogant, and icy wasn’t quite enough.


Primarily, in my scouring of online resources on ENTJ, I found myself agreeing generally with a lot of the typology.  The biggest one that came up is a thought that I’ve had before, but never made the connection to the concept that it might have to do with my personality.  It’s basically that ENTJs crave criticism, need criticism, and respond well to criticism, but no one criticizes them, probably because they assume that based on their assertive/aggressive tendencies, ENTJs will lash out when they hear it.

People really don’t give me criticism; you’d think that for as awkward as I am about accepting praise and compliments, the reason would be that I’m used to the opposite.  Nope.  I’m bad at hearing positives about myself because, like, what do you do with that, then?  With criticism, you can respond with action (you can also ignore it if you’re self-aware and self-possessed enough to know when it’s BS) and use it to improve something unappealing about yourself.  With a compliment… what, your work is done?  That feels like a lopsided transaction.

I know, boo-hoo, no one criticizes me!   It’s sure as shit not because I’m perfect, so maybe the absence of criticism is the criticism:  I’m unapproachable.  I never thought that of myself, but maybe it’s what I project with all my icy-mouth-of-hell stuff.


Anyway, all of this got me thinking about my history with Myers-Briggs and why I scored so inconsistently until now, when I suddenly became a solid ENTJ, keeping company with the likes of Napoleon and Hitler (yes, seriously).  What’s up with that?

Well, I’ve changed a lot in the last year.  I’ve intentionally created a structure — a very RIGID structure — for myself so that I can do what I need to do and make sure I prioritize my time to allow myself to live healthily and lose weight.  This has meant intentionally acting selfishly and having to stop myself from feeling guilty about it.  It’s meant saying no to invitations to social gatherings because I didn’t want to be around the alcohol and the greasy food.  As a result, I’ve had to become my own best friend, and at least I’ve always been a good friend.  I’ve stuck up for myself, I’ve protected myself, and yeah, I’ve been assertive in situations with other people out of self-interest in defense of myself.  All of this has had the side effect of giving me some killer self-confidence, and I have less patience than ever for bull shit (because I have less time than ever to put up with it) and more faith than ever in myself.  Maybe all of this is a net positive, but it’s naturally changed the way I would respond to any personality-indicating questions on some standardized test based on introspection, and it’s no surprise if it’s hardened me.  I’m physically tougher, I’m mentally tougher, and I’m emotionally tougher.  It doesn’t make me heartless, icy, or even ruthless, though.  It just makes me prepared to continue what has been a very challenging process, and one that I can count on to only get more difficult.

So, as much as ENTJ is a pretty unattractive personality type, it has some positives, too:  tenacity, determination, commitment to goals, drive, focus, motivation, and strong will.  I need ALL OF THAT, so thank goodness I was able to cultivate it in myself.  I sure as hell wasn’t born with it, at least not this strain of it.

And hey, I even hope I get to keep some of it.  If my ENTJ-A self sticks to my plan, I’ll have hit my overall goal before the end of 2016, meaning I will be able to pull off the gas a little bit.  Maybe I’ll have more time to have fun.  Maybe I’ll stop thinking of other people’s demands as bull shit and look forward to phone calls and e-mails and spontaneity again.  Maybe I’ll change again as a result.  If I do — and hell, even if I don’t — I bet that if I take a Myers-Briggs-ish test again a year from now, I’ll get a different result.

But for now, the only results that matter are the health ones.  My truest personality will solidify once I’m through this tunnel.

DAY 271: Before pants

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

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


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

In the present… check out all that extra fabric!

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

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

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

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

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

DAY 265: It’s not you, it’s me

I think whatever lessons I learned this summer about where I stand in terms of preparedness for dating must have fallen into the abyss of my throat V.  I stupidly went on a date this weekend.

It went a bit better than the last one.  For me, there’s a positive correlation between pounds lost and self-confidence in all situations, and dating is no exception.  The lead-up was almost not at all nerve-racking, and I felt calm and comfortable pretty much throughout.  Start to finish, I’d say it was… fine.  And yet, I’m so not in it to win it.  So why am I bothering??

It may have something to do with the fact that my life-long friend (no joke, I’ve known this girl since the day I was born) got engaged right after Thanksgiving, my best friend is headed rapidly along that trajectory, and the rest of my local girlfriends are suddenly in relationships, too.  It may also be because every time I start feeling kind of pretty, I have some weird impulse to check that theory on a living, breathing, human male.  It could also be a result of this freak December heat wave (it was 70 frikkin’ degrees today!) throwing off the senses and getting people all twitterpated (YEAH, I said it).

It could be all of these things.  It could be none of these things.

I just know I hate what I see when I take off my clothes.  I’m actually thinking about talking to my doctor in January about possible options to address some of that when all of this is said and done.  It sounds vain, but I can’t explain how upsetting it is to see the wear on my body.  I’ve put it through a lot, and I’m proud of the hard work behind what it shows, but I’m so self-conscious about the stretch marks and other ugly features on this wasted landscape that I can’t really see myself getting past it.

These guys who flirt with me, who hit on me, who hold my hand, who put their arms around me… they don’t know what they’re getting into.

The guy from this weekend, he was nice enough.  I wasn’t really feeling chemistry, but I wasn’t in agony just waiting for the date to end.  (How much of the lack of chemistry is psychological resistance on my part is debatable.)  And yet, he’d asked for a second date before the first one was over.  He held me a little too long parting ways.  Since we saw each other, he’s been all… talky.

What?  I don’t get it.  

I partly don’t get it because I still find myself so unattractive that it doesn’t compute that anyone would see me differently.  Yeah, there’s been improvement over the past 9 months, but that’s all relative to me.  In the grand scheme of things, compared to the rest of the gals out there, I’m still a 3 trying to claw my way to 4 status.

I continue to not get it because I was giving it like 60%, personality wise.  It’s kinda like, “Dude, you were into that watered-down version of me?  I’m SO MUCH BETTER than that!”  I know, weird thought progression, right?  Just wait.

Here’s where I veer off into the ridiculous:  I actually kind of judge this guy for being interested in me.  How fucked up is that?!  As if I have the right to judge anyone for anything, let alone him for that!

Then again, that’s only when I allow myself to believe he actually is interested in me, and not just desperate or under the assumption that fat beggars can’t be fat choosers, so I’ll be all in because I’m desperate.

It doesn’t matter what the truth is.  Bottom line:  I am obviously not where I need to be physically in order to be where I need to be mentally in order to date anyone.

Shut it down.

DAY 263: Persistence

I’ve been trying to do a milestones update every 50 days, but you may have noticed I didn’t do one on day 250.  Sadly, day 250 is the day I got sick, so I didn’t have the presence of mind to make a blog post at the time (nor did I even realize it was a milestones day).  This update will sort of stand in for that missed entry.

First, shortly before Thanksgiving, an executive at my office ran into me in the kitchen and commented on my weight loss.  Mind you, this is a very senior, statured person with whom I have almost no interaction; I didn’t know she knew my name, let alone that she had noticed my progress.  She commended my hard work and asked me how much I had lost.  I paused, then decided to go for it and tell her the number.  I admitted I hadn’t shared it with anyone, and she started to say I didn’t have to tell her, but then I just blurted it out.  It was a little crazy hearing it out loud, but it also felt kind of good to say… I’ve lost almost 100 pounds.

So it’s really no wonder why I’m noticing the following small changes that are probably only perceptible to me:

  • I can now see three bones in each hand.  At first, I couldn’t see any.  Sometime over the summer, the first one emerged.  Out of nowhere, two other ones just showed up.  I wonder how many there actually are in there waiting to pop out?!  I’ve never thought about it before!
  • The shape of my ass has changed.  The most recent underwear I bought still fit around my hips, but they sag in the seat.  This sounds funny, but my butt was kind of squared off before.  It’s starting to actually look like a human rear end now.  It’s round and bootylicious.
  • I noticed at my last couple of token weigh-ins for DB that when I look down at the scale, I see more space between my toes.  The first time I saw extra black between my toes, it actually startled me.  OMG, what’s wrong with my foot?!  Oh, wait…!
  • My shirts fit more loosely around my shoulder blades, of all things.  It used to be that when I put my jacket on, I didn’t have much of a wing span because the fabric was restricted by the width of my upper torso.  Lately, it’s much looser.  It’s not just the jacket, either; I’ve felt a difference in the way T-shirts, button-down shirts, and even my sports bras sit on that part of my body.  Who knew that would be noticeable?
  • My cheeks have new angles!  They were so round when I was bigger that my face looked swollen all the time.  My cheeks were actually so rotund that I couldn’t see beyond them; I would have to turn my head to check that my earrings were hanging right or my hair was OK.  Seriously.  Faces can be that fat.  Then, with the right changes, they can start looking like adult faces that might have a shot at being pretty some day.  🙂
  • My belly has shrunken in a northerly fashion.  Yeah, I worded that strangely on purpose.  The result is NOT that my stomach looks smaller (yet), but that my legs look longer.  That sentence, coming from a life-long member of the Stumpy Leg Club, is insane.
  • Now, here’s the one I’m really geeked about… GUYS.  I have a throat V!!!  (Google tells me this is called the suprasternal notch.  Also, please appreciate that I had to look up what this is called because it’s such a foreign concept to me!)  You know, the small of the throat, where elegant woman in jewelry ads always have a tiny diamond delicately nestled from their expensive platinum chains.  A this.  Mine is not always visible (yet!), but it is more often than not.  And I love it.  It’s my new favorite feature of my villain beard.

I’ve been feeling stymied from the past month of a post-vacation weight gain, moderate indulgence at Thanksgiving, and an immediately ensuing illness that kept me from exercise.  It can be a slippery slope to returning to past harmful behavior in such circumstances, especially when you’re home alone all day, every day, for a week, with an uncooperative scale and a bevy of food-delivery services available via a few quick taps on the phone screen.


I knocked 5.6 pounds off of my post-vacation weight in spite of all that, and have hit a new low weight.  I did not overdo it at Thanksgiving, and I didn’t stray even a hair from my food plan even in the grip of the sickness that JUST WOULD NOT QUIT.  It’s been a slog, and it’s been a true mental challenge to stay on the eating plan when it felt like there was no pay-off, but I DID IT.

And that’s how you lose 100 pounds.  Look for THAT milestone on day 300.

DAY 262: Once an addict…

Some people, like me, have addictive personalities.  I’ve been this way ever since I was a small child who obsessively watched the same movie over and over again on repeat until I got sick of it.  I’ve done this throughout childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, with everything from movies to TV shows to songs to books and even to people.  It’s an odd pattern of novelty becoming comfortable, then too familiar, then boring and/or annoying, which triggers a need for something new… until the pattern itself gets annoying and I return to something old and known until I again wear out my interest in that and need to go back to the new again.  I don’t know what it is that makes me this way, but I know it’s always been how I am, and I therefore have no expectation of changing it.

Obviously, the worst place where this special little cycle of mine pops up is with food.  Remember Oreo Cakesters?  You don’t?  Well, you must have been sleeping during that period where they existed, and I ate them all before you had a chance to try them.  (They have since mercifully been discontinued.)  I also had a Papa John’s phase, a fried chicken phase, even a freaking Hamburger Helper phase, just to name a few.  These were all bad food-addiction/compulsion-fueled habits I had before I had the thing that changed it all:  a routine.

Now that I have a framework within which to conduct my daily life, everything else is so much easier.  I’ve learned to adapt my addictive personality to a healthy way of life, which means preparation, preparation, preparation.  I’ve also learned that you can apply a potentially dangerous pattern to a positive endeavor by simply replacing the addiction.  (Simple in concept, of course.  It’s certainly a challenge in practice!)  I’m no longer obsessed with filling my belly; I’m obsessed with shrinking it.  I’m addicted to exercise.

Yesterday was the first time I’ve attempted my (formerly) usual elliptical run since before I got sick, which was well before Thanksgiving.  I’m still not entirely recovered, and my body is not keeping that a secret; I was coughing and my nose was running from just a couple of minutes in.  In the end, I was only able to do one mile of my usual 3+, but I’m happy to report that my speed is still intact (under 12 minutes!), and DAMN, it felt good to sweat from something besides a fever!

I’ve amped up the fitness addiction by signing up for more Diet Bets.  As of yesterday, I am now committed and paid into a total of FIVE (one of which I’m hosting — join me!) between now and mid-February.  I’m still trying to recover the lost ground in my Transformer, and it doesn’t look like I’ll quite get there in time for the round 4 weigh-in a week from now, but I WILL win the game.  I’ve also set a pretty ambitious goal to hit for the end of the year.  I won’t be crushed if I don’t hit it, but I WILL totally redeem myself — and be a total fucking champion — if I do.

Finally, I set up another follow-up appointment with my fabulous doctor for January 19th, 6 months after my last visit with her.  I can’t wait to hear what she’ll have to say at that visit!  It gives me extra motivation to reach my goals.

Through replacing the addiction, I’ve become so singularly focused on achieving my fitness goals that I’ve gone back to not even caring about my old trigger foods.  Those plates of temptation are just masses of needless calories that will sabotage my plans and make me mad at myself.  Why go down a path of destruction?  I’ll pass.  Gym, please.

Sorry, Christmas cookies.  Maybe next year!