DAY 301: New York times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s what makes me a winner. 😀

DAY 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 296: Sinking to a new low

…on the scale, that is.

I strategically do my weekly weigh-ins on Sunday evenings before dinner.  It helps me temper the back-to-work blues as a way to see what my week’s worth of fitness efforts produced and as a baseline for what I’ll have to put in for the week ahead.  I do it at that time of day because it feels like the most accurate reflection of my weight:  not first thing in the morning after a night’s digestion and dehydration, not just after exercise with the same factors, and not too soon after eating with a full stomach.  Weighing myself just before dinner reflects most of a day’s exercise and eating on the scale, but with enough space in between those things to show me what my “true” weight is.  (Note:  this is based on no science or recommendations, just my own rhythms and personal logic.  Weighing in first thing in the morning as most people do feels like cheating to me for some reason, even though weight on the scale is “real” at any time of day.)

This post is delayed from my most recent weigh-in 3 days ago, but it’s happy news that’s worth sharing:  I’m at my lowest weight in 5½ years.  I’m also within striking distance of several Diet Bet goal weights and personally — maybe universally, in the world of losers — meaningful milestones.

It’s a drastically different life from the one I had a year ago today.

On January 13th, 2015, I was in a work situation that was so truly chaotic, it would be difficult to hyperbolize.  I was in the middle of euthanizing a close friendship of 15 years.  I was missing my family after the holidays.  I wasn’t sleeping well.  I wasn’t eating well.  I had no free time because of the work disasters, which meant no social time.  I was carrying around unquantifiable emotional baggage and an extra person’s body weight worth of physical baggage.  I was exhausted, stressed, angry, frustrated, depressed, confused, and miserable.  I felt hopeless and alone.  At no point in my life have I ever truly thought about wanting to die, but at that time, I didn’t truly want to live.  I was at my highest weight ever, and I don’t think I’ve ever been lower.

On January 13th, 2016, I am on my way to being the person that the person sitting at this desk last year wanted to be.  I can handle work, and when it gets worse than the usual amount of bad, I can leave the office without taking the emotional toxins with me.  I have moved well past the death of the friendship that had run its course.  I sleep well.  I eat well.  I protect my free time with the resolve of the Secret Service, and I make sure it includes socialization.  I am emotionally and physically lighter.  I am rested, calm, steady, flip, amused, lucid, and content.  I feel hopeful and supported.  And on the scale, I’ve found the best possible way to be lower than I was a year ago.

This is for you, old me.  I got you.

DAY 249: Thanks.

Yesterday was amazing.

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

I have no fear or regrets about any of that.

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

I spent the rest of the day cooking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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