Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Little Things

Kurt C. in his Chuck T.s. Photo source not known. 

My Chuck Taylors, which I haven't worn in a couple months, seemed to fit better when I put them on today.

When I took a bath this morning, I noticed that I fit more comfortably in the tub!

I can wear a 2X band t-shirt again.

Food just tastes better. I feel like every time I eat something, it is SO GOOD!

Food is more satisfying. I eat regular meals, and they are enough.

My taste buds and my cravings seem to be shifting. (For the better, of course.)

I still must eat chocolate every day.

I will always have the freezer stocked with Talenti Roman Raspberry gelato.

I'm starting to find more pleasure in cooking again.

I definitely have more of a spring to my step.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Thinking about Goals Again

Logging into MyFitnessPal this morning, I noticed that today is my 72nd day in a row having done so! Wow! And then I thought, well, that's not quite two and a half months—hey, not bad! And then I thought, yes, but it'll be really something once I hit the six month mark and then sail beyond it. And that is definitely my intention.

In the past attempts to lose weight/get healthier, six months has been a crucial landmark in that it's when I tend to stop what I have been doing for whatever reason. Or sometimes even no reason at all. So this time around, the time, I'm going to especially take care that the same thing doesn't happen. After all, I am in this for life, right?

ABSOLUTELY. I don't know how much more emphatic I need to be. Maybe that is just it—I need to keep it turned up to volume 11 at all times for myself in order to keep the momentum. There is little more that is important as this because it is my body and it is my health. Period.

I want to write down some goals here today, to help keep that momentum, that excitement (because everything should be done with energy!), that belief that I am worthy of living a comfortable, active, colorful life. (Just in case you're keeping score, note that I don't think I can't do those things as a fat person, only that my body as it was when I started back in May was making those things more difficult, OK? OK.)

MyFitnessPal tracking

Though I am not a huge fan counting anything that I eat, this tool has been helping me see patterns in how I eat, what the macronutrient ratios are, and just have an overall sense of how much food is a reasonable amount (something I have had trouble with for most of my life). I can see myself doing this for a very long time—it is easy to do and acts as a reminder every day of the positive things I am doing for myself.

Goal 1: 100 days on MyFitnessPal (August 23)
Goal 2: 180 days/six months (November 12)
Goal 3: 270 days/nine months (February 10, 2015)
Goal 4: 365 days/one year! (May 16, 2015)
Goal 5: 450 days (August 9, 2015)
Goal 6: 575 days (December 12, 2015)
Goal 7: 730 days/two years! (mid-May 2016)

6/13/16: As of a couple months ago, I stopped logging at MFP regularly. I have been aiming to log my food and exercise most days again in the past couple weeks, but I am no longer as obsessed with keeping my streak as I once was. I still find it to be a very useful tool!

6/5/17: I have been back to using MFP every day since the beginning of the year, and... guess what? It helps. Last year after I wrote the previous update I ended up gaining gaining gaining. Logging food every day is kind of a drag, but... not really. I'm pretty much used to it and it really helps keep me on track.

Weight loss

My focus is definitely less on losing weight, but there is no doubt that it is a big piece of the puzzle and one the expected results of my efforts. In the past I have pushed myself to lose fast but now I see how problematic that can be. I'm chugging along, and here are some milestones I can shoot for, but I am NOT attaching due dates to them.

Goal 1: 350 pounds Met 7/26/14, 22 pounds lost
Goal 2: 335 pounds/10% of starting weight  Met 9/4/14
Goal 3: 322 pounds/50 pounds lost  Met 10/3/14 (but didn't see it again until the end of October)
Goal 3a: 315 pounds  Met 11/21/14
Goal 4: 304 pounds/10% of Goal 2  Met 1/10/15
Goal 5: 297 pounds/75 pounds lost  Met 2/1/15 (again on 3/11/17)
Goal 6: 272 pounds/10% of Goal 4/100 pounds lost Met 7/29/15
Goal 6a: 260 pounds
Goal 7: 245 pounds/10% of Goal 6
Goal 8: 220 pounds/152 pounds lost/10% of Goal 7
Goal 9: 198 pounds/10% of Goal 8
Goal 10: 179 pounds/10% of Goal 9
Goal 11: 172 pounds/200 pounds lost
Goal 12: 155 pounds/10% of Goal 11/217 pounds lost
Goal 13: 150 pounds/whatever feels good

(I will see how I look and feel in the 170's. I may or may not continue to Goals 12 and 13. Or maybe continue further. I have no idea!)


I have a lot of clothes that I can't wear, but should be able to once I hit the next couple weight loss goals. I generally wear 26/28 or 3X/4X sizes now. I will certainly report on newly fitting clothes as I go along.

10/30/14: I've been fitting into more and more of the size 24 pants I've had in reserve. I still have one pair to conquer (wacky sizing!). Once that happens, I'm going to donate all the 26 pants to charity.

1/1/2015: I am solidly into size 24 pants, though a pair of jeans I just rediscovered are 26 and fit like all the 24s I've been wearing. (I love them, though!) At the same time, the size 22 pants I have in reserve seem to be about 20 pounds away from wearability – I can get them on, but there is no way I could zip them up, not even close. I have some 2X shirts now that I can wear, and even have a size XL hoodie that is comfy. An XXL shirt from the Gap is wearable. A 1X sweater from J. Jill fits but is too snug for me to wear in public. A pair of men's size 44 cords from the Gap are also about 20 pounds away, I'd guess (and they are beautiful). I'm getting there!

2/1/2015: I have been wearing some old leggings that I tried on kind of by accident, never thinking I'd get into them. One is size 20/22, and the other 1X. I am also wearing a pair of boots that I haven't been able to fit into for a long time – they are my favorites bought in 1993 that I have never been able to part with, even though they're quite worn in. Now I wear them again quite frequently in the snow – perfection. My size 11 underwear is beginning to feel a little roomy, though I had a pack of Fruit of the Loom brand size 11 that never fit – until recently.

3/9/15: I tried on two pairs of size 22 dress pants that I've had for over 10 years in reserve that I was able to get on and fasten! They fit, though a tiny bit snugly. Wearable! (These are the same pants I was referring to in the 1/1 entry above, so I guess I'm making good progress after all.)

3/23/15: I finally fit into a pair of jeans that are size 24 but are smaller than all the others I've been wearing. The last time I could wear these was back in fall of 2008 – and I actually weighed about 10 pounds more then than I do now, go figure. Anyway, it was a thrill to be able to wear these comfortably to work today. There is another pair in the drawer that I didn't have time to try on this morning, but pretty sure they will fit again, too. Awesome! ETA: Yes, the other pair fit, too – in fact, they are a little loose and I don't see myself wearing them for much beyond the summer, if that.

6/11/15: Steadily wearing 2X exercise gear. Fit into bras that I haven't been able to wear in probably a good 10 years (size 44C, if you're curious). Wearing a size 18/20 cardigan – another one from years ago – just fine.  Have worn the size 22 dress pants out in the world quite comfortably.

7/6/15: I tried on and successfully fit into a pair of size 20 jeans I've had in reserve for years now, never worn.

7/28/15: FINALLY fit into the last of three pretty bras I had kept in hopes of wearing them again one day. Even though it was the same size as all the others, this one was smaller and I just couldn't quite get into it – until I grabbed it by accident this morning and I'm wearing it quite comfortably today! I've also realized that when I wear a bra that really fits me, the straps don't always fall down. Wow!

Also, last night, I grabbed a pair of stretch capris out of the pile of comfy clothes I have in the laundry area – these 1X now fit perfectly, much to my surprise!


Goal 1: Walk 5K comfortably Achieved 11/2/14

Goal 2: Run a mile comfortably Achieved 2/17/15
(Note: I don't have official stats here, but I completed C25K W5D3 on this day, which involved running for 20 minutes straight. I think it is safe to say that I covered at least a mile then. :)

Goal 3: Run 5K distance Achieved 4/21/15 

Goal 4: Run a 5K race Achieved 5/3/15

Goal 5: Run 4 miles Achieved 7/25/15

Goal 6: Run 5 miles Achieved 8/9/15
(6a: Ran a 5 mile race on 3/12/16)

Goal 7: Run 10K distance Achieved 3/26/16

Goal 8: Run a 10K race Achieved 5/7/16

Goal 9: Run 10 miles (scheduled for August 2016)

Goal 10: Run a half marathon (scheduled for October 2016)

Goal 11: Run a marathon (2018?)

Saturday, July 26, 2014


I'm not religious, but...

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Sweet baby Jesus hallelujah! I am now officially below my previous high weight, 350. Clocking in at 349 and change, thank you very much. Wow. It feels good to be back on the south side of old three-five-oh again.

After a raucous night of old fashioned cocktails and a partial viewing of the must-see documentary I Am Divine (major props to my college friend Jeffrey Schwarz, who directed it), I found myself waking up super early and getting the proverbial worm. I ended up finally assembling a bookcase that has been sitting around in pieces for months. It took a couple hours and was as good a workout as any—I was sweating like crazy. Nary a hangover.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Absent, but present

Ugh. For some reason I'm finding it hard to write here regularly. I certainly have a lot to say, so it's not that. Pure laziness, I suppose? Not making time for it? Sure, I'm busy, but... big deal, isn't everyone?

So, I thought that I would at least pop in and say hello, in case anyone was wondering what happened.

Nothing happened.

I have not been active here, but I am still plugging along on my little program. It's a lifetime commitment I have made, truly. I'm doing ALL the things most of the time. (I do need to go back to the gym, though... oops! My trainer texted me a cute note this morning.)

My weight had been futzing around between 353 and 355 for what seemed like weeks. It might have been. I had one dip down to 351, but it was a fluke. Until, that is, I went on vacation last week. When I came back, I was down to 351 again and have stayed there since. Which is fine.

I'm realizing that what I am after now is consistency and progress in the sense of not backpedaling. I don't care too much anymore about how fast the weight comes off, as long as I am on a downward trend. Even if that trend is achingly ever so slight a slant down. I'm happy that what I am doing is totally sustainable and totally livable, like ALL the time.

Anyway. I've said more than I meant to in the first place.

I'm here. I'm good.

How about you?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

My Body History

The first time I remember being aware of my body, especially my body as something different from my friends, was when I was in third grade. I was tall for my age, but at that point I'd also become heavier than most of my peers. This was the year that I went on/was put on a diet for the first time.

I was about 4' 11" and weighed 115 pounds. I think it was in the summer between 3rd and 4th grade that I lost 15 pounds.

Middle school was a tumultuous time when I was always, always, always hyper aware of what my body looked like compared to my classmates'. I was always bigger. I was always worried about my weight, though during that time I wasn't really fat – I was just big for my age. I had started my period at age 12, and had started wearing a bra before that. My body often felt like a burden or a liability. I got hit on by older guys who didn't realize how young I was.

My later high school years were when I became utterly determined to have the same kind of body that most of my friends had. Sophomore year I think I hit 150 or 160 (by then at my adult height of 5' 8"), and that was unacceptable. Over the course of the following year, I dropped down to my lowest weight of around 120, which I achieved by starving myself, exercising obsessively, and taking laxatives. One on hand, I thought I looked amazeballs, but on the other, I still thought I was a whale. I remember being in the bathtub and just being disgusted by my stomach.

To this day I have no idea how I managed to get through a day at school living like that! By the time I graduated high school, my weight evened out to around 140, thanks to a concerned friend who reported my shenanigans to my mom.

Once I transferred to a college away from home, I decided I was done with the starvation and the obsession with my weight. I started sophomore year at 150 pounds, starting eating whatever I wanted to, and finished college at 230.

The years following college was like a rollercoaster. The yo-yo dieting continued, and reached almost a frenzied pace. I'd lose maybe twenty-five pounds and then gain thirty back. I don't know how many times I joined and rejoined Weight Watchers. I tried joining a gym, I tried Overeaters Anonymous. Nothing stuck, and my weight just kept going up and up gradually.

Specific memories include having a boyfriend who told me that I was OK as I was but that I shouldn't gain any more weight (at point I was back up to 230); and about a year later, when I hit 250 and cried uncontrollably. (The boyfriend was long gone by then.)

Within a year of that, by the end of the decade, I was in the 270s.

This was the year that I was determined to fix things once and for all. When I weighed in at 310 pounds, I'd surely had enough and ended up dropping almost 60 pounds simply by exercising more and eating less and better. The rub was, it didn't stay off. I can't remember what happened that I stopped doing what I was doing, but I did, and that was that.

Five years later I found myself having gained all the weight back plus more – 40 pounds more. Once again, I set out determined to lose it permanently. It was then I started blogging about my journey for the first time. I did the C25K running program; I tracked the food I was eating. It was a good, healthy way to do it and I enjoyed it. Then, my stepfather passed away and I lost my momentum, my will. I was down just over 50 pounds, but once again, it didn't take all that long to gain it back.

I tried again. I lost 50 pounds.

The weight came back, plus 10. In July when I started a new job, I thought it would be a good idea to start a new regimen and lose some weight. I tried hard for a month but didn't see the results I'd hoped, got mad, and gave up. At the end of the year, I found out that I could get a gym membership through my health insurance for free, and went to sign up. I hadn't planned on it, but I ended up committing to a year's worth of personal training sessions as well. I thought I would at least go to the gym once a week to work with my trainer, and gradually work on the eating, and maybe find my way back.

It didn't take right away. I met with my trainer weekly in January and February, but then I got too busy and stopped going – for almost two months. I had sessions racking up, and I didn't want to waste the money I had invested. Not to mention, I hit my highest weight of 372. Finally, I started going to the gym again, and BAM! things started clicking. In May, I got a new trainer with whom I really connected, and I started focusing on my health and fitness in a different way. I still had a similar philosophy about how I wanted to get to a better physical place for myself – eat reasonably, exercise more, see a doctor and figure out what my overall health really is, etc. This time, though, instead of focus being on weight loss, focus is on the whole picture with weight loss being a happy result of the things I am doing to feel comfortable and able to do what I want to do.

So, here I am today, a couple months later and 21 pounds down. It is my biggest wish that my efforts this time really stick.

I have a good feeling that now is the time that I stop repeating history.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fitness Bucket List

Poking around some of my favorite fit bloggin' reads, I found this link to Nellie's 2014 Fitness Bucket List, which inspired me to make my own list... except that mine includes physical activities that I'd like to be able to do sometime down the line, though not necessarily this year.

Here goes!

1. Pull-ups. Pulling the weight of my body with my two arms? Amazing.

2. Push-ups. Real ones.

3. Get my bike out of storage and get myself back in the saddle.

4. Speaking of saddles, I would love to try horseback riding!

5. Run again. 
    a. Run a 5K again
    b. Run a 10k
    c. Run a half-marathon
    d. Run a marathon

6. Swimming! This one's easy... I just need a bathing suit, to be honest.

7. Become a hardcore pilates practitioner. I used to love doing pilates. Some of the things my trainer has me do are definitely related, core-based strengthening. It's love/hate. ;)

8. Yoga. Oh, yoga. I can't wait to try you once and for all.

9. Waterski.

10. Kayak.

11. Walk around a place like New York City and not feel like I am going to die.

(new!) 12. Surfing. I need to learn how to surf before I die.

(new! 2015) 13. Snowshoeing. I've been wanting to do this since I started losing weight, but was too big for it last winter. Not anymore!

What are your activity goals/desires?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

And then she...

What I am reading lately: Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes

What I did last night: Lydia Lunch spectator, oh my god!

What I am doing after work: Picking up my farm share

What I am feeling today: Pretty good stuff – five days off for the long holiday weekend

What I have planned for the week: A studio sale!, gardening, walking, visiting my mom, painting, drinking good beer


I need to catch up with y'all. I've had a most excellent past week or so and have just been living life and enjoying myself. Sticking with my program, yes, though I think a bit of drinking and coming off my period have resulted in a very slight weight gain for the time being, i.e. 355 vs. 353. Almost twenty pounds lost – but dudes, that's not the main thing here. I'm looking at the whole, not the parts. Though sometimes it does behoove me to look at the parts rather than the whole (like when I think about how much weight I'd like to lose – in that case, the parts are better than the whole... ten pounds at a time vs. 200 pounds).

Are you with me?

I feel like I've had some life-changing experiences lately.

This was me last night. Double chin and all, and you know what? F--- it.

Freaking happy, people! That was REAL.