Thursday, June 15, 2017

Complete Self-Care

Wow, it's almost been a week since my last post already?

A lot has happened since then. Last weekend was a bit challenging, and my state of mind hasn't been the best for whatever reason. Some of it is internal to be sure, some of it external – I've been very stressed out and worried a lot, and it's been hard to stay focused at work, etc. At home my moods were getting out of hand and making it difficult for my partner to relate to me (and/or vice-versa).

Since earlier in the year, I've been taking a generic version of Wellbutrin. When I saw my doctor back then, it was for a regular checkup but I was in a bad spot – my weight was continuing to climb and I was very emotional. He felt that the Wellbutrin could help me with both things, so I tried it.

It seemed to improve things quite a bit for a while, but things have felt different in the past month or so. My partner suggested seeing the doc again and after last weekend's self-imposed strife, I called for an appointment on Monday. Wouldn't you know, he was able to see me first thing on Tuesday (I am imagining that he was concerned).

Long story short, he added on a generic Lexapro (I'm using the retail names even though I am on generics, because the retail names are MUCH easier to remember!) to work with the Wellbutrin to try to affect some of my other neurotransmitters in a positive way. One of my biggest concerns lately has been that I've felt so much ambivalence for many things that matter to me, and my motivation is straight out the window the same way. Hopefully the Lexapro will help with that.

On top of that, he also referred me to a therapist, and my first appointment is in early July. I haven't had talk therapy in almost 20 years and I'm kind of looking forward to it. It will be nice to be able to sort some things out in my head and try to make better sense of my history and where my feelings now.

I started taking the Lexapro Tuesday evening. It makes me feel a little funny sometimes so far, whereas I had zero anything with the Wellbutrin. Yesterday I was low-grade nauseated all day (though not enough to turn me off to eating!), and sometimes I feel like I'm having what I can only describe as like micro-spasms in my limbs, and a weird feeling in my mouth when I yawn. It's so bizarre! (I remember back in my 20s when I was taking Paxil, I used to feel like there was electricity running through me, so I guess it is something similar happening now.) It's not too bad, though, and I want to see how this will help me and so I will give it time.

I did notice this morning that I had no trouble getting out of bed (early even!), and when I got to work, instead dilly-dallying a bit, I got straight to work! Maybe it's coincidence or mind over matter, or maybe it is the drugs. Either way, I am feeling hopeful.

On another note (brain stuff in a slightly different way), I started Leo Babauta's 44 Training Program a couple days ago, and I am excited about it! I just love Leo and all he has to offer.

Also, happy that my weight is back down to 284 and change, after being up a few pounds during the past week.

It's so important to be wholistic when you're talking about self-care. It can mean so many things, right? But for me, I'm realizing that it needs to mean ALL the things: being active, developing a skin care regimen, making sure to have fun, fueling my body in a good way most of the time, and last but not least, taking care of my mental/emotional health and getting help when I need it.

Friday, June 9, 2017

47 Feels Good!

Happy 47th birthday to me!

I wanted to make a point to get some sort of good exercise in today, as a tradition carried on from last year when I started my day with a couple mile run. Today it took a while to get out, but I had it my head to go on a hike.

We ended up going out later in the afternoon, and not only did we go on a hike wee hike (about 30 minutes), we started the excursion with a wee bit of tennis, which I wasn't planning on. I was pretty tired, to be honest – we've been very active this past week, which is great of course, but... you know, tiring, right?

Hanging out at a nearby park, on our cross-country hike.
I love this pond – so peaceful!
So pretty! Getting out in nature raises the spirits.

So, anyway, I am happy to have gotten this far in life, and I feel good about where I am in many ways, not least of all my fitness level and my weight loss progress. It's been a relatively slow go the past few months, but it's been pretty consistent. This morning I weighed in at 283 even, my lowest this year. Very happy with that! My next loose goal is to be below 275 by mid-July, when I'll see my dad next for a visit. I think that is pretty doable.

Truth be told, my day started out pretty poorly. For the all the excitement I had building up to the day and thinking of the things I wanted to do with it, I woke up and felt kind of down and the feeling built up throughout the morning. It was hard to break out of, and I was driving my poor partner a little crazy with it. It wasn't until we went out that things improved and I'm glad to have gotten through the day having a nice time in the end. I still really don't know what was up with me, but I'm a little concerned it might be the anti-depressant I've been taking, so I'll probably be following up with my doctor soon to see if we can re-evaluate a course of action...

Tomorrow I'll be hanging out with my mom and "playing" in the garden, which will be really fun. I need to do the same in my own, but that will have to be for another day. (I have lots to do!)

Yeah. Today was a challenge, but I came through on the other side with the help of someone who loves me – the best present ever. Now, I'm off to make my birthday cake, minus the candied orange peel, though I would love to make those one day, too!

Yum yum yum!


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Sometimes, No Rhyme or Reason

Another reason why I am glad I weigh every day: I know how weird the body can be.

Yesterday, I hit my lowest weight this year at 284.6 – pretty thrilled to be under 285 indeed! We had played an hour and half's worth of tennis and I ate had a good eating day the day before.

I also ate well yesterday overall, hit my calorie goal.

This morning? Up two pounds.

Up two for no reason whatsoever, except that sometimes the body does what the body does.

It's OK... I just thought I would share. I think it's important information for anyone trying to lose weight to know.

I wore stripes today anyway!

Ahhh... this shirt fits comfortably again! Hooray!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Nothing If Not Consistent

As I often do, I was looking back at last year's posts around the same time. I found the two photos on the left, posted side by side comparing how I looked in early June 2015 and 2016 – about the same, really. So, I decided to take this year's photo for comparison! The result? Pretty similar, I'd say, which isn't the worst thing.

Observations:

• I like my green cat eye glasses the best

• It's nice to wear patterns

• My hair looks best falling below my shoulders

• It's really nice to have my own office with real sunlight and stuff

June! (l to r) 2015, 2016, 2017. (You can click to enlarge if you want to.)

According to my Happy Scale data, in early June 2015, I weighed right around 280. In 2016, 285. In 2017? Yep, you got it! 285.

Hopefully, this time next year will a different result heading in the downward direction, numbers-wise. Time to make it happen!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

OH! And... I'm a "Best Blog"!

I've had a busy weekend so I neglected to mention that snazzy badge the blog now sports. Well, healthline.com finally notified me officially of my status of one of the best weight loss blogs of 2017 and directed me to download the cool bling. So now it is official!

It's extra exciting for me, being in some of the company I am on the list – a few of my long-time favorites including Cranky Fitness, Runs for Cookies, Diary of an Aspiring Loser Maintainer, and Roni Noone! (All can be found on my reading list in the sidebar, by the way, check them out!)

This is really such a great honor. Thanks to all of your who have been reading – it means the world to me.

Happy June!

Ah, June. It means several things to me:

• Mid-way through the year

• My birthday! (the 9th)

• Summer (usually)

Every new month also represents the proverbial "fresh start", same as the new year, same as the new week. June is lovely.

After some big ups (back to 294, sheesh!), my weight is back down solidly to 285-even today, very pleased! The Happy Scale charts remain in the green. Overall I seem to have gotten down a good eating routine – I eat what I want, but I have been carefully logging calories so that I stay within a good range and hopefully keep losing. I'm feeling really good about where I'm going, at least for now. I know these things can be fleeting, and I will appreciate it while I'm here in that place.

Birthday plans: I'm taking off on Thursday from work, and we have a summer Friday off as well – four day weekend, here I come! This year I absolutely must have a chocolate cake, and I have been researching recipes to make my own. Originally I had it in mind to make a pure chocolate chocolate cake, but then got the idea for a chocolate orange cake – I love chocolate orange anything, so it seemed silly that I'd never considered this before. So that's that, and I think on the day of my birthday we're going to return to a place we just tried out last Friday called Freddy J.'s – a tiny little place run by Freddy (of course), with a small menu that includes things like southern fried chicken, BBQ, collard greens, grits, and ... red velvet waffles. I got them last time, and oh my. Just as you'd think. I'm sorry, but I am being that person and sharing a photo.

fried chicken breast and those waffles
So yeah. I'm getting that on my birthday.

We also may do some really good steaks on the grill, too, over the weekend. It's that time of year, assuming it doesn't rain, of course! (Sadly, it is in the forecast.)

Finally... it is my desire to finally get under 285. I'm just about there, but I am taking nothing for granted – I know how fickle the scale can be. I think it can be done, though!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Meh.

So much changes in a week. I haven't had the best week in general, though also specifically with the program. It comes and goes, right? Always has. Since my arm has been hurting we've been avoiding tennis, but the extra bad news is that I haven't been doing anything else to fill that void. So I've really been such a slug lately and it makes me feel crappier. The one exception was on Saturday, when we went to my mom's house to finally pick up our mostly-feral cat, Henrietta, to bring her home. Even though she doesn't spend a lot of time with us, and sometimes we don't actually see her much, her absence from our home has been palpable.

It ended up taking three of us TWO HOURS to catch her in the confines of a relatively small bedroom. Unfortunately she camped out under the bed the whole time and practically fought to the death to not be removed from there, so... strained muscles, scratched/bit hands (not sure which, maybe both), getting up and down from the floor multiple times... ugh. But, we finally did get her, and after all the struggle she was fine wrapped up in my arms, and fine once in the cat carrier, and fine on the car ride home. So yeah, that was the most exercise I've had since my arm started hurting. (It still hurts sometimes, and C. said we should really wait until it just doesn't hurt anymore. Sucks.)

Eating has all but gone out the window, to be honest. It's not really an excuse, but I have been pretty stressed out about various things in my life and it's just all... like, I just want to stuff my face sometimes and not worry about what I'm stuffing in it. The result is that this morning's weight was back up to 294, WTF??? It can happen so fast.

That said, I have enjoyed some of it, but then some others of it was just plain eating for eating's sake and not really even super enjoying it, which is always my goal (to savor, to eat quality food).

I have weighed myself every day, no matter how "bad" or "good" the eating has been. It's mostly been OK-ish until the past few days, so my goal this week will be to get myself back down to 290 for good. (I know, I have said this before! I will say it again!)

Disappointing, but not unfixable.
Honestly? Super disappointing. I had been doing so well! I touched on 285 not too long ago, isn't that something?

BUT I cannot dwell on the mistakes; I can only look ahead to future success.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Miscellany, Including "Embracing the Frizz"

I know, I am always posting variations on this photo.

1. I am finally embracing my frizz! In the past few years, my hair has changed texture quite a lot –  thinned, for one thing (boo!), but also unbrushable when dry because it turns into a massive frizz. My hair person told me, in fact – "Oh no, don't brush your hair EVER when it's dry. Only when it's wet." She is also of a certain age and has the same issue.

The problem is, I don't always wash my hair in the morning when I am getting ready for work. I am almost always a nighttime bather/hair washer, so that means I sleep on my hair and then it's dry in the morning and disheveled. BUT I CAN'T BRUSH IT. 

I guess I could spritz it with some water so that I can brush it, but what I've been doing lately is embracing my inner Doc Brown (you know, from Back to the Future?) and letting my hair do what it will without much fuss. I do run a comb through to define my part, but all I ever do now is pat/fluff/run fingers through it, and for good measure, twist the front parts between my fingers to kind of smooth them out and create cute little wavy bits. 

As you can see here in today's photo, my hair DOES look a little disheveled, but I am also starting to really actually like it. Of course, if I didn't have my fabulous glasses and red lipstick to complete the look, I might not feel so good about it – those things, which look very put together, balance out the
crazy.

2. After all this time, I am still trying to figure out whether time of day matters for eating and weight loss. Case in point: yesterday, I ate right around target cals, and exercised for over an hour, but still gained a pound. I mean, this could be caused by a number of things, not least of which could be the time of the month. I am pre-PMS right now but it seems like my body likes to hold on to some weight around this time – last month I had the same weight pattern: Big losses early in the month, some gains mid-late, and then evening out at the end. So, I am not too worried about as long as I stick with the program more often than not, but... it is a little annoying to be sure. That said, I also ate pretty lean during the day and had a big meal after we played over an hour's worth of tennis – dinner ended up being after 8pm, which I prefer NOT to do.

And because I ate light all day, and because we exercised, I was hungry and I ate a big meal. Within calories, true, mostly good stuff, true, but big, also true. (It was like a deconstructed burrito with two small tortillas, a can of black beans, a small piece of chicken, a bunch of cheese, jalapenos, and sour cream. Yum! Crazy protein, too!)

The result the next morning was a one pound gain, which puts me back to 290 even, which pisses me off, but... whatever. As my partner told me, It'll come off fast. And I am sure it will. But still! *sticks out tongue*

3. I feel like I have been super busy lately – things are converging in a way they hadn't yet with all of my jobs (I have three – one full-time and two part-time, both of which are remote/mostly remote). My most recent job is getting busier and my role will be expanding shortly (I find out more tomorrow evening!), so it'll be interesting to see how it all goes. At the same time, I am also thinking about the future (i.e. six months to a year from now) when my situation might be (better be!) completely different. No lie that all this stuff weighs heavy sometimes, but I am grateful for all the opportunities I have and I'm happy to do my best to rise to the challenges and getting out of my comfort zone a bit.

4. My tennis arm hurts today for what I think is the first time! I've been using one of my partner's racquets (a Boris Becker London) the past few outings and while it seems to help me play better, it might be a little too heavy for me. So today when we're out, I'll be going back to my own newer racquet that I also really like – a Babolat Pure Strike. Hopefully my arm will stop hurting! I finally got my knees feeling a little better. (I would LOL but being middle-aged is no joke, man.)


Friday, May 19, 2017

Reader Q: How Often Do You Weigh Yourself?

I got this question from reader Nicole a few days ago:

I had a question for you about how often you weigh yourself. I've read a few of your posts and read about the weight tracker app you use, Happy Scale. I realized that app is best used when checking your weight daily or at least that's what I gathered from what I read. Do you weigh yourself daily and (if you do) do you find it to be discouraging when your weight fluctuates? Currently, I weigh myself once a week, but I've actually found myself becoming anxious (well half anxious and half excited) for Friday morning because I want to see how much (if any) weight I lost that week. I'm wondering if weighing myself daily will help with that. Plus, I think it would be nice to have an app dedicated to only tracking my weight. I looked at other weight loss trackers, and I haven't found any like the Happy Scale. I especially like how you can create multiple milestones for yourself!

Hey Nicole, 

Great question! I've been thinking about this a bit and wanted to answer you thoroughly. So, here goes: Yes, I do weigh every day (unless there are mitigating circumstances, like being out of town or whatever). Yes, Happy Scale definitely works best if you do weigh every day, because what it does is calculates a moving average as well as tracking your actual weight – it shows you what your overall progress is, which I find very helpful! I think I have mentioned before how my goal has been to "stay in the green" on the app all the time. Let me show you an example of what I am talking about.


Even when my weight fluctuates, it shows me the general trend.

As you can see by this chart (the monthly report in Happy Scale), my weight loss is never a straight line down on a daily basis – which, of course, is normal! That is what our bodies do! However, rather than get discouraged by these ups and downs, I see that I am still on a downward trend overall – I'm "in the green". So while I am getting on the scale every single day, I obsess about my weight a little less than I might ordinarily, because I know that I am still on track. Conversely, it makes it really easy to see when I need to rein things in a bit, if I am tipping into the red. See this example from last November, which was the last time I was in the green but got into the red in a big way.

All the months after this until February 2017 were red, red, red.

You can also see that I didn't weigh every single day that month, so it can still make a calculation without daily input – but obviously the more data you put in, the better it will work for you.

Now, take a look at my weight on a weekly basis. This is why I don't weigh in like this anymore. It would get really discouraging and I wouldn't have the benefit of seeing all the stuff in between that would have clued me in that things were actually happening.

Tuesdays:

2/7/17: 308.8

2/14/17: 303.8, 5 pounds lost

2/21/17: 307.4, 3.6 pounds gained

2/28/17: 301.6, 5.8 pounds lost

3/7/17: 300.0, 1.6 pounds lost

3/14/17: 296.0, 4 pounds lost

3/21/17: 297.6, 1.6 pounds gained

3/28/17: 295.4, 2.2 pounds lost

4/4/17: 299.0, 3.6 pounds gained

4/11/17: 292.4, 6.6 pounds lost

4/18/17: 295.8, 3.4 pounds gained

4/25/17: 293.2, 2.6 pounds lost

5/2/17: 292.6, 0.6 pounds lost

5/9/17: 288.4, 4.2 pounds lost

5/16/17: 289.0, 0.6 pounds gained

So far, my lowest weight has been 285.8 on Sunday 5/14. Today I weighed in at 286.8. But I would never have known that if I only weighed weekly.

And, for me – maybe not for you, but for me – I do know that I wouldn't have dealt well with those few bigger weekly gains. I just wouldn't. I have nightmares about Weight Watchers weigh-ins and remember how devastated I would feel if I had a gain like that, or even just not showing a decent amount of progress at all week to week. And wouldn't you know... I always gave up, inevitably. For some reason, keep track of things every day helps to lessen the blow of the ups and downs, because I see it for what it is: A natural fluctuation, OR sometimes things like eating foods like Chinese or Mexican take-out that usually make me gain no matter what (sodium, I'm guessing), OR of course the off day here and there when I plainly just eat too much. Daily weigh-in keeps me in tune with my body and its quirks, and I can better deal with the gains when I know better what might have caused them. It's all mind games, isn't it?

Ultimately everyone has to decide what works best for them, but if you've never tried daily weighing, I recommend giving it a shot for a couple weeks. You just have to make sure you get in the right mindset, which does take some work – you're collecting data, you're basically being a scientist in a way. Try not to attach moral judgment to the number on the scale; just let it inform you and go about your day.

Basically, I LOVE Happy Scale – I think it is a fantastic tool that throws a little smarts into my efforts. It's like the old days when I used to use the Physics Diet website, which did the same kinds of calculations but then went away after a few years (so sad – that was a great forum!). When I found Happy Scale, I was, well... super happy.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Really, I Am NOT Afraid of Stripes!

Queen of the bathroom selfie!

Yes, I am fat, and yes, I wear stripes any damn time I want.

This past week I also found out that my mom loves stripes, too! It must be genetic. 

(Swing dress is Old Navy, and the fabric is so lovely and drapey and comfortable, plus I got it on sale super cheap – win-win-win.)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

In Times of Trouble...

It's nice when you can like a photo of yourself once in a while.

It's been a while, yes, but not for bad reasons. Well, maybe kind of, but not those kind that relate to my health and fitness – save the stress and makeshift meals and things, and not going to the gym anymore.

Despite all that, though, I finally saw a number on the scale below 290! My lowest weight so far is today's, 288.4. I'm pretty thrilled. I actually hit it on Saturday first, but was without access to a scale Sunday and Monday – so it's nice that it's stuck for a few days, at least.

Considering all the crazy that has happened in the past week, I'm hanging in there pretty well. Long story short is that we decided that we're going to sell our house – more or less under duress – but that's what we're doing. There's so much to be done to get ready and at the very least it will be good exercise, but honestly I am ready for it to be all done. Yes, I know real estate transactions often take a while! At the very least I am hoping for a relatively quick sale and to get enough from it that we walk away with at least something.

In the meantime, I'm keeping on keeping on sans gym appointments – mainly to save money but also because of the time factor, and I do think I will get plenty of physical activity in the coming month or two to make up for it. But the eating seems to have gotten easier, not as likely to binge and less likely to eat as much crap as I used to. I'm preferring water again over diet soda (though sometimes still, there is nothing like some fizzy stuff), and I drink a lot of it!

So yeah, aside from the drama, I feel pretty balanced and good about what I am doing for myself.

I also think that meditation really, really helps, even if I just do it when I am in the bathtub or when I am trying to fall asleep. Try it out if you're having trouble in any area of your life!

Onward. Bigger and better things.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Where I've Been, Where I'm Going

The last day of the month is when I post my loss or gain for that month on the data page (see menu above). Yesterday was the last day of April, and while I did show a loss from March, I was a little disappointed in how I did. Instead of the 7 to 10 pounds I'd hoped to see gone, it was just 4. But, we all know... there should never be a "just" ahead of any loss. Any and all losses (in my case, at least, in this context) should be celebrated! So that is what I am doing, also knowing that I did make it to 290 during the month.

Losses have been sluggish the past couple weeks, stubborn, even. I'm not sure why but I'm not too worried about it, either. Right now I'm in PMS week and the scale was up by a pound today (294), which is frustrating but also not exactly surprising. My tummy feels kind of off today and my sleep hasn't been great lately, and... hormones. I'll just keep doing what I am doing, knowing that perseverance always pays off eventually.

Assessing the year so far (I guess this is kind of like a quarterly report!), I see progress. It's slow, but I'm definitely making progress.

• In January and February, I was still struggling to get out of the 300s. It wasn't even until mid-March that I finally broke out of there for good, actually!

• In March, I broke the 295 barrier but still found that my body was fighting it.

• Throughout April I was in the 290s, having got down to 290 on two of those days. My body is still fighting that, apparently, and as I mentioned, ended the month at 293.

• I had an amazing walk/run in the dark in the rain late last week. It was great! I ended up doing a 5K distance, my first since January, and it felt really good. I did walk most of it, but the last mile was more running than not. My average pace was in the 17s, with the third mile at just a squeak over 16 – super awesome for me, especially since I haven't been doing a lot of walking and, like, no running in quite a while (minus some treadmill work here and there). Strength training does help!

YEAH! Nicely done.

And I'm still in the green on my Happy Scale app! If nothing else happens, I always ever want to stay in the green, which means that I am losing or maintaining my average weight. I saw WAY too much red in 2016.

For May, I definitely want to make my way out of the 290s solidly. I would say that I want to be under 280 – aiming high, I know – but based on my history I very well could pull it out. It would be amazing to be in the 270s by my 47th birthday on June 9th. (OMG, I initially typed in 27th instead of 47th, LOL! I tell you what, though – 27 does NOT seem that long ago.)

I'm also very happy to announce that my partner, C., broke the 300 barrier! I'm so thrilled for him. He's also been working hard and has been such a great support to me. It's so much easier when you have a built-in support system at home.

In other news, I feel like the luckiest girl alive lately! I was able to lease a new car on Saturday, which I am still stunned by because my Toyota dealer was giving me such a hard time about my situation – the lease on my Prius was out very soon, and I've had a not-so-lovely credit report these days; they were asking me for pay stubs and utility bills, whether I could get a co-signer, how much money could I put down, etc. etc. – just making things seem dire and not being very helpful. Hey, I get it. When you have shitty credit, that is what happens. But, I thought at least that customer loyalty would factor in at least some. Didn't seem that way at all, though!

In frustration and after talking with C. about what kind of car we'd like, settled on trying for a Honda Civic, a car his sister got last year and loves. Since I wasn't really into the new versions of the Corolla or the Camry (felt like tin cans!), I was into it. I looked up who was the best Honda dealer in the area and contacted them. Long story short, within a day they got me into the mid-level Civic, an EX-T (Moon roof! Heated seats! Turbo engine!), for almost $100 less per month than my Prius, and with better insurance rates and lower deductibles! On top of that? I won't ever have to worry about mileage overage again because they got me 20,000 miles a year. (I drive a lot!) Unfortunately, I'm going to have to pay for the excess miles I put on my Prius, but hey – I am outta there and I am HONDA FOR LIFE now. Classier dealership, nicer people, better financing, better cars. That Civic feels practically like a luxury car to me, especially compared to the Toyotas I recently test drove.

Hello! My name is Jabberjaw!
Hooray for Ray Laks Honda and my salesman, Mark Snipes!

Anyway, you can imagine how insanely happy I am about this. It takes a HUGE load off my mind. I'd been stressed out about it since the new year, when I first started talking to Toyota about what to do at the end of me lease. Honda made it so fast and easy, I was seriously shaking my head and really wishing I'd gone to them in the first place. But now I know, and I should be set car-wise for a very long time. (Now that I have the right mileage deal, I just love leasing – new car every three years!)

Then, on top of all that? I got an email from Panera Bread this morning telling me that I am entitled to one free bagel every single day of May! What??? Yep. I guess they pick random customers to do this sort of thing, and I got lucky. That's like $35 worth of free bagels, and I am using it to the max.

Things are looking up in many ways. I hope that I can keep the good karma coming my way. It feels amazing!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Back to Normalish

More good news – I'm back to 291 again. So, up five pounds in two days and down five pounds in another two. Crazy body.

I'm just happy that I am still in the green on Happy Scale, to be honest.

I also have a few days left to hit my sub-290 goal. Please oh please.

In other news, my trainer canceled our appointment yesterday afternoon, but C. and I went out for some more tennis, which was awesome. I'm 95% sure I'm going to get those tennis shoes I posted about yesterday. Today and tomorrow we've got company-wide meetings with our folks from NYC in town, so... I would just like this week to be over with already, even if I do get a free dinner at Gordon Biersch out of it, and free conference lunch too! I don't think I have anything to be nervous about, but you know how it is. I'll just assume that it's part of the reason that I chose hot chocolate over green tea this morning, and a couple handfuls of jelly beans in addition to the free weekly bagel. (UGH. Unawares emotional eating at its finest, folks!)

Which reminds me, I need to finish up my trusting myself with food challenge, for which I just need to fill out the last day's form. I'm gradumatating! I'm still working on the 30-day journaling challenge, too, and I've decided to share that link here. There's nothing I wouldn't say here in this blog in that journal, but I'm addressing specific questions and I think maybe somebody might get some benefit from seeing the process of working through them? Let me know what you think!

Ooh, and I try to get a little bit of meditation in every day, even if that just means counting breaths as I try to calm my mind falling asleep. I just did this quick, one-minute session by James Stephenson, a guy that Samantha from Live The Whole suggested: Your Ideal Life. Holy cow – in it, you picture the life you want to have five years from now, and it amazed me how just one minute of doing this can feel so powerful and affirming. I have been planting some seeds for my future just recently and trying to feel as positive as possible about what I might be doing a month, a year, five years from now. The future could be very bright indeed! I'll have to check out more of his guided meditations, and as you know, I also really love the Stop-Breathe-Think website and app.

Lately I have been doing pretty well with self-care, and my morning routine is well ingrained now – mostly lovely skincare things, like a nice cleanser, eye cream, day cream, serum (I've been trying out Acure products and like them a lot so far!)... and at night trying to remember to cleanse as well, and doing a special overnight mask a few times a week, too. The night time routine isn't totally there yet, but trying to remember to do these things as add-ons when I brush my teeth for the last time of the day.

And again, I can't stress how much having a good set of clothes that is easy to wear and makes me feel good, confident, and pretty is so game-changing for me! It makes getting ready for work in the mornings so much nicer, for one thing – and sometimes, that's the only thing, isn't it?

Leaving you now feeling very positive and refreshed and just good. Goodgoodgood. I'll totally take it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ups and Downs and... Part 2

OK, folks, false alarm.

As (hopefully) predicted, my weight was well down again this morning, to 293 and change. Down about three and a half pounds overnight! This made me feel pretty correct in my assumption that the Chinese food I'd been eating the previous couple days had been problematic. #shortmemoryspan #neverforget

I drank a lot of water yesterday and the eating was pretty normal – held to my calorie goal of 1800, which included a delicious double IPA post-tennis last night. That's right! We were out on the court again, the first time since my partner was hurt a couple weeks ago. He did all right and so did I, though I did notice more aches and pains during than I have earlier in the season. Not sure what's up with that, except that I may need a new pair of tennis shoes. Mine are now two years old and so I am definitely due, and lucky for me Tennis Express is having a shoe sale, where I spotted these:



I REALLY WANT THEM. I currently have a pair of Adidas, so I know that I like how the brand fits. These are killing me.

Anyway... I ended up actually winning one game out of the 13 we played (two sets = one whole match). Final score: 6–0, 6–1 in C.'s favor, of course. Still, I was very pleased with how I played in general – hustling better for the ball, getting behind the ball better and keeping my eye on it, better control of where I'm sending it. My serve still seems to be better – I finally figured out a semi-good form that works well. We played for over an hour compared the 45-minute sessions we've played so far this season. Good stuff! We also have a trip to Pittsburgh coming up soon so that we can play on the clay public courts again, so nice!

In other news, I've been accumulating more clothes in the past two months than I have, like, in the past two decades, not even joking. OK, maybe that is an exaggeration, but I have definitely bought more clothes recently than I have in a really long time. Major reasons for this? a) LuLaRoe (especially the going out of business consultant group I found on Facebook – I had to unfollow it for a while because it was way too tempting) and b) I realized that I can fit into XXL sizes at straight stores – at least Old Navy and some of Gap. I scored a pile of black staples like cardigans and jersey dresses for dirt cheap that I love looks-wise and that feel really good on. It's kind of been a game-changer, if you want to know. It's like I am a new person, even if I haven't lost all the weight I want to yet. It's a fantastic feeling to be able to dress how you want to dress.

I've also been doing stupid (?) stuff like buying way below my current size. The main example is this pair of Sammie pants from J. Crew, which for some reason I really could not resist even though the largest size they had left was a 12. I know, I know... who the fuck knows when I'll be able to fit into them, but... they were on super sale (I actually got them for $14.99 each when I ordered them last week!) and I just love them so much. I got one in each color. I mean, corduroy! An interesting shape! I'll make them work when the time comes. And it will. See:

Sammies! SO CUTE. I would NOT wear mine with heels.

Today I am wearing a black v-neck cardi from Old Navy along with a LuLaRoe shirt (I think a Perfect T?) that I can't decide whether I like or not. Funny thing is, I've received a couple compliments on it today, and that doesn't happen too often. Part of it is feeling like the print feels a little "old" or too fussy for my taste? And that the color isn't exactly in my comfort zone. I think I might end up trying to sell it, but for posterity's sake, here it is:

Almost-fluorescent green with brown background... meh, I think? I had to change my
glasses to the torties to better coordinate – mint green looked weird with it.
And here is the classic "bathroom at work" shot as well! LOL.

It's merely a coincidence that the phone covered up most of my double chin! Seriously.

I guess that is it for now – wow, lots of fashion stuff! I always wanted to do a fashion blog but just never have. Hm... can you say bucket list item?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Ups and Downs and %$# Ups

Just posting quickly today because it is the kind of day a daily weigher really %$# hates.

I told you yesterday that I was up to 294 after the previous day at 291? Today I am all the way up to 296.6, and I am all like, WTF MF??? I didn't do anything yesterday to warrant a gain like that, grrr.

Or did I? We've been eating Chinese take-out and leftovers the past few days, and even though I got a broccoli/snow pea/green bean in garlic sauce dish (excellent, by the way!) and some steamed shrimp, I can't help but wonder if maybe the sodium/MSG that stuff is notorious for caused it? I've been logging calories, and while yes I had a crappy eating day on Saturday, I totally reined it in yesterday.

So here I am, having gained five pounds in two days. Yay!

(I know, I know... not a real gain, etc. etc. but sometimes you just really need to bitch it out. I was so happy to be so close to the 280s, grrrr. GRRRR!)

To top off an awesome morning, I took our cat Callie's body to the pet crematorium before work. The lady there was super nice, but man that sucks. I'm doing my best to not respond with emotion-fueled eating today. And after work, C. and I are definitely hitting some tennis balls around.

Tomorrow's another day.

*grumble* *sniffle*

Sunday, April 23, 2017

What Can I Accomplish?

Well, well, it's been a while and it's been an adventure. Various things going on, still feeling focused but amazed at how just one off day can totally ruin everything – at least, that's what it feels like, temporarily.

I was up a bit and then back down a bit, then up again this morning after a somewhat raucous evening and another skip of the gym appointment. The stars felt truly not aligned yesterday. I was tired and rushed and I couldn't be bothered to go down to the laundry room to get fresh workout clothes on. Very last minute, I texted a cancellation notice for the day. (I also cancelled my LA Fitness membership again, but that is more about preferring to support the local weight lifting-focused gym where I usually meet up with my trainer, even though the bells and whistles are far fewer.)

I actually did OK eating-wise until later in the evening, when I ended up having one beer and then another. And then I wanted to try the chili we made for today's consumption, and it was so hot that I ended up downing like six pieces of bread and half a box of Cheez-Its or something dumb like that. We are also a little more than stressed about our eldest cat's failing health and impending death, as in, it could be any day now. That makes it harder to do the right things when it comes to my health and fitness, you know? (ETA: Callie passed away just a couple hours after writing this.)

On the plus side, to try to counter that, I've been working on a couple challenges from LivetheWhole, including a 14-day Trust Yourself with Food one, as well as a 30 day Emotional Eating Journaling one. I've stuck pretty well to the action part of these and keeping up: Today is day 12 of the 14 days, and day 9 of the the 30 days. I'm not really sure what good they are doing me at this point, but I do feel that it is always good to think carefully about things that are related to the way we relate to food. If nothing else I am trying to be more mindful of what and when I eat, which is a step in the right direction.

Yesterday I was down into 291, but today back up to 294. My goal for April was to get down to 285, which now feels kind of impossible, but based on even very recent events, I know that it is actually probably still doable. At the very least I'd like to be solidly under 290 by the end of the month. According to my Happy Scale app, I still remain in the green on my monthly report (a chart that calculates your moving average as well as monitors actual weight), which is my totally ultimate goal every month – April so far is my second month straight completely in the green (i.e. going in the right direction), and I just want to keep it going for as many months as I can. Green = progress and that is all I really want, no matter how it takes to get to wherever it is I am going. See what I mean?


April is looking good – just one more week!

It's kind of funny how busy but also how lazy I've been lately. When I'm going, it's go go go, but when I have downtime, man! I have been a huge loaf. Today C. and I were going to go hit some tennis balls around to see how he feels, and/or go for a walk, but with our kitty not doing so well, we're hesitant to leave her alone in case her time comes. Instead, we've been watching tennis, movies, and basketball on TV and took an epic afternoon nap with said kitty in the middle. (They are still in bed, by the way!) Honestly, the idea of actually doing something productive sounds like a terrible idea today. I just can't shake it.

So, looking forward this week:

• Hit 285–289 weight-wise

• Get through big company-wide meetings at work on Wednesday and Thursday (ugh)

Get through our cat's likely Deal with our cat's death while doing these things

• Keep building on my exercise schedule – keep my three training appointments as well as adding other activity that I'll be doing with my partner (walking and tennis)

• Don't freaking burn out



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Sea Change

Often, what has happened if I haven't posted much in a given time is that things have kind of (or definitely) derailed. I am very pleased to say that is NOT the case this time around. To recap, when I posted a week ago tomorrow, I mentioned how strange are bodies can be when I dropped a couple pounds quite unexpectedly, and I also mentioned how I was OK with likely not meeting my goal of 292 by this past Sunday. Well, at the time it did seem very unlikely indeed!

But, for whatever reason, in the past week, I've been letting go of some major poundage. Today, I weighed in at 290 and change. I did, in fact, hit my goal of 292 on Sunday.

I don't really know the exact reason why. I mean, I have largely been doing the same things as I have ever done, especially in the past month or so. I think I made an important realization last week, though. At first it was the assumption that exercise was hindering my progress, because it was during my break period last week spending as much time at home with my injured partner that the weight started dropping off.

The more I thought about it, though, I came to understand that I was eating "regular" calories every single day (1600–1800), i.e. at a deficit. Typically on workout days, I'd allow myself a couple extra hundred, and sometimes quite honestly it ended up being more. And those were at least three days out of the week! As we all know, you can't out-exercise excessive eating, so...

It seems really obvious now, but it feels like a major light bulb switched on. I simply need to eat at normal cal levels no matter how much activity I have in a day. Argh, it makes so much sense now. So I am going to try that from now on and see if that continues to help. I am obviously VERY pleased with the recent progress I have made! Essentially, I have turned back the clock to last July, which was the last time I was consistently in the 280s. Almost there!

Looking back on my history, my next "turn back the clock" period will take me to April of last year, when I last saw the 270s as a regular thing. Yes, this creep has been going on for a long time now – since Thanksgiving 2015, to be precise.

I can't tell you how happy I am that I am managing to drag myself out of this quagmire. I have mentioned in the past how many times I have lost a significant amount of weight, only to gain it back within a few months, and then proceed to gain more. A terrible, vicious cycle indeed! I have now been at this consistently for three years, and while I have gained some of the weight I lost again, I am taking control of the situation and I'm getting myself back to where I need to be.

I am very, very proud of not giving up. It would have been so easy to do that.

My message today to anyone reading is that you must never, ever give up, even if it seems like an impossible task. I am living proof.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Body Is a Strange Machine

After all that whining yesterday... and the fairly crappy eating... I got on the scale this morning and was very surprised to find myself DOWN two pounds! What??!!

As I say in the title of this post, the body is a strange machine indeed.

The only thing I can think is that it's PMS week and my hormones are being a little nutty.

Whatever the reason, I will gladly accept it and continue on my merry way. Plus, I've got my gym appointment tonight and I'll be able to stick to it! Fortunately, my partner is feeling better each day so I don't feel quite so bad leaving him alone beyond my usual workday, and he emphatically said that he wants me to go! So there.

It's been a busy, weirdo week, but it's almost wrapped up and I will be ready for the weekend when it arrives. I might not reach 292 this weekend like I had hoped last Sunday, but I will definitely get there eventually!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sometimes I Just Feel Like a Loser

WARNING: I am being really hard on myself and say some kind of harsh stuff in this post. I am just lashing out and technically I know I am not a loser, but sometimes venting in this way feels like the thing to do.

I am always honest when I write in this blog. I share all my feelings with you – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Today I'm feeling kind of dejected. Not kind of – no, I really just feel like a big, fat loser. Funny enough I actually mean fat in the figurative sense and not so much in the literal sense (though anyone looking at me would see that I am indeed fat).

Anyway. It's been a week, and we're only halfway through! I think the biggest challenge has not even been my own, but rather that my partner got hurt while we were playing tennis on Sunday, and it's been concerning, slightly stressful, and just throwing me off in general. I hate that he is suffering most of all. We both had goals for ourselves this week and the event has just thrown all that to the wayside.

We were playing some awesome tennis, actually! He was trying out his new racquet and I was finally feeling like I hit a stride with my serve. We were both playing pretty well (for us, especially me – I even won a set!) and having fun. Then, it happened: he made a valiant effort to get a ball that just out of reach and stretched a bit too far, causing him to lose balance and fall. At least, as we both joke, he was able to return it successfully! Still, though, while the damage didn't seem too bad at first (we played a few more points after that), it compounded by the time we got home and has gotten worse in some ways. He thinks maybe he bruised a rib, as his whole right side really hurts. I'll bet he also strained the muscle there. He was barely able to walk the next day, so I stayed home from work; he seemed better yesterday but still in a lot of pain, and same thing today.

As a result, for him, he's just eating and drinking whatever (bourbon helps the pain) and I am to an extent too, partially from worry. Our grand plan to drop five pounds this week seems to have gone out the window.

For me, the whole not-weighing-every-day thing failed grossly, too. I wanted to see what was going on the other day, and I actually gained two pounds, back up to 299. WAY to close to 300 for comfort, of course. Dangerously close. I tried a little harder yesterday to eat a little better, but I also stayed home instead of going to my gym appointment so he wouldn't be alone so much. The result was that I dropped back down a half pound, so good, but still... disappointing too.

Today I had a walk/run on my schedule for the morning, but because I had a couple drinks last night and didn't get to bed early enough (dumb excuse though), I didn't make it up in time to fit it in before work. I also had the intention of eating on-point, but I ended up doing Subway and not sticking to my no-cookie thing like I had planned, and ended up buying (and eating) three. I'm over my calories for the day already. (Could be worse, but still. LOSER.) After work tonight I have a meeting for my new side gig (I am Media Manager for a new, local lit publisher – part time, yo, I still have my full-time job!) and it involves free pizza, and pizza is life, so...

And maybe I am wearing leggings and stretchy clothes too much, but at least I have some nice, comfortable clothes to wear. Maybe it was a mistake to get all those comfy LuLaRoe pieces at this point? One cannot live on leggings alone. I'll wear pants tomorrow. My boss is coming in from NYC to visit for the day, anyway.

And why the heck am I bailing on my exercise schedule this week so hard? I WANT to make progress. Not doing the work = not making progress.

I have a theory on this. last week I exercised every. Single. Day. Strength training, walk/running, PT, tennis... I gotta tell you, by the time Monday hit, I was pretty tired and really happy for a rest day. And now it's Wednesday and I've done diddly-squat and it feels like shit but I still don't really want to do anything because I am tired and lazy, and, and... I'm in the "tired of fighting the fight" mode right now.

Oh wait! But maybe it is just PMS. I always forget this when I am feeling dire. I should be getting it this weekend, so that makes sense. So maybe just forget everything I've said here?

Either way, I've got to get past this and I have to keep my focus. I want to lift heavy weight and I want to run long distances. But I won't be able to do those things if I don't keep doing the work.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

No Foolin'

I'm afraid that I don't have anything to fool you with today. But it's been a while since I checked in and wanted to do at least a quick update.

I'm still playing around in the 295-297 zone, so frustrating. BUT, reviewing my data on Happy Scale, I realized that if I only weighed once a week, this rut would only be three weigh-ins long, which is not that big a deal, you know? I'm calming down a little bit about it now.

My partner and I were talking earlier about it, because he's kind of been playing with numbers about 10 pounds over me for a while – and wants to break out of there. So, this week we both set goals to lose 5 pounds each. This would take me down to 292. I know I can do it! I have the knowledge and skills! I have the determination! The impetus for this is a short overnight trip we're taking next Sunday to Cleveland, which is about 3 and a half hours away – I guess that sounds kind of silly, but it's a good enough reason as anything. We're going because a friend of mine from college is having a screening of his first feature film at the Cleveland Film Festival and I really want to see it on the big screen. It's a just-in-case it doesn't have wide enough distribution to come to our area. Plus, I haven't seem him in a good 20 years, and he'll be in attendance. (The movie is The Transfiguration, if you're curious – a vampire movie!) So anyway, it'll be nice to show up in Cleveland feeling good about myself all around. We rarely have overnight trips in hotels anymore, so it will be extra fun.

This past week was a busy one, exercise-wise. I did something every day except Monday, and all early mornings, too. (Groan – NOT a morning person at all!) Tuesday I did my PT cardio homework, which was a walk/run at W 4 min/R 1 min x 6. It went well and had no trouble with my leg, knee, or anything. Wednesday and Thursday I had early morning gym appointments to accommodate my trainer's new schedule, and Friday I had my last PT appointment! Yay! My therapist said that he was very pleased with my progress (me too!), and wrote out a 2-week walk/run schedule to follow. Then, he said to send him an email at the end of that to let him know how it went, and we'd go from there. So I'm pretty excited about that! Today I had my usual 11am gym appointment, and tomorrow will be more walk/run, with 2 minute periods of running instead of just 1... and some tennis!

I just want to expand a little bit about my experience at the gym this morning – it was fantastic. I had actually really wanted to skip for no good reason, but I got myself up and out. I was kind of hoping to do some deadlifting today, but instead Rick had me doing a bunch of stuff that would help support my deadlifts. I'm always game for whatever he has in mind for me to do, so that was fine. We did a bunch of dumbbell moves, and some callanetics and core work and things like this leg lifts variations set I often do, topped off with one of my new favorites, the supported row. I found an image of what the machine is like that I use for that exercise, see:

Image source
This guy (the machine, not the actual dude!) was the one who made me cry. Let me explain!

Rick had me do a number of sets, and it was the last thing on my workout before cool down on the treadmill for 10 minutes. Anyway, it's a cool exercise to do, and he starts me without any weight at all and adds more as I go along, varying the number of repeats throughout. You can image that after almost an hour, I was feeling pretty tired, and on top of that, I'm expecting my period pretty soon. The second I completed my last set, the gates flew open and the tears were unleashed.

Man, oh man. This is the second time I've cried after a good lift – the last time was when I achieved my 216 lb. deadlift. I'm finding this sport of weightlifting (or, as Rick came up that I like better, "power building") is quite emotional for me! I'm sure it's parts physiological, emotional, mental – there is so much concentrated effort that happens, and it's really intense! Then, the feeling of a big accomplishment, PR or not, well... all that coming together and you've got a big wonderful mess, as far as I am concerned. I kind of love it, too. Like, I really love it. I feel at home when I am lifting, and contrary to what you might think, the other folks at the lifting-focused gym I sometimes go to are super nice and supportive.

Food has been mostly OK, except for yesterday which was a big mess – the worst and most I've eaten in one day in at least a few weeks; today was so-so but not the worst. I am excited for the upcoming week and working on getting really serious along with my partner to get some stubborn pounds off.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Ice Cream! Tennis!

It was a nice day today.

I finally got the ice cream I've been wanting – from local favorite Lake Effect Ice Cream. I'd never been to the actual store but really enjoy their pints from the grocery store... and I tried going there on Friday, when I took the day off from work, but it was CLOSED! Boo! But today, I went and C. came with me – even better. I had a two-scoop sundae and it was delicious and I have zero regrets. Why should I have regrets for eating delicious, quality food?

So anyway, that made me very happy. Then, on the way home C. suggested seeing if the nets were up at the courts we usually play – a nearby high school. We decided to go home first and change into our gear and grab the rackets just in case they were. Long story short: Courts were available, we played our first set of the season, and I lost 6–0. What else is new? I don't mind about losing most of the time, because I just enjoy the game and I am still learning a lot.

It was also great because I got 45 minutes of unexpected exercise in. Originally I'd planned to do my cardio PT homework – Walk 4 min/run 1 min x 5. I did it on Thursday on the treadmill, the first time running since... sometime in January! I got through the workout just fine and with no pain in my legs, but I will admit that I was sweating and I was breathing hard. It looks like I have a lot of work to do to get my running endurance back, but I will.

I keep having mixed feelings about running. Once in a while the thought will cross my mind that maybe I don't want to run anymore at all? That I am just done with it? I guess my answer to this is that I still always want to be able to run a mile or two without too much trouble. I like having that level and type of fitness and don't want to lose it. I like being able to run. I guess I really just need to NOT enter races or even try running with other people for a very long time – those are things I now realize make me feel really shitty about my abilities.

For now, I am SO digging strength training and especially weight-lifting, and now we can play tennis whenever (hopefully, at least!), and soon we'll also be hiking and taking walks. And I feel like these are all things (except maybe tennis, LOL) that right now, my body is more suited for. I've got that German/Irish peasant type bod – big arms, lots of weight around the middle, and strong by default. My trainer and I talked a little bit about competition somewhere down the line, maybe a year. Argh, that sounds so cool! I get the same kind of high from weightlifting as I do running, and I don't feel like an elephant trying to balance on a beach ball, you know? It's a much more better feeling to be in my kind of skin doing those sorts of activities. How refreshing!

Well, as I continue to lose weight, presumably running will get easier and I'll stop feeling so conflicted about it.

Oh hey, what about the weight? I'm still hovering in 295, though yesterday I dipped my toe in 294.8! I'm OK with where I am now, having been wrestling between 295 and 297 for the past two weeks. It's like de rigeur now. I will genuinely be shocked and amazed if I ever do get below that in a meaningful way. I am by no means giving up! Sometimes I think you just need to be at peace with something before you can move on to the next thing, does that make sense? I'm still making an effort, as much as ever, but I am trying to be more patient. That's a good thing!

That said, it's still hard to not focus on the numbers. I talk to my trainer about this on occasion (OK, maybe every week), and on Saturday he said to think more about gains in strength, developing better form, etc. instead – and how I am progressing in other ways.

I remembered that I haven't measured my body in a long time, turns out not since January 2016 – and shortly after was when I started gradually gaining weight, hm, coincidence? Or no? It turns out that my measurements have regressed, sadly. By inches! My measurements were close to those I took back on March 29, 2015, and wouldn't you know? I weighed about the same then as I do now. At least I am consistent! One thing I did realize looking at past numbers is that the next 25 pounds will be really wonderful to lose. I had been starting to feel really good about clothes and things at that point – it's kind of amazing how big a difference 25 pounds make, even on a body like mine.

I'm thinking about trying DietBet... more to come soon on that. I still am not sure I can deal.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

216

I deadlifted 216 pounds tonight!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Argh. Argh! (And Then Put a Smile On It)

I had such high hopes yesterday for what the scale would show today.

I know the scale is not the only barometer of progress. I know that weighing every day leaves me exposed to the danger of witnessing daily weight fluctuations. I can still bitch, though, right?

Yesterday was a day where I thought I did everything right. I fasted for 21 hours. I was on my feet and working in the kitchen for a good 4-5 hours. When I ate, I counted the cals and I stayed under my 1800 calorie goal for the day. I didn't go crazy at all.

Yet somehow, the scale registered a two pound GAIN this morning.

Oh. My. GAWD. Really?

This is the second time in as many weeks this has happened to me!

So I admit it, I was a little pissy to myself after that, the whole "I'm over it" speech in my head, blah blah blah.

I decided to switch things up a bit and to NOT do intermittent fasting (IF) today. I was hungry this morning, dammit, so I had a Noosa yogurt. Damn, I love those things! Have you ever had a Noosa? It's like heaven in a little plastic (resealable!) container. Anyway. That was good. Then I remembered that I had two Subway cookies still in my desk drawer at work, and I shoved those in my pie hole. (I actually really hate that term, but it seems fitting right now.) Then, to top it all off I had several bites off of a small chocolate rabbit that also sat in the drawer.

Result? I feel totally gross now. But I sure did scratch an itch, I guess. Yuck!

Of course I logged everything and I still plan to stay at goal calories, which means that I'll be eating a late lunch (some of the chickpea curry I made yesterday) and probably very little, if anything, for dinner. I was actually thinking maybe a nice salad, but I don't know.

I guess my convoluted hope was that by eating that junk I would nudge my body into doing something else. Stupid, I know. I never said I was perfect, or even reasonable most of the time.

All this said, I am staying positive and know that this, too, shall pass. I will be in the 280s before I know it! That is something to smile about, right?

No lipstick, some pimples, tired. Smile anyway!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

On a Roll

I'm pretty excited. I've been in the 290s for about a week, and today was the second day in a row that I was 295 and change. Despite my best efforts, I haven't cracked below 295, but I bet it will happen in the coming week. Maybe even tomorrow!

I finally got back to the gym on Saturday and had a great workout that was mainly focused on upper body. I tried out a new rack and was able to lift 55 pounds over my head while standing! It felt amazing. Man, the high I get from lifting is astounding.

Today I spent a good portion of the day doing lunch meal prep for the week – for the first time practically ever! It's something that I've talked about for at least many months now, but never cracked down on it. I had some free time along with a bunch of stuff in the fridge and cupboard to work with, so I made a homemade pizza, a chickpea curry, and my favorite – sweet potato/black bean/quinoa burgers (except I used a combo of carrots and white potatoes in place of the sweet potatoes. It worked well!). I plan to have mine topped with avocado, salsa, and sour cream. YUM.

Suffice it to say that I'm really looking forward to the week ahead. I am dying to get myself back under 290...

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Small Adjustments to Build Good Habits

One thing that I have been trying to do is log my food intake every day on MyFitnessPal. It was something I did without fail during my most successful time, and when it became less regular, I think my progress suffered. I mean, it wasn't the only reason, but it was probably a key one.

I am happy to say that I have logged in every day for the past 25 days. It feels good to have a little more control and be a little more aware of what I am putting into my body.

Today I am pretty proud of my eating because I really watched portions, and still felt satisfied, AND stayed under my calorie goal (which has been 1800 lately).

Here's what I had:

Lunch: Subway roast beef 12" sub with tons of veggies, pepper jack cheese, and vinegar. A bag of baked BBQ Lays. One (yes, one!) rainbow cookie (basically a cookie with M&Ms baked in).
Total = 1,105 calories

Dinner: Homemade chicken nachos – measured for the first time ever and a much more reasonable portion than I usually make (yay!). 18 tortilla chips, 4 oz. baked, shredded chicken breast, 1/3 cup shredded pepper jack cheese, pickled jalapenos (Mrs. Renfro's brand is the best!), a couple dabs of sour cream, and some fresh salsa (Jack's from Wegmans, yum!). Oh! And topped with a healthy clump of fresh cilantro. For dessert, 32 Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips. Yes, I counted them!
Total = 664 calories

Weight-wise, I got down to 295.6 the other day! Very pleased with that, and hoping to see below 295 soon. Yesterday I had another good eating day (I mostly have one big meal or one bigger and one smaller meal, within the 8 hour eating window I follow doing intermittent fasting), having some of the best chili I've made and eaten along with some delish cornbread-jalapeno cheese muffins, and counting everything. On top of that, I ended up doing two hours' worth of hardcore snow shoveling! Wow, that was exhausting and I wish I had taken photos, and I figured that would net in a good loss this morning.

Alas! It didn't – just the opposite, actually. I gained two pounds! Well, I suppose it was some water retention because the skin of my fingers felt tight this morning. Definitely bloat. I wasn't too upset because I know how daily weighing goes and you have to expect these things to happen sometimes, but I tell you what, I was so excited to get below 295. Another day!

My new obsession with LuLaRoe continues and I have amassed more clothes – some leggings, but more skirts and tops, too. One thing that really is frustrating, though not much different from clothes shopping otherwise, is that the sizing seems really inconsistent in some cases. For instance, I wear TC leggings (Tall and Curvy), but all the pairs I have seem to be slightly different sizes, with one that I can't even get up over my calves! I have several Julia dresses at sizes 2X and 3X that fit like sausage casings, but the Carly dress I have that fits perfectly is an XL. To be fair, it is widely known that Carlys run large, but still. I can wear an Irma shirt and an Azure skirt (A-line) in 2XL, but the one Cassie skirt (straight) I have in a 2XL is also like a sausage casing.

I'm hanging onto everything because I am going to be able to wear them eventually, but I won't lie that it is kind of disappointing to have to wait. Still, I really appreciate the brand and how it has made me feel so different about getting dressed in the morning in the best way.

So, anyway – long story short, right? I've just been feeling so good about things lately. I'm trying to see how long I can make it last!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Now That's What I Call Progress! (Snowstorm Edition)

We got hit by the big snowstorm today! It pretty much never stopped snowing all day, so there's a lot out there. You know what that means, right? Snow shoveling, i.e. awesome exercise. I'm going to head out there shortly.

I'm so pleased that the scale read 296 today. It's such a relief to see the numbers going down again after such a long stagnancy. I feel re-energized and determined to get this done – of course the first big goal to get back to where I left off in November 2014, in the 260s. In the meantime, I'm just going to keep working on getting 10 pounds off at a time, hitting each "decade" with joy. I'm already eyeing the 280s and impatient to get there.

I'm most proud of the fact that I have not given up, even when the going got (gets) tough. Things could have gone much differently – could have been a repeat of the past when I always did give up and then gained back all the weight I lost and then some. I am rewriting the script now.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Progress

Just checking quickly to share a small whooosh I experienced this morning – was very happy to see 297.8 on the scale. I'm anxious to keep the momentum going and I'm feeling confident.

This morning was kind of crappy and I ended up not going to the gym for my training appointment. It was snowy and cold outside, and the mood in the house was not high, let me put it that way. On one hand I guess it would have been nice to get out of the house in those circumstances, but staying just seemed like the right thing to do. Eating was fine today, nothing out of the ordinary, nothing difficult. Sometimes weekends are really easy, like today, while others are more challenging. I'm even expecting my period any hour now and would expect that I'd be insatiable and wanting to eat all the wrong things.

But, this is what a little bit of meaningful progress can do.

I did end up doing about a half an hour's worth of light snow shoveling this evening, so I got some activity in.

I'm already looking forward to getting back to the 280s again! Maybe I can make it happen quickly. We'll see!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Positivity Galore

Today is...

• Feeling good because I was back down to 300 exactly this morning – and my moving average on Happy Scale is now below 300 again, something I haven't seen since early December!


Holding steady! Just get below 300 and stick there already!


• Feeling comfortable and fashionable wearing more LuLaRoe (along with my fav, totally-worn-out black shirt from J. Jill), wishing I could get a good photo but not being able to. Yes, I am probably over wearing my Fluevogs but I just love them SO. MUCH. I feel like they encompass my whole being, everything that makes up who I am, in two little boots. Also, I happened to wear at least one piece of LuLa every day this week. I guess I am turning into one of those people.

I love the big, bold graphic pattern on my leggings!
My first bathroom shot at the new office.

• Feeling excited and proud that I got a really cool part-time job offer! It won't get in the way of my day job, but it's going to be working for a fledgling magazine here in Buffalo. I haven't formally accepted the offer yet, but news flash: I'll pretty much do it no matter what, unless they asked me to work for free, which they won't. I was made the offer right at the end of the interview I had yesterday but details are still pending. Totally good vibes all around – I can't wait to make it official! (By the way, was wearing a LuLaRoe "Carly" dress, must be good luck!)

• Happy that even though this past week or two has been pretty busy and stressful at work, I hung onto my dignity and stayed calm throughout – and got the work done! I want to be a good co-worker and promote positive feelings in our workplace! I'm lucky to have such a nice group of people to work with.

• Looking forward to a nice, relaxing weekend with a little weight lifting thrown in for good measure.

(The buproprion must be working wonders on me!)


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Oh, Rats!

Yesterday I had the plan to have a "good" eating day, meaning simply that I would stick to mainly healthier foods in reasonable quantities – should really be every day, but as you know, I am hardly perfect! Anyway, it started out great. I had things laid out: A yogurt and apple for breakfast, a Panera Green Goddess salad for lunch (and a cookie). I was going to keep dinner simple and just do a default chicken and roasted veggie kind of thing, but long story short we ended up getting take out for dinner and I had a big old cheeseburger, fries, and some loaded tater tots instead. Ugh. 

It tasted good and if I had planned for it, I could have totally fit it into my day with no problem (though I do admit that the tater tots was really stupid and unnecessary). But that is not what happened, and so almost as soon as I was done eating, I regretted the whole thing. I felt like total shit. Ultimately, it upset me so much that I started crying – so hard that it made my head hurt, even!

I found myself breaking into an open bag of chocolate chips and had one palmful when my partner spotted me and said, "Why don't we put these away now? Maybe you'll just gain one pound instead of five!" I knew he was right, and so I did stop there. It's really nice to have gentle reinforcements around to help out in desperate times, isn't it?

Fast forward to this morning. I got on the scale, and sure enough! Just one pound up from yesterday, 301. And I was totally OK with it, too. I felt relief. Yes, I am mad that I am back up a little bit, but I know that with a couple good days under my belt I will be heading back down again. I'm still in a comfortable place.  In fact, the other day I posted this on Facebook about my experience with weight lifting:
You know what I really like about weight lifting? I realized this tonight: It's a sport that allows me to celebrate and feel good about my body as it is now, and it lets me progress and enjoy and feel really powerful and strong. I really like running a lot, but I always felt like I was having to struggle and work against my physical capabilities. Tonight, I lifted and didn't mind seeing myself in the mirror, and I imagined myself like one of those powerhouse Olympic women lifters, from Bulgaria or something. Tonight, it was a fantastic feeling to not have to wait to lose more weight to feel better about my physical being. It was a real "Aha!" moment! 
That said, I still plan to go back to running, but I want to continue building my strength and losing more weight before I put myself through that again, so that I can run strong and (hopefully) without injury. Stay tuned!
It's a truly amazing feeling, to be OK with my body right now. I have noticed that I walk straighter and with more confidence. I have fun dressing again – I feel like my clothes are really reflecting who I am and what I represent. I am proud that I am big and strong. So yes, I definitely want to become leaner, but in the meantime, I'm appreciating how much my body can do. When I was running regularly, I sometimes felt the same way, but too often I felt reminded of what my body cannot do, and that was beyond frustrating.

But, on another frustrating note, I had an outfit that I'd planned to wear today, which included a skirt that I haven't worn since sometime last year. I never really imagined that I wouldn't be able to wear it, but surprise! It will barely go over my hips and belly now. Ack. I should have figured, I suppose, but I think that I just don't realize how much smaller I had really been with those extra 30 or so pounds off. Fortunately, I had a backup skirt that does fit, but I was really disappointed to not be able to wear the one I wanted.

More reasons why, right?

Keep on keeping on.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Random Thoughts

I feel like it's been a while since I wrote a substantive post, and I have lots of thoughts but maybe thoughts that don't necessarily segue into each other super well. Enter the bulleted list!

• I don't know how or what to eat today. I'm doing Intermittent Fasting (IF), and while I could technically start eating now (or even hours ago, to be honest), but I'm holding out until at least noon so that my window extends to 8pm... but that's not even great because my gym workout tonight goes until 8. Really, it would be best for me to hold off eating until 1pm so that the window ends at 9, but OMG I am really hungry now. Argh.

Possibilities for the what, for a big lunch: Panera Green Goddess salad and a sprouted grain roll, a Noosa yogurt, an apple, maybe something else since I'll have the calories for it. Another possibility is less healthy maybe, but would definitely tide me over and through my workout: a Subway footlong, either a meatball (not-so-good for me) or a roast beef (better for me), with baked chips and maybe a cookie if it fits (and it would, maybe even two). Argh. I'll run some numbers in MyFitnessPal and see what works best.

• I have officially given up running for a while – not permanently, mind you. I've really been enjoying my strength training workouts, especially heavy weight lifting, and I've even been enjoying my PT appointments. I'm really into the idea of getting myself in way better form and with way more of the right kinds of muscle strength for my future foray back to running. This means: Losing at least 20-30 more pounds and maybe even 50 (which is what my trainer has been suggesting), and continuing the workouts I've been doing. Obviously we're talking months before I'd want to step back to it, but I am oddly OK, even excited about it.

I just really got sick of feeling like a failure when I ran. I mean, I always did the best I could, but it always seemed to me that my best still wasn't good enough to keep up with friends and really enjoy the social aspect of it. I also like running solo, of course, but again – it always feels SO HARD and I was getting really frustrated at the lack of progress I was feeling since last summer.

I know that even when I lose more weight, running will still not be easy, but it will be easier in many ways. No doubt I will have the ability to run faster by virtue of the weight, and I will have fully prepared muscle groups. When I go back to running, I want to go back strong and excited for it! Right now, I am excited about taking an official break from it and focusing on other things.

• I got sucked in the world of LuLaRoe. I'm not sure how it happened, because I'd seen posts about it Facebook before, but always ignored them. I guess it was my online friend Emily who finally got me looking more into it and discovering the range of fun leggings they offer – I got one pair, and that was it. I now have, shall we say... several.

Lots of people really hate LLR, which I totally get – there are a number of reasons why you may not like the line, or the way the company operates. But for me, it has really sparked a renewed interest in getting dressed and having fun with it, not to mention feeling really comfortable. (Note: Do NOT wear LLR every day, because you will not realize when other clothes might be getting tighter, LOL!) I don't mind the claiming process or the way things are invoiced. I enjoy hunting for patterns or colors I like that are also in my size. (That's another thing that many people dislike.) I'm also branching out into other pieces of clothing they offer besides leggings. Today I am wearing a lovely A-line skirt (called "Azure" in LuLaLand) with the really-hard-to-find black leggings and I feel so good – it's just really comfy clothes in the fabrics I really like, those kind of slinky synthetics that drape your body? I have a J. Jill shirt like that and I've worn it to death, and despite that I still wear it because it is so freaking comfortable and makes me feel like I look good.

Of course nobody's perfect, so some of the things I don't like about LuLaRoe are that some of the pieces fit me just fine, and others don't. I'm 5'8" and right around 300 and have no problem wearing their "Tall and Curvy" leggings. I have the Azure skirt in a 2XL and feel like I might need and XL soon. But I also have two Julia dresses (a short sleeved, form-fitting, knee-length number) and first tried a 2X – fits me like a sausage casing. I got a 3X next, but it seems to fit about the same as a 2X. But, I am keeping both because I am losing weight and know I'll be able to wear them comfortably not too far down the line.

I want to try other dresses too, but have a feeling that aside from the free-flowing Carly, they'll all be about the same, fit-wise. That said, I'll have something to look forward to, right? Still, LuLa, come on! You can serve the plus size population a little better than that.

As a result, I am totally becoming a skirt and dress girl again, which I love. Here's a crappy photo showing my Azure skirt and elusive black leggings! (Oh, and of course – the Fluevog boots!)

Just showing off the pretty pattern and color! And my Fluevogs...


• I'm still hovering right around 300 – 299.4 yesterday, 300.4 today. I expect I will be firmly into the 290s this week – at least, that is the hope. That is what I am aiming for, like however many days in a row of a 29- number on the scale! I got this.