Saturday, September 25, 2004

Hello from the other side of the world

Hey all, I made it to my destination after a 15 hour journey. No working out to report, I have just been settling in and trying to get the lay of the land. However, one of my first priorities is finding a gym in the next day or so, I feel sedentary already. I had dinner out last night, pretty good salmon which they put on pasta (although I didn't eat the pasta). I am alright on food as a result but must get back to exercising with a vengence as soon as possible. I don't have much time but just wanted to check in briefly.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

I'm leaving on a jet plane

I leave early tomorrow morning and I have ridiculous amounts to do so this will be my last post for quite a while. I hope to get online once I get settled but I do not know how much internet access I will have available. Tomorrow I am spending over 15 hours in multiple airports and on planes so I expect it to be a very long day. I am mostly packed, doing the last few loads of laundry as I type. I did actually workout this morning, cardio and weights not to mention walking home from town after lunch. I am going out to dinner tonight as well but I am not that worried since I never eat much when I am flying. My plan right now is to find a gym as soon as I arrive at my destination and I will of course continue to watch my eating. I hope that this will help prevent unwanted backsliding or weight gain which I simply do not consider to be an option at this point in my life. Anyway, I was hoping to sign off with something more intelligent but I simply do not have it in me today so I am going to wish everyone well who reads this and go finish getting ready to leave. I will be back when I can but it will probably be a least a few days or possibly even a few weeks. Have a good time while I am gone.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


So, I am finally pulling my act together and organizing and packing my belongings. I gave my hairdresser 4 bags of old clothing yesterday (for a member of her family) and now I am cleaning my room and going through boxes of items that I stored. I know that people will be meeting me at the airport when I arrive at my destination and frankly I am nervous about that prospect. I cannot exactly define why I am nervous, I will be met by people who were friends with me at my heaviest weight when I was really unhealthy. Frankly, they were friends with me anyway and they have never cared what I weighed or what I looked like as a person. They haven't seen me since I started losing weight so I think it may be a bit shocking to the system. Honestly, I have always been lucky in terms of friendships, I still have a group of close girlfriends from college who have seen me fluctuate up the scale continuously for many years and did not care and I have these friends as well who simply have not cared what I weigh. I know how isolating being overweight can be for many people but I have never been lacking in close supportive friendships (even in the difficult high school years). So why am I nervous? I guess I just want them to see how I have changed internally as well as externally and be supportive of that alteration in my life. Logically, I know that they will be supportive, emotionally I am still nervous about the meeting. However, I still have so much to do that I just don't have time to obsess about it and that is probably a good thing right now.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


My leg recovered nicely yesterday so I was able to do a full 60 minute run this morning at my new pace of 5.2 mph and then walk for 60 minutes. I think part of the reason that I am running faster with ease is the fact that fall has begun to arrive and so it is cooler when I work out in the morning. I am basing some of this theory on the fact that I am sweating less when I run and need to drink less water than I did a mere week ago. My body also grudgingly agreed to move off the plateau it is on and I dropped to 160.8 this morning which was a nice surprise. This is proof that increasing cardio difficulty and making sure to eat enough calories during the day really does work in the long run. The days I missed lunch this last week I did not lose anything and it was not until I got back to a normal eating schedule with three meals a day and snacks that I lost anything at all. I just wish that this could be explained to desparate dieters who severely restrict their calories (i.e. less than 1200 calories a day) and then wonder why they aren't losing and end up giving up. I have been there and done that but not anymore and this week was proof to me that such a methodolgy does not work and is not healthy for your body. I can always use reminders like this to prevent myself from getting really impatient about weight loss and wanting it to all come off my body instantly rather than slowly and steadily. The plan works, I should know this after 9 months and not need to have it beaten into my head yet again by my body and metabolism. I guess all of this just proves how much work I still have left to do and what I need to learn about being a healthy and strong person. Oh and by the way, if you want a rough approximation of how many calories you should be eating a day, the Dallas Dietetic Association has a good calculator which I ran across by reading the Washington Post Lean Plate Club chat today.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Time for a change

I finally have bitten the proverbial bullet and upped my running speed. i am now running a whopping 5.2 mph pace which works out to running a mile in 11 minutes and 30 seconds. I have to admit that increasing the difficulty of my cardio is never one of my favorite things to do, especially after my body adjusts to a difficulty level. However, I do logically know that when my workout becomes relatively easy and less tiring that I am no longer pushing myself in the manner that I should be pushing myself. Also, the fact I am clearly in a plateau suggests that it is once again time to examine my routine and shake everything up just a little bit. Change in other words is a really good thing sometimes. I have to remind myself of that fact this week as I prepare for yet another life change with my move away from home. I am a little bit sad about leaving my whole family yet again but I need to remember the benefits of getting out into the working world and actively back into a profession that I really enjoy most of the time. Now, the only fly in the ointment for my working out this morning is that fact that one of my legs is rather sore and that is only a minor problem. In fact, it would not be a problem at all except for the fact that I have to work out tomorrow rather than rest because I am not going to be able to workout on Friday and once again I need to bank an extra workout day into my life. So, I am hoping that my leg will be all fine by tomorrow since I am planning a long hard run in the morning since it is a full cardio day. I will however modify my routine if my leg or body requires it, change is good, total insanity is not a good plan.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

The wide world of snacks

So there was a request several days ago in a comment about what snacks I generally eat during the day. I have being to respond sooner but clearly I got distracted somewhere along the way. Anyway, here are my personal rules for snacks (note as always my golden rule to do what works for you applies). 1. No snack should be less than 100 calories or more than 200 calories. Less than 100 calories does not fill me up and more than 200 calories is begining to turn into a small meal and not a snack. 2. Try and eat your snack/or snacks at roughly the halfway mark time wise between meals. If I eat lunch at noon. I will have a snack at around 3:30 because I know I will be eating dinner by six. This could be construed as being a late snack but I have a cup of coffee at about 2 pm and usually that fills me up until about 3:30, if I don't have coffee I have my snack earlier. If I have a snack in the morning I will have it at about 10 am since I usually eat breakfast at around 8 am and lunch at around 12 pm. This way my blood sugar does not crash and I don't develop a deep desire to eat everything in sight when eating lunch or dinner. 3. Snacks are an excellent opportunity to get in the fruit/veg/ or fiber you may be missing elsewhere in your diet. Now as to actual snacks I really like to eat (yes I did make you read a lot of stuff to get to this point) 1. Any kind of fruit, apples, grapes, peaches, and bannanas are my particular favorites. I stick to one piece of fruit or one bunch of grapes as a general rule but I will supplement with some other food item. Sometimes if I am just eating an apple I will put a little bit of peanut butter on it and that helps fill me up. 2. Mozarella string cheese (we buy these in bulk at Costco). I have one piece of string cheese and a piece of fruit quite often as my snack. I like string cheese because it comes in an individually wrapped package and therefore I know exactly how many calories it is (80 calories if you must know). Also because it is string cheese it takes a few minutes to eat which is a good thing. 3. Yogurt, again it comes in low-fat and fat free versions and it is an individual serving size which is a big plus. I love yogurt and fruit together. My yogurt is usually 90 calories per container and that fits nicely into my world of snacking. 4. Popcorn. Here I should point out that you really need to read the label, most popcorn bags are multiple servings (although you can now get single serving sizes) and you need to figure out how many calories are in a bag to figure out how much you can eat. My rule of thumb is that I can eat half a bag of popcorn at a sitting provided it is lo-cal popcorn. Generally I either save the other half of the bag for the next day or I just throw it out. Still it is really filling and that is important. 5. Hard boiled eggs, plain or with a little bit of salt and pepper on them. A couple of hard boiled eggs can be a really good snack in the middle of the afternoon. 6. Vegetables are also good, baby carrots especially are easy to transport and snack on if you don't want to prepare anything fancy. Besides my dad always claimed that they made your hair curl and gave you good night vision and who doesn't want that? Anyway, those are probably my staple snacks most of the time, obviously I avoid chips/bread/and sweets but I don't think those things will derail your diet if eaten occasionally and in moderation. Anyway, all of this reminds me that I should go eat my afternoon snack so I am going to go have an apple and a piece of cheese now before I forget to eat.

Talk like a pirate

I would be remiss if I did not point out that today is talk like a pirate day. So in the spirit of that I translated some of what I was planning to say into pirate speak. "I ran for 60 minutes and walked for 60 today because we be celebratin' me sister-in-law's birthday today and thar be not time t' go and climb stairs at t' stadium. In addition it rained this mornin' and I be a wimp when it comes t' t' rain." Okay, that was not as exciting as I thought it was going to be, but there you are, consider yourself lucky you got away without any plank walking. Anyway, I also wanted to say thank you for the nice comments on yesterday's entry, it made me feel much better. I have regained my sense of perspective which is good since there is currently a ridiculous amount of food in my house because of tonight's party and I do not want to give myself a reason to go off and eat it all. Fortunately, I am having a pretty good day and I do not think that will be a problem after all (although I may break down and have one magarita with dinner). I am actually finally having a good food day today, I had breakfast before I worked out and my regular salad for lunch and I am drinking more water than I did yesterday or the day before. However, I am clearly entering into a plateau again given that I have weight 161.4 for the past three days, I was expecting to see a plateau so this is not a big shock to me. Hopefully getting back on plan with food and eating regularly (it has been several days since I remembered to eat lunch) will actually help my body adjust and I will start losing weight again. I refuse to be worried about it right now, as long as I workout and eat healthy foods the weight will come off even if it comes off really slowly.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Why do you care?

So, I think it is obvious if you look at the comments that I removed one yesterday. It was mean, rather obnoxious, attacked me and my weight and was not anything I thought anybody else should be forced to read. I have been thinking about whether or not I was going to even mention it, to even give the person who wrote it the attention that they were apparently seeking. It certainly is not the first time I have been called a name upon the basis of my weight and just for no other reason, and it was bound to happen sooner or later given the public nature of this forum. I was however stuck with one ongoing question that I posed in the title of this post, why do you care? People look at overweight people and are appalled and feel the need to spew venom and I cannot figure out why this is the case. My weight does not hurt anyone else, aesthetically maybe it used to be unpleasing to the eye but it does not really hurt anybody. I understand why my immediate friends and family cared, because the more obese I was, the greater my risk of dying young and missing out on my life. However, that doesn't impinge on people who do not know me, especially people who feel the need to attack me on the internet who have never even seen a picture of what I look like on a daily basis. Why as a culture do we hate obese people so much? Do we see it as a sign of weakness and therefore an easy target, or is hate simply easier to muster than sympathy and understanding. I do not know, and it makes me sad at times, it made me sad yesterday when I read that comment and I did not want to let anybody else feel that way unless it was necessary and frankly it wasn't. I have lived with the nasty looks and comments for long enough to know how they sting and hurt. Frankly, the only redeeming value of this particular remark was the realization that the person had no idea what he was talking about in regards to my life, for once they couldn't hurt me or make me cry because what he said was so manifestly untrue in regards to my appearance and my world. That my friends is a true victory and the one thing I don't think the poster would have expected from the nastiness being spewed forth on to my personal blog.

Friday, September 17, 2004

The flying chair

I am as we all know a klutz. I lack the most basic hand-eye coordination skills and apparently as I discovered this morning I am not that bright either when it comes to certain activities. Friday morning is the day that I do my legs workout each week without fail. One exercise in particular that I do is called a "chair", in basic terms you find a wall, put your back against it and sit down (without a chair) so that you are holding yourself in position with your legs and thighs. Anyway, at some poing I determined that this exercise was best accomplished by using the door into my bedroom, yes that is right, I lean on a door as opposed to a solid wall. Apparently when I came up with this brilliant scheme I forgot that doors actually open whereas walls are generally solid and non-moving. So, this morning when I leaned back against the door, the inevitable occurred and it flew open with a resounding bang. I was of course by this time completely off balance so I careened backwards into my bedroom flapping my arms in either an attempt to stave off complete disaster or to see if I could actually fly, frankly I am not sure which is was because my thought process was not completely coherent at that point. In point of fact I believe my brain picked that precise second to panic and possibly go on holiday to the south of France immediately. Somehow, I managed to not fall over on to my still ample rear although it was a very close thing and my posterior came within inches of the floor. I did however damage a picture frame which was in the path of the door. So, anyway, I picked myself up (metaphorically speaking) and went back to exercising. What was the first thing I did? I closed the bedroom door, leaned back against it and sat down into the chair position for 50 seconds. I am persistent after all even if occasionally lacking in the intelligence department.

About that whole food thing

As I said yesterday I am a little bit worried about my food intake, I just simply don't think I have been eating enough for the last few days. Today I ended up eating my breakfast after I worked out at about 11 am (so maybe I shouldn't call it breakfast) which led sequentially to eating a snack of grapes and string cheese as opposed to an actual lunch. Now I will probably have another snack this afternoon and then dinner which means that I will have missed an entire meal over the course of the day. This was not in anyway my intention when I got up this morning and hauled myself on to the treadmill, I just forgot about breakfast until I was finished with my exercise. Since I started working out at 8:10 am and ran for 50 minutes, walked for 60, lifted weights and did abs, I did not finish until 10:30 am and then I took a shower. So, I realized at the point I was fully dressed that I had not eaten and then I had breakfast and was not hungry in when lunchtime rolled around at noon. Now, I am not really hungry even an hour and a half later but I force myself to eat a snack so that I would get some more actual calories into my body. In fact, one of the reasons I usually eat on a schedule (breakfast at 8 am, lunch at noon, afternoon snack at 3:30, dinner between 5:30 and 6 pm) is to make sure that I am eating enough calories during the day without actually have to count everything that goes into my mouth. Now, I used to count calories when I started this whole process but the longer I do this the more I can estimate how much I am eating. When I miss a meal, such as lunch it throw everything off and I really have to actually count calories which is not something I like doing, I eat in moderation I don't count calories (can we all see the reason I never joined an actual weight loss organization?) Anyway, I am midly annoyed with myself about this but I suppose it is better to have a day where I undereat as opposed to a day where I binge eat an excessive number of calories.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

The never ending journey

Do you ever get the feeling that what you are doing is never going to stop? I have been having that a lot recently, maybe because I have to keep going to the mall to buy things for my move ( I keep forgetting things that I need to take with me). I just discovered today after being there this morning that I have to go back and buy a raincoat becaus it is really wet where I am moving in a week. I think really the weight loss journey is the same, it never ends really. I am always going to have to watch what I eat, I always have to work out and I will probably always be aware of how much I weigh at any given time. It doesn't really bother me anymore, and frankly I feel guilty if I don't work out but I do occasionally wonder what it would be like to not worry about these issues. The real truth is that I thought about food constantly when I was really heavy, both because I worried about what people thought when they saw me eating and because I constantly lusted after food. Now, I think about food because if I do not do so, I either overeat (very rare) or completely forget to eat (much more common). I have forgotten my afternoon snack twice this week and only remembered 30 minutes before dinner at which point it is rather irrelevant. This wouldn't be a bad thing, except for the fact that with my workout schedule I am really trying to reach around 1300-1400 calories per day minumum. Miss a snack or two and suddenly I am at 1100 or less calories for the day which is bad. So, I have to think about food and remind myself to eat (and by the way it is a lot harder than you would think to eat 1300-1400 calories of clean non-processed food per day). This preoccupation will probably never entirely go away, and in the end I am not sure that is such a bad thing, everybody is preoccupied about something and what I worry about happens to be exercise and diet and maybe I should get used to that being a reality of my new lifestyle.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

That whole dating thing

My brother and I had this very amusing conversation this morning about who I was and was not allowed to date. Frankly, I think my brother has been waiting for years to harass boys on my behalf and he senses that he might get the chance soon (gosh I hope he is right about that) now that I have lost all this weight. Basically, I think I can boil the rules down to just watching my back and carefully interrogating military men (I am moving to a place with a large military presence) which is something my brother gets to say because he is ex-military and knows what he is talking about in this regard. I realize I am being vague but I think you get the point of my ramble. I was thinking about it later and I realized that the thing is that we never had to have this conversation before because I was pretty much invisible to the male population due to my weight.(Okay, I am really not going to discuss here how some men like plus-sized women and this is a vast generalization on my part, I know that, I also know that in my personal experience at 242 lbs I was pretty much invisible, your experience may differ drastically). I am not sure I am invisible anymore, and frankly I don't want to be invisible anymore. However, at age 27 I am going to have to develop a whole new set of skills in reading people and interacting in a dating environment. Frankly, that is a scary thought on some levels but just because something is a little bit scary doesn't mean it isn't worth pursuing as well. My brother need not worry, I shall be very careful and I have good friends who will watch my back even when he is not nearby to harass people for me. Although, maybe he will feel better if he doesn't know about the miniskirt I bought yesterday, oops I guess he knows about it now (don't worry bro it isn't that short, really I promise).

I feel better

My run today felt really easy, I just breezed through it except for a brief cramp at about the 35 minute mark. Now, this is a sure sign that I have to start running faster and I am definately feeling the urge to whine about that but I will attempt to restrain myself. I am currently running a 12 minute mile and I still have the ultimate goal of running a 10 minute mile so I do need to start inching up my speed. I am not however feeling particularly motivated to do so and I need to work on that over the next few weeks. I am hopefully that finding a good personal trainer will help push me a little more than I have been able to push myself recently in terms of my physical conditioning. I am also aware that the closer I get to goal the harder it will be to lose the weight and so it is becoming time to retune my eating habits and my program as I prepare for the next big push in my weightloss. Overall, I had a good workout today, upped my walk speed and the number of reps on my weights and a good run. I always feel better on days that I exercise, I am more focused and energetic and I feel more like myself. I know I need rest days but they make me feel really edgy, like I should be doing something more active than just walking around and visiting the mall. I feel much better today than I did yesterday and I think it is precisely because I exercised this morning. Honestly, I don't think I could try to lose weight, have a life, and remain sane without actually working out five or six days a week. I need the balance and stress relief of a hard workout to remain focused (you know somewhere my old 240 lb self really would never have understood that statement, but things have changed a lot).

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The 80 pound mark

I have now officially lost 80 pounds according to my scale. I hit 162 lbs on the nose this morning after having danced around it at 162.2 lbs for the last few days. Three more pounds and I will finally be out the 160's for good. Anyway, today I went shopping (and managed to forget to buy a number of things so now I have to go back) which was an interesting experience. I am begining to wonder if the feeling of being slightly out of place in regular sized stores will ever go away entirely. I still feel vaguely freaked out, as if someone will march up and tell me that I cannot possibly believe that I have the right to shop in their store. I know logically this isn't going to happen, I mean I actually fit into a size 10 skirt at the Gap today so I am definately not a plus-size anymore. Not to mention the fact that I also fit into size 12 dresses by both BCBG and Laundry both of which are sized on the smaller end (I did not buy them because much as I loved the dresses I don't have 300 dollars to spend on cocktail dresses). Still, getting into the head space of being no longer obese is proving more difficult than I ever thought it would be when I started this process. I will get there eventually but right now it is still very strange despite the fact I have been able to shop in places like the Gap for over four months, but in the end four months is a short time compared to 27 years of being unable to buy anything but plus-sized clothing.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Random observations about my diet

I have noticed recently that I am much more gung ho about fruits and vegetables than I used to be in the past. Now, I always ate fruits and vegetables, probably more than most people but I am not sure I really loved them. Interestingly, I was vegetarian for seven years starting my first year of college and I only returned to eating meat when I first started working out with a personal trainer. I do not think I was ever terribly good at being vegetarian, I ate a lot of bread, cheese, and pasta but not really enough fruits and vegetables. Today, I eat a much more balanced diet than I did when I was in school. Also, as I noted I really eat a lot more fruits and vegetables and I really enjoy them now. On a normal day I will have at minimum, an apple, a bannana, a peach, grapes, lettuce, tomatoes and possibly some other vegetable. This I think usually qualifies as the five servings of fruit and vegetables that I am supposed to eat each day according to the U.S. government and health experts. Now, I really like fruit and vegetables, and I feel out of sorts if I do not eat them during the day. I am starting to work on incorporating more whole grains into my diet, I should probably be eating things like wild rice more often than I do currently but I am working on it. I ran across the idea somewhere that your diet does not need to always be perfect and that it is something you can improve on over time. I like the idea that now I eat healthier than I ever have before and five years from now I will eat better than I do today, it allows me to banish the idea that I ever have to be totally perfect. In the end perfection is highly overrated, being better than you were the day before is far more important and meaningful in the long run.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

So not the fault of my parents

I hate to rant, but I have been watching a lot of early morning tv while I work out which claims that childhood obesity is entirely the fault of the parents. Okay, I may be exaggerating a bit, but it is my blog and I get to rant occasionally and overstate my case. Now, I realize there are families where kids grow up around tons of junk food but that isn't how I grew up. In fact, my parents did everything you are supposed to do, healthy snacks, family meals, little or no junk food around, and they encouraged exercise. I just didn't want to do it, I hated exercise and while I am not against healthy food, I really always liked anything with sugar in it. So, I get annoyed at the idea that my weight problems were all the fault of my upbringing and childhood lifestyle. I only really got control when I decided that this was something I had created and therefore within my power to alter. I control what I put into my mouth, is it a cookie or is it an apple, do I take the stairs or the elevator, you get the picture, I make these decisions. So, don't tell me my parents did something wrong, tell me I have a choice to make about how I want to live my life and then let me make the choice. My weight, my business, you don't get to attack the choice I make because it is my choice right or wrong. I am sick of judgement from people about how each individual lives their life, because we should all be free to make our own choices and decisions. So, don't tell me my parents made me fat, I made myself fat, I accept responsiblity for who I am and who I am becoming for the rest of my life. My parents did everything right, they loved me, told me I was brilliant, supported me, and let me fall flat on my face occasionally so that I would learn how to get back up and become stronger in the process. My parents gave me all the tools I needed, and it up to me to use them to become who I want and need to be in this life. Okay, rant officially concluded, you may all return to your regularly scheduled programing now.

The curse of tired legs

I had a pretty good run this morning and a horrible walk which was strange. It is especially strange because I always run first and then the walking is easier but not today. I decided that discretion is the better part of valor and cut my walk short, so I ran for 60 minutes and walked for 30 minutes. Also, my mom and I had to take my father to the airport (he and my brother are going to engage in male bonding by attempting to repair things in my brother's house) so I did not have as much workout time as I normally have in the morning. Now, normally I would claim that I am going to make up that workout time later on today, but frankly my legs are tired and I am tired so I do not think it is going to actually happen today. In other news, I discovered yesterday that I can pack a lot more clothing into my suitcases now that I am a smaller size. Logically, this makes complete sense because a size 12 involves less fabric than a size 22 but it had not occurred to me until I managed to pack three suits and a lot of other work clothes into a very small space. I will probably end up repacking everything over the next week or so but still I wanted to see how much room I was going to have in my suitcases. I have also gone through my clothing and finally gotten rid of the old suits I was holding on to for no good reason. I was forced to admit that taking in a size 18 womens suit to a size 12 frame was going to be just as expensive as buying a new size 12 suit, so I am giving away my old suits. I will be really happy when I am down to goal weight and not constantly getting rid of clothing, but that is still a few months and a lot of working out away.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Shopping and shoes

This morning my mother and I went shopping for work clothes. I am not going to tell you how much we spent, but it was really painful. I have never spent that much money on clothes at one time in my entire life. The strange thing was that everything I tried on fit, and it was simply a matter of choosing which clothes would work best for my job. Everything was pretty much a size 12 and the tops I bought were mediums which was very fun. I think I now have most of the clothes I need for this new job, I still need a few odds and ends but nothing major. Fortunately, I don't need to buy any shoes because as we all know by now, I am the queen of shoes. I already own four pairs of black pumps, three pairs of brown pumps, two pairs of red pumps, two pairs of pink pumps, a pair of purple pumps, 2 pairs of red mules, a pair of black mules, two sets of black strappy shoes, a pair of brown wedges, brown flats, and this list goes on for a while. Suffice it to say I have plenty of shoes although I have to discard my black boots because they are far too big around my calves. It is definately eye-opening to realize how much more fun shopping is when you are a regular size as opposed to a plus size. Someday, I may even own more clothing than shoes because there is so much cute clothing that I like and want to buy. Nah, I will always own more shoes than are practical for any one person. I did actually workout before I went shopping, one hour of running and one hour of walking, there is a football game at the stadium so we couldn't go climb stairs. Anyway, I am off to start cleaning out my closet again now that I have bought new clothing.

Friday, September 10, 2004

How do you define success?

Kim asked me in the comments how successful I was when I started working out. So, I looked back at my archives and some of my old paper journals. The short answer, I wasn't perfect, I'm still not perfect, I really struggled a lot with food initially and I still struggle sometimes. In the begining it was torture to refuse food I wanted, I had occasionally binges with food (especially anything involving cheese) and every day was hard. Now, I almost never finish my plate when I eat at restaurants and I very rarely have problems with food. It is easier now, I don't miss food and I don't crave things. That is how I define success in this process, now I just have a way that I eat and it is almost second nature. It was really hard in the begining though, really hard, especially because after years of trying and failing I never believed that I would be anything smaller than a size 18. I emphasize with anybody trying to lose weight, no matter how little or great because this is so hard to do on a long term basis. I had to change who I was, redefine my entire relationship with food, and realize slowly that this isn't about reaching a certain weight, it is about being healthy. My success today? I can walk up stairs without catching my breath, I can bake and ice a cake without eating any of it, I can be who I always wanted to be and not be the fat girl in the corner. Still, in the begining it was really hard and I got through it really slowly, not even a day at a time, more like a minute at a time. However, in the end all the struggle is slowly becoming worthwhile and I am grateful that I was able to do this on my own terms and in my own way.

Somedays you just have to do laundry

I am doing laundry right now because I currently have no clothing to wear, well except for what I am currently wearing and it is too big. However, at least the skirt I am wearing is not literally falling off my body which would be a bad thing. I am going to go through my wardrobe in the next few days to see what I can get rid off that is too big and what gaps I have to fill in my closet. Today is turning out to be a little bit hectic, I worked out this morning, started laundry, and then unexpectedly ended up going to lunch with my aunt, uncle and a couple of cousins. Now, I have to get organized for my appointment this afternoon and finish my laundry and get rid of some more clothing. There are just a lot of things I need to get done before I leave and I am developing lists everywhere about what needs to happen and when it needs to get done. I feel rather like I have gone from a dead stop to a full out sprint in the last 48 hours, fortunately my diet is still going alright and I am continuing to exercise (otherwise I would probably go insane). So, I am off now to check on my clothes and finish everything else that I need to accomplish today, I will probably check in later today if I get a chance.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

On a completely non weight related point

I have a job, well I still have to do a couple of things that are mostly paperwork related but other than that I have an actual job in my field. A permanent job doing what I want to do for a living. I having been looking for a permanent job for more than a year now and I finally got one through a very close friend of mine who currently works in the office. I will be moving again in a few weeks, outside the continental U.S. which will be be my fifth move in the last year and a half. However, what is important here is that it is an actual full time job and once I move I won't have to move for a few years. So, I am happy and I have been running around today trying to get organized and figure out what needs to be done. I currently have no work clothing (although I have a lot of nice work appropriate shoes but I like shoes and my size hasn't changed) so I will probably go shopping this weekend and fill in the gaps in my wardrobe. The one problem with moving is that I will have to find a new gym and readjust my workout schedule for the fourth time. However, I am hoping that I will be able to afford a personal trainer a couple of times a week and start improving my weight lifting and muscle tone. Yesterday was an example of a really lax weight day, I did the exercises but I probably need to go up in weight and I have just been lazy about doing that recently. Today, I ran for 60 minutes and walked for 60 minutes and I need to remember to do my core fitness exercises before I go to bed tonight. However, in terms of general life events the last couple of days have been really good even if I am going to have to go back to my standard workout schedule that I maintain when I have an actual job (i.e. get up at 5am, workout, go to work all day and then colapse in an exhausted heap). So, I am off to see what is for dinner, I think we are having turkey burgers tonight which should be pretty good.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Crossing the threshold

I got on the scale this morning and it spit back an amazing number at me, 163.6 lbs. This means that I have officially crossed over from being obese to simply being overweight, hey it only took 77 lbs to cross that threshold. We could of course argue with the problems surrounding BMI measurements but frankly even with its flaws it makes a useful measuring device. I can also look at it from anothe angle, I started with a BMI of 44.3 (which I am sure qualified as morbidly obese though I haven't looked it up) and I now have a BMI of 29.9 which is a huge change. This was a big mile marker for me in my weight loss journey and I now am looking forward to the next big marker which is 27.6 lbs away and that is when I cross from being overweight into normal territory. I am making the assumption that I should be closing in on that mark by the end of December. However, it is nice to finally be able to honestly say that I am just overweight and not obese any more. I always wish that I could have gotten to this place earlier in my life but I suppose you end up where you are supposed to be when you are ready and not before. Anyway, I am off to get some other things accomplished in my day, I have already worked out so that is out of the way. 50 minutes of running, 60 of walking, and weights for the day. It is really hot so I felt rather sluggish while I was working out but at least it is finished for the day. So, I am now going to do everything else that I need to get done today.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Polly wants a cookie

So, I was asked in the comments if I used to eat entire sleeves of saltine crackers. Honestly, I think that I was always more of a sweet person than a salty person, so I know I have eaten entire containers of cookies but I doubt the same is true of crackers. I do think it is really interesting the way everyone has different trigger foods, for me it is bread, cheese, and any kind of sweet or candy. Other people have real cravings for crackers, chips, and all things savory. My method of sanity involves avoiding foods that I can inhale in a single sitting by just not being near them or ever eating them. I have been to three weddings since April and not had a single piece of wedding cake or a piece of bread at any of them. My big splurge at my cousin's wedding was to eat white rice which I don't generally eat (I do however eat brown and wild rice) but not the bread. However, I definately used to have the consume everything in sight moments and that has faded over time. I do not think I finished the food on my plate at any event this weekend, except for the two buffet meals where I actually put the food on my own plate. So, maybe at some point I ate a ton of crackers if they were just lying around, but I think it used to be far more likely that cookies or candy were present in my living space to be eaten. Anyway, it is interesting to think back on my old habits because they are becoming harder and harder to remember which is probably a good thing for my future.

An update

I did actually workout last night, after my weekend missing a workout day did not seem like a good idea. I ran for 50 minutes, although I got side cramps and had to add in breaks where I walked for a few minutes, so I figure that total I walked for an additional 30 minutes. I also did my abs and weight exercises. Today is my normal day off and I am taking it as a rest day because I have been so tired for the past couple of days. I do not sleep well in hotels so I always end up feeling worn out when I travel, especially if I stay up late and get up early as I did this weekend. On Saturday, I actually got up at 5 am to catch my flight, on Sunday I got up at 6:50 to workout even though I did not go to sleep until after 11 pm on Saturday. I was also up pretty early on Monday morning, so I was feeling very sleep deprived yesterday evening. Thus, a rest day seemed like a really good idea and I will go back to working out tomorrow. Overall, I am still happy with my food choices over the weekend and I actually managed to workout on both Sunday and Monday which was one of my major goals. I am down to 165 pounds this morning which is a little bit of a loss and means that I lost 1.6 pounds this last week which is excellent given that it was a party weekend. I had fun, but it is good to be home and back on my regular plan and not having to worry about what I will be eating or when I will be able to exercise. So, I am going to go and unpack now and see whether or not I need to do laundry today.

Monday, September 06, 2004

So I'm back then

Yes, I am back from the wedding, just got home about an hour ago. I am exhausted from all the travel and events this weekend. Also, I have to work out in about an hour because the hotel gym was very barebones and not large enough for all the people using it. Therefore, I did not workout this morning and I have to workout tonight (but since I just ate dinner I am going to wait for a bit before I run). Anyway, I had a lovely time and I think I did okay on food, although I had too much coffee on both Saturday and Sunday and not enough water. Of course, I will really see how I did when I weigh in tomorrow morning, now that ought to be exciting. I would write more but I am really tired and I need to go water the plants at my house before they die in the heat. So, off to drink water, workout, and water plants, hopefully I will manage all that without colapsing into an exhausted little heap on the floor.

Friday, September 03, 2004

So I'm off then

Well, not right this second but this will be my last post until Monday. My parents and I are leaving early tomorrow morning for my cousin's wedding and getting back sometime on Monday. Yes, that is right, we get to go hang out in airports on a really busy holiday weekend (hopefully it won't be that bad). So, I have packed some protein bars as a fall back position to prevent snacking and I have workout clothing in my bag plus I am sure we will do a lot of walking around the city. I even workout out what I am going to wear tomorrow which was harder than you might think because I couldn't find a top I wanted to wear. I am going with my Gold's Gym tanktop which like most of the rest of my wardrob is black, I like black and it is slimming most of the time. I think I am having one of those weeks where I feel fat for no real reason and I just need to get over it and move on with my life. I know it is partially mental because my sister-in-law gave me a really cute pink hoodie yesterday which was a size 6-8 and it fits and zips although I need to lose more weight before zipping it will be a good idea. By the way, my sister-in-law rocks on the whole giving me cool things that she thinks I will like for two reasons, one she always gets it exactly right that I will like them (she had excellent taste), and second she does it when I least expect it and need the encouragement. Anyway, so I know my feeling like I weigh 900 lbs is all mental and probably due to stress so I am working on thinking in a positive manner. Anyway, I am off and will be back next week, I hope everyone has great labor day weekends.

I spoke too soon

So, yesterday I was feeling all smug about having such a good workout day, well I have now done penance for my brief moment of superiority. Everything about my cardio workout was horrible today. I developed two separate sets of side cramps during my run and had to stop and walk for a few minutes each time. However, I did get through them and start running again which still was horrible but in the end I did actually manage 50 minutes of non-continuous running and 60 minutes of walking. My legs were pretty tired during my walk as well and my weight and ab set was a little cursory. Then, I had to walk into town to pick up some things for my trip (I'm a girl, I really needed makeup sponges and mascara). That worked out to another 60 minutes of walking and somewhere in there I developed a really fun back ache that made it even more fun. However, now that I have eaten lunch and had a lot of water the back ache is finally disapated so I think it was more probably related to hunger than to pulling a muscle while working out which was my initial concern. I've actually accomplished a lot today between shopping, working out and packing which is probably a good thing. So, I feel fairly organized and that will last until I feel the need to repack at some point or realize that I have forgotten to do some vital task.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

One more day

I made it through exercising this morning which means I have one more day left of working out before I rest on Saturday. My body has been a lot less upset than I thought it would be about the working out which is a good sign. I think this means that I am more fit than I give myself credit for being most of the time. Today I even managed to convince myself to run for 60 minutes and walk for 60 minutes which I wasn't able to do on Tuesday (I only ran for 50 minutes on Tuesday). Now, if I could just get the rolls of fat to magically disappear that would be nice, I am not holding my breath on that account. I think because I am so short it is going to take another 20 pounds or so before I can really see a huge difference in the shape of my body in terms of my midsection. I may just have weird blinders on about my size though since everyone else can see the difference. Alternatively, this may just be the onset of my freaking out about this weekend and seeing people who haven't seen me since I lost weight. I hope that was a complicated enough sentence for everybody. Anyway, I hit 165.4 lbs this morning which means that I am just around 2 lbs away from being only overweight as opposed to obese and so I am going to be happy with that today.

The art of baking

So, yesterday I got through cake baking and icing without testing any of the batter or frosting. I suppose this doesn't sound all that amazing but it is if you know what kind of cook I used to be in the past. I love baking, and I was always the one making elaborate cakies and cookies. I prided myself on being a good baker and that meant testing recipies before they went into the oven, a little taste here and a small bite there just to make sure it tasted right. This I suppose is a trait most good cooks have, the ability to alter a dish based solely on what it tastes like and not some cookbook requirements. It is also a lovely way to eat tons of extra calories just because you are testing the desert to make sure it is okay and I certainly took advantage of that aspect of baking. Thus, not testing the taste of my cake or frosting yesterday made me feel almost lost, I had to rely entirely on the cookbook, my sense of smell, and visual cues to tell me how I was doing with the cake. I felt rather lost actually, but the end product looks pretty good actually and hopefully will taste good to the people who end up eating it. Also, my kitchen was far cleaner than it is normally when I cook, ingredients disappeared back into cabinets as soon as they were used and bowls were washed immediately so there was no temptation to eat any of the batter or icing. Overall, I was proud of myself, especially because I wasn't really tempted to try it because it was desert rather it was just to ensure that I had made it correctly. Another food demon faced and partially vanquished and now I can get on with my day and that is definately satisfying.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Force of habit

This morning my workout was much better than yesterday, I think I was having less mental problems because I normally workout on wednesday. My weight loss is definately a little slower this week but I am not that worried since the scale is still going down. Frankly, I think I have just gotten to a point where this is all habit and not driven by a desparate desire to be skinny or a fear of being fat again. I know that sooner or later that pendulum will swing back toward more determination motivated by one of those factors and I will push hard again on both my cardio and weights but not this week. I try to work on those weeks where I am not strongly motivated to stay on track and eat on plan so that I am not sabotaging myself and I figure that is enough. Besides, I cannot live the rest of my life in a panic about whether or not I am working out hard enough or worrying about every little item in my salad. I run, I eat salads rather than sandwiches doused in mayo and piled high with cheese and for right now it is enough. So, this week I'm refusing to worry about these sorts of things and forcing my type A brain to relax just a bit and frankly it feels pretty good. So, I am off now to back my mom a carrot cake for her work and then I am going to eat my salad for lunch. Oh, and I very much doubt that I will test the carrot cake batter before I cook it, after all that is not longer a habit.