Monday, August 31, 2009
Anyway, let's get down to business:
Yesterday I weighed in at 251.7, so in many ways 252.6 isn't the best number that ever was numbered. But I don't mind.
I'm still sort of in shock at how low the numbers are. I don't really think of myself as weighing in the 250s. And the craziest part is that in the not too distant future, I'm going to be in the 240s. I'm still sort of amazed that I am doing this and that this is going.
I've noticed myself slacking a bit of late, though. I think part of it, honestly, is the starting tomorrow GAG challenge. While I obviously don't want to ruin my streak by having a week to week gain or holding steady, I don't want my lowest ever weigh in to be tomorrow per se.
I actually read a paper about this one time: one of the effects of weight loss competitions (things like office competitions and the Biggest Loser, etc) is that people tend to gain weight right before the competition starts. They do so both because they're about to experience a period of relative deprivation, but also because it increases their competitive advantage. While I'm not doing that, I'm definitely not planning to avoid sodium like I generally do the night before my weekly weigh in.
I'm a little on pins and needles about one part of the GAG competition though: the need to post a picture. While I know I said last week that I was fine with it, I've started to become really self conscious about the idea. After all, I did take some before pictures early on for this blog, only to decide to not post them in my abject horror about just how wretched I looked. I do know I look better than I used to. I wore particularly tight clothes in the before picture with the idea that I could use them again in future sets and see the progression from "ridiculously tight" to "about right" to "way too loose."
Logically, I don't know why I'm so afraid of posting a few progress pictures. It's not like you guys don't know I'm fat. It's not like you're going to say, "Oh, her tummy's too big, I don't want to read her blog any more." And yet . . .
I really need to stop being so afraid. I need to suck it up, accept that I need to post a picture for the GAG challenge, and just go ahead and do it tomorrow. Yes, my body is still a horrific mess, but that's okay. It's not about what I look like now, it's where I'm going.
Also, I seem to have inadvertently crossed the 25 pounds gone mark since I last wrote, so there's a small (and happy) bit of victory.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I'm stressed. Stressed, stressed, stressed. It's all job stuff. It's my fault, too.
My stomache is tied up in knots. I feel all kinds of terrible.
I ate a bit more than I should've yesterday (okay, and the day before), but I'm not wildly off track for food all things considered.
Right now it doesn't matter though. I don't care about my diet at the moment relative to work fears.
I'll write a real post when I can. Right now, this is more of a "posting that I won't be posting today." Hopefully I'll be able to post tomorrow night when this is all cleared up, but I can't make any promises.
For now I just feel ill from stress. If I had the office to myself I would be sobbing right now. I can't, I don't want my officemate to know, plus sobbing at work would just be all kinds of strange.
Okay. And that's the post for today. Wish me luck, wish me calm, wish me uneventfulness. Hopefully things will all turn out okay.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I'm up .4 day to day but not going to stress it. I barely got any sleep and I ate macaroni and cheese last night (not ideal, but okay in terms of calories range).
I was having problems sleeping last night, so I ended up trolling blog land and stumbling upon the Give a Gift to Yourself 2009 challenge. After reading through the rules and debating it a bit, I decided to sign up and maybe get involved. I've been looking for a more organized thing to participate in in blogworld besides just commenting/following etc. I tried joining Operation Fat Blaster, but I've sort of been having problems finding my way around the site, figuring out how to get involved, etc. The 16 week GAG challenge (yes, that's how they're abbreviating it) seems like it might be a nice fit. An extra bit of motivation, extra bit of community, something slightly new to do. I hesitated over the fact that we need to post a picture, but since I've been thinking that I probably ought to post a progress when I hit 250 anyway, I figured I'd get over it and just agree. I'd encourage you all to go check it out if you're into challenges. You must register before September 1st, so if you want to get in, now's your shot.
Yesterday my brother told me he's coming down to DC for a friend's bachelor party on Labor Day weekend. He asked if he could stay with me (I said of course) and is going to come down early for it so we can hang out a bit. I haven't seen him since the end of June.
My brother is amazing. He's the only one in my family who's not overweight. (My mom's heavier than me, and my Dad's on the chubby side.) He's my inspiration in so many ways. He's such a hard worker and such a nice, wonderful guy. I always wish I was more like him.
I saw my parents about a week and a half into my diet, but I haven't seen any members of my family since then. I doubt the changes thus far will be noticeable to a casual observer like my brother (24 pounds might seem like a lot, but it's only 8.6% of my body weight). If he did notice, I doubt he'd comment. It's just not something he'd say. Still, it seems like a big deal. I'm excited/happy/worried. I guess we'll see what happens.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Now, when you look at the fact that I was at 253.9 two days ago, it's not that impressive. However, if you take into account that last week's official weigh in was 258.2, well, this is totally a happy dance number. 4.5 pounds is really quite ridiculously awesome.
I did pick up a new scale yesterday. It's white, it's by Thinner, and I can't find it on amazon or I'd link it to you. I primarily picked it up because it was the only non Weight Watchers scale that went to .1 pounds (just like my old scale does/did) and it didn't have crazy body fat/body water/bone density/things I don't need. It does vary depending on my exact position when I hop on, but it's still reasonably consistent. I greatly prefer the different readings to the faked same readings of the WW scale. Researching scales on Amazon, I found that there are a few other people who agree with my "programmed to give you the same reading" conspiracy theory. This way, when I get different readings, I can be smart about which one shows up the most.
It's weird though. As much as I'm in to nit picking the number, I also get that it doesn't really matter all that much. Unless I go ahead and get one of the big health o meter doctor scales, I'm not going to get a truly accurate reading. And even though this battle day to day and week to week is fought in pounds and fractions thereof, in the big picture that's not what it's about. I'm in the lower half of the 250s right now: where, exactly, I am doesn't matter. What matters is that I'm not in the upper part of the 270s anymore. The big numbers I'm looking at: where I started and where I'm going, they're so different that a few pounds of scale error isn't really a big deal. Even if day to day scale errors matter, I have to remember that in the long run they don't, and that I just need to keep the trend moving down.
Speaking of trends, it's about time to show you my totally badass moving average progress. Take a look:
And remember when I lost 4.5 pounds this week? JOY.
And before I close out the post, thank you to Monica, Kat and Orange and Black Kittehs for hooking me up with even more lovely blog awards. I think you guys are lovely too!
Monday, August 24, 2009
So I have this scale which I purchased off of Amazon shortly after moving to DC in January. I've typically liked it because it's very consistent. If I weigh myself then hop off then weigh myself again, it'll give me back the same number.
This morning, I weighed myself and came in at 253.8. I hopped on and off a few times, and still got the 253.8. I went to the bathroom, and then decided to weigh myself again, hoping to have, er, discarded a few ounces into the toilet. I weighed in again: 255.8.
This made no sense. One doesn't gain 2 pounds in a few minutes, and certainly not by going to the bathroom. I stepped off, grabbed a relatively heavy container of laundry detergent, and stepped back on. (My scale is right by my washer/dryer and cleaning supplies.) 255.8.
At this point, I'm beginning to suspect that the scale itself isn't accurate, it just repeats the same weight as it gets the first time so you'll think it's accurate.
Holding two containers of laundry detergent, I was finally able to get the scale to move up to 261. When I put them both back and stepped on again: a repeatable 254.8.
Made breakfast/lunch and packed them in my bag to go to work. Went back to weigh: 253.8. Consistent hopping on and off a few times.
Went to the bathroom, weighed myself again: 255.8. I stepped on several times, and kept getting 255.8.
At this point, I was getting close to running late, so I got dressed, stopped messing with the scale, and went to work. I'm planning a post work trip to Bed Bath & Beyond to get a new scale. Does anyone have any scale recommendations?
I half considered getting one of these, which I think Monica has, but I think I'd be too embarrassed to have one around when friends and family members come over. I'm still at the point where I'm yet to acknowledge to anyone offline that I'm on a diet. While I accept that the cat will be out of the bag eventually, I'd like it to happen via people visually noticing, rather than seeing a "she means business" scale in my apartment.
Also: thank you to Learning to Be Less for giving me another lovely blog award!
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Friday, I finally got back into losing territory with the following weigh in:
I was pretty happy with that number. I also started having, you know, that thing with the blood, which I think is probably the cause of the past week's non-progress. It also explains this morning's ridiculously amazing weigh in:
That's 2.6 pounds in a single day! 2.6! In one day! One of the statistics I keep in my spreadsheet is the day to day percentage loss relative to my weight the day before. Using that, I lost 1.01% of my weight in a single day. Of course it's not actual fat I'm losing, but still, such a pretty new scale number.
A few fun statistics:
I'm 47 days into my diet and I've now lost 24.1 pounds and 8.67% of my starting body weight. In all, I've kicked 4.14 points of BMI to the curb. I've lost an average of 3.59 pounds/week (a number still pretty heavily inflated by the 7.5 pounds I lost in week 1). To hit my mini goal of 250 by 9/15, I need to lose 3.9 pounds in 24 days, or an average of 1.13 pounds/week.
The numbers are all nice, but what I love most right now is the feeling of relief.
Because of the plateau I'd been having an incredibly frustrating week. After hitting 256.7, I went up and down for a whole seven days before I beat that number on Friday. As I've mentioned before, the upper half of the 250s is where I got stuck last time I tried to lose weight. I was really, really scared that I was going to get stuck again. Friday's number was only 256.5, and while it was nice to see a new low, I knew it wasn't by much and I was worried that I'd be back up today. To see 253.9 staring up at me today felt, well, like a weight being lifted off me.
I'd been sticking to my diet this past week, but I was scared. I was petrified my diet had somehow failed and that I'd just stop losing weight, even though I was still eating right. I didn't want to give up, but I also was incredibly worried that I might end up doing so. I didn't trust myself this week, I didn't feel as committed, as sure. It was not a place I wanted to be.
Today, I don't feel like that anymore. I know why I wasn't seeing the results this week. I know not to freak out next time it happens.
And I'm lower than I've been a long, long time. I'm going to get to 250, and I'm going to get there soon. Then I'll get to 233, and I won't be morbidly obese any more. And from there, I'm just going to keep going down down down. I've lost 24.1 pounds already: I can and will lose the rest.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
The rules of the award are that you're supposed to acknowledge the giver and give it to 15 other blogs. Now, I'm not so big on "rules" per se, so to each recipient I give two options. You may take the above award, with it's rules and limitations, or you may take this:
The "One Lovely Blog Award Plus Squirrel." This version of the award need not be acknowledged, need not be passed on, but does acknowledge just how totally awesome you are. You may pass it on, but if you do so, you must pass it on to some number of blogs other than 15. You can do 12, 17, 2, or whatever you damn well please.
As a recipient of the original flavor of One Lovely Blog Award, here's my list. It's in no particular order, but includes a bit of commentary about why I like each of these blogs so very much. Maybe you'll even find a few to add to your list.
1. Monica at Confessions of a + Sized Girl: Part of what makes this blog so great is that Monica just seems so incredibly nice. She's such a sweetheart both in the comments she writes here and on other blogs. Monica has this very conversational style of writing which just draws me in: it feels like you're going through everything with her. Sometimes the posts are happy, sometimes they're funny, sometimes they're sad, and sometimes they make you think: I like that when I go over to Confessions I almost never know what's in store, but I'm always glad I read it.
2. Jo at 282.5: What, am I not supposed to give this back to the person who gave it to me? Seriously though, Jo is amazing. She's been through so much, and she's such an inspiration. Her posts tend to the long, thoughtful, and intensely interesting. Jo's blog is the first weight loss blog that I really, really, really, really liked and was one of my inspirations for starting up. I wish I could write half as well as her. She's so smart, so strong, and her blog is just one of the best ones out there.
3. Learning to be Less: When I want to think, I go to 282.5, and when I want to smile I go to Learning to be Less. Learning's over a year into her weight loss journey, and she's kicked ridiculous amounts of ass thus far. She has great happy smiley posts and just an incredible attitude. Right now she's pretty busy with work so there haven't been daily posts, so here are few omg I need to smile posts from the archives.
4. Diane from Fit to the Finish: Diane lost 150 pounds and has kept it off for 12 years. TWELVE. Just the facts are insane and inspiring. But the best part of Diane's blog isn't the overarching story, it's the posts. She writes these wonderful, always relateable, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes touching posts. I'd link you examples, but I don't need to. Just go: I bet whatever is up now you can relate to. Now check the next post. You can relate to that one too, can't you? See? My point exactly.
5. Mae Flowers at A Journey to Thin: I adore Mae's blog. She chronicles small victories and small defeats, and there's something about the way she writes it where it feels like you're right there with her. When her road's bumpy, I feel like I've been there too, when things are going well, her posts make me smile and inspire me to keep going. Added bonus: sometimes there are pretty pictures.
6. HD at Losing Weight to Gain a Healthy Heart: HD has always struck me as among the smartest bloggers out there, and she writes a wonderful blog primarily focused on the day to day. She inspires me with her super early work outs and her ability to manage what seems like an incredibly hectic life. (Shhhh, don't tell, but one of my favorite parts is cribbing meal ideas from her daily listing. I've stolen like four of her salads and each has been delicious.)
7. Katie J at Katie J Is on Her Way: One of the things I love most about Katie J's blog is how accountable she is with her bodybugg screenies. I try to come close with daily weigh ins, but it's not as good. She inspires me by battling clutter, losing weight ( she recently hit the 50 pound mark!), and taking wonderful care of her mother. (Seriously, I've started calling my mom more since I've been regularly reading Katie J's blog.) She has wonderful, frequently changing, backgrounds. For some bonus inspiration, scroll down to the very bottom of the blog: she's got a great list of reasons for why this battle is worth fighting.
8. Jenn at Watch My Butt Shrink: Jenn's blog is just a wonderful eclectic mix. She'll talk about her kids, she'll talk about cooking, she'll weigh in on news, and so on. I like that when I go I don't know quite what I'm going to get, but it always ends up being interesting. She's smart as a whip (she's going to be on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire) and makes great use of photos. If Jenn's not on your blog roll, she should be. Bonus: SUPER adorable kids.
9. Ebony Renee at Project Hot Mommy: I love Ebony's blog because of how well she discusses the trade offs of the weight loss journey, and for how realistic she is about what she is and isn't willing to give up. A lot of her blog posts touch deeply on what I debate internally along the way. She also has a too cute for words son. Seriously, if Ebony's son and Jenn's kids ever had a playdate, the combined cuteness would be blinding.
10. Lyricgirl at Fat Girl vs. Skinny Girl: Lyricgirl just started out not too long ago, but she's already got a great blog. She's one of my exercise inspirations. She does all these classes and is just incredibly brave and so very strong. If you're ever wondering "should I go for that workout or just stay home?" just stop by her site and be inspired.
11. Kimberly at The Woman Inside Me: Kimberly has lost over 130 pounds already. She's losing at an astounding and inspiring rate. Want inspiration? Check out her photos. It gets me every time. Her blog is a nice mix of statistics posts and thoughtful posts. She doesn't update every day, but when she does it's always worth stopping by.
12. Jack at Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit: Jack is on almost everyone's list. There's a good reason for that: his blog is amazing. Most days of the week, he'll crack you up. The other few, he'll make you think. (Occasionally, he'll even make you laugh while you're thinking.) Jack's blog is a great mixture of depth and hilarity. If for some reason you haven't found your way there yet, go now!
13. F. McButter Pants at To the Best of My Ability: I love this blog. Dana (am I allowed to call you Dana? Your posts are signed F. McButter but your blog url has Dana in it) has been through a lot. Seriously, her posts are practically dripping with wisdom. She struggles, but inspires as she does so. Her style is long thoughtful posts, and I recommend adding her to your reading list if she's not already on it.
14. Fat[Free]Me at Fat[Free]Me : She already got six of these, but I'm going to have to give her another. She runs! She bikes! She belly dances! She's lost 54 pounds since March. She's seriously such an inspiration. If you haven't seen her blog already, go check it out.
15. And in the spot of favorite blogger who I'm pretty certain has never read my blog, Fat Daddy at Fat Daddy Rants: In some ways, Fat Daddy is sort of the inverse of Jack Sh*t. Most days, he'll make you think, some days he'll crack you up. And on the days he makes you laugh, chances are pretty good he made you think too. Check out his Not So Private Hell series, if you haven't already.
There are other blogs I could think of that belong on here as well, but I wanted to stick with the limit of 15.
Oh, and if anyone's curious about today's weigh in, it was a disappointing 257.6. Between the daily ups and downs over the past week, my moving average has been ridiculously plateaued. Just take a look at the badness:
Not pretty. It could be worse, but mostly it's bad.
At least I'm still within striking distance of a new low tomorrow.
Edited to add: Wow this post ended up being long. Next time you inspire me, I'll try to be more succinct in my praise.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
It's nice to see the scale going back down. I'm now only .4 pounds above my low. I'm hoping pretty soon I'll be able to stop treading water and start making progress.
Yesterday Jo at 282.5 gave me the Lovely Blog Award. Thanks Jo! I promise to soon write a list of all the wonderful blogs I read so I can tell you guys how very lovely you all are too.
So, I don't know how much you guys are following the health care debate, but right now, there's been a bit of a kerfuffle over an op-ed that Whole Foods CEO John Mackey wrote in the Wall Street Journal. (Side note: about 90% of the work I'm doing these days is related to health policy, so I know more than one would ever want to about the debate. I've even read the 1018 page House bill, and no, Virginia, there aren't any death panels.)
The op-ed contains 8 policy suggestions and some commentary advising people to eat healthfully. Some of the suggestions are ones where reasonable people can disagree, like legalizing interstate purchase of insurance. Personally, I think it's a great idea because it would mean people can buy cheaper policies. Let's just look at an individual who works in Philadelphia and lives in the surrounding region. If they live in Pennsylvania, an average policy on the individual market would cost $167 a month. If they live across the border in New Jersey, it would cost them $288 a month. (Source, on page 18.) That's over $100 a month more! To me, this is just silly. I don't think it should be illegal to buy out of state health insurance any more than it should be illegal to buy out of state apples.
But, okay, I understand that some people think that it's really important to cartelize insurance so that community rating laws and other mandates are more effective, and while I think they're wrong and that people should get to pick if they'd rather have more regulations and higher prices or lower prices and fewer regulations, I understand their point. It's the sort of issue where reasonable people can have reasonable disagreements.
Other suggestions in the op-ed are honestly no brainers, though. Equalizing tax laws so individuals as well as businesses can buy insurance tax free: I know no one who opposes that. And I know a lot, a lot of health policy wonks from across the political spectrum. Making it easier for people to donate money to help people who don't have insurance? Seriously, who could oppose that? Do you oppose puppies and babies as well?
But some people on the left are mad because, you know, it's not an exact copy of what the Democrats want, it's something else. (For the record, I did vote for Obama but consider myself an independent. I'm left on some issues and right on others.) So they're starting a boycott and throwing hissy fits on blogs and I just can't for the life of me understand it. Radley Balko wrote a wonderful post detailing how well Whole Foods treats its workers, the environment, etc, and said that, because of the dust up, he was going to shop more at Whole Foods.
Which, I suppose, brings us to the point of this whole post. Yesterday, I went to Whole Foods. I bought a demi baguette and ate it for dinner. It was caloric and amazing. I also got some of the best tomatoes I've had in a while. Needless to say, last night I ate deliciously. It was a nice break from my regularly scheduled meals. It was great to eat something special while still staying within my calorie range. And I got a side of "Ha! take that militant people who are militant about anything!" to go with it. And that is calorie free and oh so satisfying.
Apologies for today's random policy rantings. I promise a return to your regular food and diet blogging tomorrow.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Well, it is what it is.
The good: I'm down 1.1 pounds from last week. I'm down 1.2 pounds day to day.
The bad: I'm up 1.5 pounds from a few days ago. I'm also up back over my 20lb mark. And 1.1 pounds is the lowest weekly loss I've had yet. It's also not acceptable in terms of pace for any of my goals.
Still, a loss is a loss is a loss is a victory. Right?
I'm sort of scared to be in this general neighborhood on the scale. A little over a year ago, I attempted to lose weight using Spark People. I stalled in the upper 250s (257.8 was my old low, with 275 as the starting weight) and eventually gave up. I'm not pleased with how much I ate on Saturday and Sunday, and how little working out I've been doing of late. (Only 30 minutes of cardio last night, when I'd been planning 45 + weights.) I'm very, very worried I'm going to go off track and screw this up.
I need to be committed. I need to have an iron will. I need to get through these next weeks and get out of this upper 250s death zone. I don't want this to be for naught. Now, more than ever, I need to stay the course. I can do this.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Friday was reasonable. Saturday I skirted in just under my calorie limit but didn't accomplish anything like what I'd been meaning to. Sunday was a 1,964 calorie no-workout disaster. Today, though, I want to focus on the positive.
The weekend started well. I had a day off on Friday. I'd planned it a while back, just as sort of an "I'm going to need a break at some point" vacation day. I got my hair cut and, since I'd passed the 20 pound mark, decided to get a manicure and pedicure as well. I only worked out for 30 minutes (generally I do 40 or 45) but figured it was okay since I'd walked around the city so much.
Since my suits have been a little tent-like of late, I decided to head to Macy's and pick up a new smaller pair of black pants that I could wear with my existing jackets. I found out that they had the pants of my favorite suit on sale. I tried on and bought the 20s, happy that I easily fit into them. On a whim at the last minute, I picked up the 18s as well to shrink into.
Walking home from Macy's, I decided that I'd go to the tailor and get my new pants hemmed. Hemming pants has been this strange continual battle between my mother and I for many years. In middle and high school, I liked having pants that were slightly too long. More than that, I'm sure, I liked the immediate gratification of wearing new pants without having to send them away to the tailor for a few days. This drove my mother insane. She would push and push and push me to get my pants hemmed, which in turn drove me insane. Soon enough, it took on a life of it's own, to the point where I wouldn't get things hemmed because she wanted me to. Over the years, I might relent on an item or two, generally in exchange for something else I wanted. It was absolutely ridiculous, but is what it is.
In DC, I hadn't been getting my pants hemmed. Since I'm not incredibly short, it's really just on the border whether I need them hemmed or not, and generally it'll take a little while. Sure, eventually the hem will fall apart or get frayed (and it has on many of my work pants: I just stop wearing those ones) but they last a decent bit.
On Friday, though, I decided I was going to be a grown-up, get over this small random resentment, and go get my new pants hemmed. I went to the tailor, got into the tiny dressing room and put on the size 20s, and let her mark them up.
"Okay try on next pair," she said. Her accent was pretty heavy, and we'd been having some trouble communicating.
"They're just the same as these, can't you just make them the same length." In New York that was what they always did, so I was a bit surprised she'd even asked me to try on the second pair.
"No, is better."
"But it's the same pair of pants." Except for the fact that I'm too fat for the other pair . . .
"Is better. Try on next pair."
I went back into the dressing room, uncertain of what to do. Just put on the pants I'd worn and say, sorry, I'm in a rush, and get the 18s hemmed when they were closer to fitting? But then I'd have to come back again. After standing, pantsless, for a few minutes in the small changing room I figured I might as well try on the 18s. I was wearing a big and long enough shirt that if I could just get them up she'd be able to hem them, even if I couldn't button them. There was no harm in trying, anyway.
So I did.
And they fit. They fit! They zippered and buttoned and sure were probably a little tighter than I'd wear to work buy they fit. I was ecstatic.
Friday night went well. My Saturday morning free session with my trainer went very well. He's fabulous and I promise to write more about him at some point. Afterward, though, I felt so incredibly exhausted that I didn't do anything else that I'd been meaning too, and ate at the very top of my Spark range. (And generally speaking I don't use the spark range and stick to a hard limit of 1300 with most days under 12.) Sunday was bad bad bad and I didn't work out and ate almost 2000 calories.
But today's a new week, and a new day. I'm going to get back on track. I've got a size 18 pair of pants all hemmed and ready for me to wear them: I don't want to make them wait too long. I'm betting the weight is mostly bloat and salt from Sunday. Hopefully my official tomorrow will be better. We shall see.
I'm going to stick with the hard (existing) goal for my graphs and spreadsheet, but keep pushing myself to see if I can do better. After all, each day I do well makes the next day easier. I can do this.
Friday, August 14, 2009
As I've talked about a few times in the past, my first mini-goal is to get to 250lbs by September 15th. The weight is meaningful (it'll mean I've lost 10% of my bodyweight, plus it's a big round number), but the date is not. I picked it, essentially, by playing around in calculators. September 1st seemed too tough and October 1st would be too easy: so the 15th it was. When I started, the goal required a sustained loss of 2.8 pounds a week: ambitious, but not impossible. As of now, it would require a sustained loss of 1.46 pounds a week: cake, at the rate I've been going.
So, I've been playing with the idea of moving the date up a bit to September first. Including today and the 1st, that would give me 19 days to hit goal, meaning I'd need to lose 2.5 pounds a week to hit it. I think that's a high enough number that it'll be challenging, but low enough that I should be able to make it if I work hard enough.
Do you guys think moving up a goal date is a good idea (to keep things challenging) or a bad idea ( since I think you lose something if you're trying to hit a moving target)? What would you do?
Just to give a visual, the below chart represents the weekly weight loss I'd need to sustain* on any given day to hit my current mini goal (250 by 9/15), my long term goal (175 by 8/14/2010 aka my brother's wedding) and my stretch goal (145 by the wedding). My short term goal has gone from being more challenging than my stretch goal to easier than my regular long term goal.
Personally, I'm leaning for it being time for an update.
*I appreciate that the chart might be a little weird to people who don't like mathy things. Essentially, it's a judge of pace: how much do I need to be losing each week to hit my goals. Consistently beating pace means I can go slower later and still make it. Going behind pace means I'll need to lose more quickly later. A fuller explanation of the philosophy behind the graph (and why I like it so very much) is available here.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
That means I've lost over 20 pounds! YAY! I'm very very happy about it. It also means I've now lost over 7% of my starting body weight (7.30% if you're counting) and 3.48 points of BMI. In order to hit my first mini goal of 250 by 9/15, I now need to lose only 1.63 pounds/week. If things keep going as they have, I should not only meet my goal date, but beat it by a week or two.
Anyway, yesterday at work was a busy day. I left around 7pm, changed quickly, and headed to the gym. I did 50 minutes on the elliptical (550 calories) and even enjoyed some of it! Needless to say, I'm glad that the badness and misery of my Saturday/Sunday workouts wasn't repeated.
There was a dire need to replenish my healthy food supplies, so I hit up the grocery store post gym. I do this relatively often, just grabbing produce (which is right by the door) and going straight to the checkout before I head home. Today, though, I needed to buy lunch meat for work sandwiches, which brought me in to the belly of the beast.
It started with a 100 calorie hostess cupcake display. I'd had the last of my 60 calorie sugar free Jell-o pudding snacks two nights ago, so I needed to get some small new desert, right? Cupcakes it was. Oh, but if I have these you know I'm going to need a glass of milk to go with them. I should go grab that. The milk was in sight of the eggs. I'd been meaning to try the egg substitutes one of these days to see how they tasted, so shouldn't I get a package of those too? Added to the cart. I walked down the aisle . . . Cottage cheese! I used to love cottage cheese. Shouldn't I get one of those 4 packs of cottage cheese to see if I love it as much as I used to? And then Oh, yogurts, I'm running out of those. I might as well grab a few more. Then I hate hate hate that low fat cheddar I've got at home, oooh and this mozzarella has just the same number of calories. I couldn't NOT. And on and on it went.
The damage? $50 of groceries. Looking through the receipt, precisely $11.50 of that is stuff I'd been intending to pick up. Yeesh. While everything I bought still qualifies under the vague banner of healthy, it's much, much, much more than I needed.
While I do feel pretty guilty about my unplanned purchases, it's tricky because I also am really excited about them. I'm sad, but I'm also happy to get to try all this new stuff I bought. I don't generally rock frozen food, but I ended up on some blog (sorry I don't remember who you are! otherwise the link love would be yours) recently where they were raving about a few Smart Ones dishes, so I ended up buying four of those. I had their macaroni and cheese for dinner last night and it was oh so good. (I also had a salad with lettuce, tomato, apple, one cut up wedge of light laughing cow cheese and Italian dressing, which is a standard dinner salad of mine and is amazingly good too.) I'm excited to try the egg substitutes and see if I like them. I'm looking forward to the rest of the frozen dinners. I can't wait to see if cottage cheese is as good as I remember. And really, the anticipation for those hostess 100-calorie cupcakes is killing me.
I love food. It's bad. I'm making healthy choices right now because I'm dedicated to losing weight and it's something I really want to do, but good lord, in so many ways I'm still absolutely in love with food. I love buying it, I love trying it, I love making it, it's terrible. It's probably 60% of what got me into this situation in the first place.
This is no good.
I don't know. I think I'm always going to love food. I don't really think I'd want to not love food, which is probably just as well because I don't think I could stop even if I wanted to. And I think (or maybe I just hope) that it's okay to love food. I can love trying new foods and making new things, I just have to do it in moderation. I can love food, I just can't love it more than I love my life, my health, and my future.
I can love food, I just can't let my love of it negatively impact everything else.
That could work, right?
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Well, I hit a new low today at .1 pounds less than Monday. So, right direction, wrong amount. I didn't work out yesterday or Monday, but I am planning on hitting up the gym today after work. I slept a fabulous amount last night, and it was well worth skipping the gym for.
I keep being on the edge of trying the classes at my gym, but I'm still a bit too afraid. There's a "Yoga Fundamentals" class on Tuesdays and Sundays which is explicitly designed for beginners, so I'm thinking that might be my best bet for getting started going to those. The cycling class description also explicitly mentions that they're appropriate for all levels, so I could try that. They also have cycling twice a day every day but Friday, so there's no "Oh I'll go Tuesday" and on Tuesday "Oh I'll go Sunday instead."
I'm getting really nervous about meeting my trainer on Saturday. Like, I know it's completely irrational (what, do I think he's going to mock me or call me fat or something?), but at the same time, I'm still terrified.
In both these cases, the thing I need to do is just plain be less scared. Unfortunately, for me, that's much easier said than done.
I really want to lose the last .8 to get myself over that 20 pound hump by the end of this week. I'm hoping that now that I'm back on a sleep schedule and will be going to the gym again that my weight loss will pick back up again. Only time will tell.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Well, today's the big official weigh in day, and the results are, well, mixed. The good news is that I'm down 3.3 pounds from last week, which is a great number. The bad news is that I'm up .4 pounds day to day, but that's all right.
Last night I didn't sleep one wink. I was up all night working. I finished things just in the nick of time, and that was good, but I'm exhausted. I'm glad I didn't gain a lot more: generally my weight goes up throughout the day, and I lose a lot over night. I generally have quite a bit of trouble losing weight if I don't get a good night's sleep. Considering that (and the fact that I didn't work out yesterday), I wasn't expecting to lose day to day, and I'm glad I only gained .4
Last night I did relatively well in terms of food, all things considered. After work I went to a Subway and grabbed a five dollar foot long: it's not something I generally eat, so it was sort of the "special" that I generally use to get myself through crunch periods. I got ham with lettuce and tomato on wheat, and put on Miracle Whip at home. I ate half immediately after I got it, then waited about 20 minutes and ate the rest. I thought it was a bit of foreshadowing that I'd be in for a binge, but the sandwich was in fact all I ended up eating last night. Not bad.
So, I'm proud of myself for showing that I can get through hard periods of work without using food as a crutch. I'm proud I lost 3.3 pounds this week. And I'm proud I got all my work done in time (and did a damn good job with it, in my opinion).
I should work out tonight since I took yesterday off, but, well, I'll be coming up on 34 hours without sleep by the time I get home. I may just want to pass out.
And since it's been a while since I've shared one, below's a graph of my weight loss progress so far. Each mark represents a daily weigh in. The red line represents the 5-day moving average of my weight, the blue line the actual day to day weight. (Note that in San Diego, when I was unable to weigh myself, I just held my weight constant at my starting weight for the trip.)
Maybe this is just the exhaustion speaking, but I feel like I really am making progress.
Monday, August 10, 2009
-.9 pounds day to day. 19.1 pounds total. I'm getting very close to the 20 pound mark. I don't think I've ever lost 20 pounds, so that would be a big milestone. I'm also now only 8.9 pounds away from my first goal. I'm 35 days in and have 36 days left. As of tomorrow, I'll be more than halfway in in terms of time. Even if my heart's not in it at this very moment, I'm making a ton of progress.
I think part of the cloud hanging over me is that I have a crunch time at work. I've just got a ton a ton of stuff that needs to be done soon, a lot of it by tomorrow. (Which probably means I shouldn't be blogging instead of working, but shhhhh.) And this is making me want food more.
I've always used food as a crutch to get me through the hardest parts at work and school. A pizza has always been an excellent companion for an all nighter. Even in my unhealthy days, I'd always get something special, something even unhealthier than I'd normally eat, just to get me through, like a bag of Cheetos, or soda with calories. And I'd always, always get a Starbucks venti white mocha. (At 580 calories and over $5, even I would normally only have that a treat.) But it was all okay, because it was crunch time: the time when work was more important than everything, and any standards of decency could be sacrificed on the altar of getting things done.
Well, it's crunch time. I'll see what I can do on my own, but I think I'm probably going to indulge a bit more than usual. Not, order a large pizza indulge, but something.
While I've been writing this, I keep alt tabbing to look at possible things I could consume that would be "worth it." Everything I look at I keep nixing. Not worth the weigh in, I tell myself. And even though I weigh myself every day, Tuesday's the big "official" weigh in day, the one that goes on the side of the blog. And I don't want to fuck that up.
As of now, I'll see how I can do while staying healthy. I may end up going off course if it's what's going to get my work done. As much as I don't want to, if I can't work, it might be a trade off I'm willing to make tonight.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Yesterday I went up (expected considering Friday), but today I got a very nice gift from the scale: 250s!
As the title might indicate, though, I've been having a tough time.
Dinner on Friday was bad, as predicted. I ended up not going to the gym after. I could try to blame exhaustion, but really I think it was more laziness. I avoided the pastries at breakfast on Saturday, but lunch was pretty bad. I went to the gym afterward, motivated to set things right with a long workout. Although I generally stick to the elliptical machine, on my way over I decided I'd try some new machines. First, I tried a stationary bike, figuring it would be a good idea to try considering I've been contemplating the cycling classes. I did it for 5 minutes, but everything felt wrong wrong wrong, so I hopped off. Then I decided to try one of the Precor crosstrainers. I'd loved the Precor ellipticals out in Chicago (in my last weight loss attempt slightly over a year ago) but this, just like the bike, felt all wrong. I stuck with it for 10 minutes, but then hopped off. Then I went over to the LifeFitness ellipticals, which I normally use, and got on one. It felt horrible too. Everything, just off. I stuck it out for 25 minutes, but it was just absolutely miserable. Generally, I get into the music and have at least a bit of fun while I'm working out. It's not like I'm having an excellent time yet, and there are definitely still streaks where I hate it, but generally for at least a bit of a workout I can zone out and enjoy the music. It didn't happen.
Today I hit up the gym again, doing 45 minutes on one of the LifeFitness ellipticals. While it didn't feel wrong per se, it was a terrible workout. Every minute was a battle. There were no songs I zoned out for, no adrenaline rushes, no fun parts, just badness. It was, needless to say, not a very fun workout.
I'm also having a really bad time in terms of temptation. While I haven't given in to anything yet, I am suffering through some insane cravings. I want a Five Guys little bacon burger with lettuce tomato and mayo and an order of fries. I want it badly. It feels like I've been thinking about it for so long. I had to walk by Five Guys yesterday on the way to the bank and it was all I could do not to turn in and order food. And I've been dreaming about French bread, and thinking about Chipotle burritos, and pizza, and these cheese enchiladas that this little Salvadorian restaurant by my apartment makes. Oh, and white wine and caramel frappachinos, and do you see the bad road this is going down?
My mind is in trouble. I'm not where I want to be. My head is just not in the game. And as the saying goes "90% of this game is half mental."
Still, I did all right today (and yesterday post conference) while not feeling things at all. Yes, for a portion of the day I do need to get up and get myself to the gym and work hard, but most of the rest of it is just having the fortitude to not screw up. And while I might not be truly motivated at this point, I'm not motivated enough in my desire to screw things up that I'm willing to break the status quo. Right now, weight loss is the status quo. As long as I keep on keeping on, hopefully things will be okay until I can jolt myself back to realizing just how badly I want this.
Friday, August 7, 2009
(-.2 day to day, -17.4 overall, yada yada yada.)
One of the things I've always loved about my job is that I get to go to lots of events and conferences. Up until a month ago, "free food" was a wonderful, wonderful perk. These days, it's a bit closer to a nightmare.
For all of today, I've been at a conference. We had a continental breakfast where I was just able to grab a piece of fruit, but lunch was a sit-down, 3 course ordeal. Throughout this journey, my willpower's held relatively well, but lunch was just a disaster. I ate the whole salad, over half the lunch (of salmon, risotto, and asparagus in some unknown cream sauce), even a few bites of desert. There were pastries and other goodies provided throughout the day, but I was able to resist those relatively easily.
I wouldn't be despondent if I could, you know, just have something very light for dinner and stay within my calorie limits. But I'm not going to: I have to go to a dinner for the conference. And it's going to be a seated meal of at least three courses, lasting 90 minutes. In other words, it's going to be bad.
I've become excellent at resisting food temptations when left to my own devices. I'm even pretty good at not eating food when it's optional. But at a served meal in a social work situation, you can't really choose to just not eat. You have to eat something, to not do so would be some combination of weird and rude. Which isn't to say you have to eat the whole plate, but you have to have a decent bit.
And that's where the problem starts. I always, always, always end up eating more than I mean to at these events. It's like 90 straight minutes of sitting with food! Good, free food. That others are eating. It's badness.
So I'm probably going to overeat tonight. My gym stays open till 11, so I may try to go after dinner.
Oh, and bonus: the conference is a half day tomorrow, too. So, truncated weekend and a fattening lunch on Saturday. Oh joy. Grrr.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
The weigh in is happy (17.2 lbs lost! 6.19% of starting bodyweight and 2.95 points of BMI gone!) but not what I want to talk about today.
So, when I started losing weight, I started comparing gyms to figure out which would be a good fit for me. I sort of centered on Results because it was close and came up pretty often when I googled "Best Gym in DC." Still, at over $100 a month plus a $100 joining fee, I wasn't really certain if I was willing to spend that much.
Then, essentially the day after I'd settled on trying to go to Results for a one day free pass, I got a company wide email that we were considering a corporate membership there and that anyone who was interested should write back. I did, and I got 4 free passes to check it out.
I used them before San Diego. While I was there, the corporate membership deal got finalized. The Saturday after I got back, I went in and signed up for my reduced corporate $65 a month (and no joining fee!) membership. Since then I've used the gym every day but Monday, putting in a solid 40-60 minutes on the elliptical machine. I've been too scared to do any of the classes yet, but I'm on the edge of trying the spinning class or yoga fundamentals. They've got a Zumba class, too, which I kind of want to try solely on the basis of the praise I've read over at Learning to Be Less.
The point I'm trying to get to is that, as a new member, I'm entitled to a free personal training session. I've got mine scheduled for next Saturday (the 15th). I want to sort of dedicate the session to figuring out what I should be doing in terms of weight lifting, since I know it's important and I should be doing it, I just don't really know how. (There are also "floor trainers" whom I'm told I can ask how any of the machines work, but I'd rather just wait till the training session.)
The question is, should I invest in a personal trainer beyond the free session?
As of this point, I'm rather torn on if it's worth the money. (It would be $625 for 10 sessions, $1200 for 20. If I did get a trainer I think I'd set it up so I only met with him once a week, maybe twice.)
I recently opened up a Roth IRA for the first time. I put $3000 in, the minimum over at Vanguard where I opened my account. (Side note: if you're not saving for retirement, you should be! The younger you are the easier it is. I particularly like Roth IRA's because you can always withdraw your contributions at any time, no penalty, and can withdraw up to $10,000 in earnings for a first house or in case of hardship. You use after tax money to open the account, and then it grows tax free and you pay no taxes when you use it down the road. For more on why Roth IRAs are the awesomest awesome that ever was awesome, check out this blog post.) I'd saved up a bit particularly for this, but I did dip a bit into my general savings/emergency fund. There's a maximum contribution of $5000/year for people below the age of 50, and I'd like to put that much in before the end of the year. I think the market is cheaper than it will be for a long time, plus compounding generally favors investing as soon as you can. So, one thing I'd like to do this year is max out my retirement account.
Since the end of high school, I've always had this wild dream of becoming a Foreign Service Officer. The spring of my sophomore year in college, I took the written exam while I was studying abroad in Paris. (It's offered in tons of places in the US, too, but because I was out of the country I got to take it at the US Embassy there, which was gorgeous.) I passed it and got invited to the Oral Assessment, which I failed. And we're not talking a close failure either: I bombed. It was a mess. I hadn't been able to sleep the night before, and I just stumbled over everything and it was all kinds of terrible. I've been thinking of trying again. As part of that, I've been thinking of learning Arabic. While you don't need to know a foreign language to join, knowing a "super critical needs language" (their words, not mine) like Arabic helps a lot. So I've been thinking of taking Arabic classes. They'd be about $800 for the fall semester.
I also want to replenish my emergency fund. While I'm probably pretty secure at my job, and if anything did happen my parents would take care of me (in some future post I'll go into my parents and finances), I like having a bit of savings. I think it's important to save. And I want to get those numbers back up.
So, if I want to add personal training, it means cutting either Arabic, retirement savings, or replenishing my emergency fund. If personal training seems like it's worth it, adding to my emergency fund will probably be the thing to go: it's still got a few thousand dollars in it now, and I can build it up to a level I'm more comfortable with eventually. I'm still not 100% certain though.
So, question for anyone who's ever had a personal trainer: do you think it's worth it? What do you get from your trainer that you couldn't get on your own? How do you think s/he helps you?
And, for everyone, trainer or no, base instinct, what would you do? Pick three: trainer, Arabic, retirement, emergency fund.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Counting both the day I started and today, I am 30 days into this whole weight loss journey. When I started, pounds dropped pretty quickly. But after that, things became tougher. I'd be coaxing my body to drop just a bit of weight each day, and some days it would. Other days it would revolt. There were quite a few days where it just said "nah, I think I'd rather go up on the scale today."
Somehow, since I've gotten home from San Diego, the pounds have been just melting off. Initially it made sense: I was bloated from eating lots on Friday but didn't actually weigh that much. But, this is beyond just bloat dropping. I've lost over a pound for 5 straight days. I'm 4 pounds below my prior low. This, really, is just wonderful.
Too good to last, yes, but for now wonderful.
I'm now down 16.5 pounds in total (1.1 day to day). That means I've lost 5.94% of my starting bodyweight and 2.83 points of BMI. In order to hit my mini goal of 250 pounds by September 15th, I need to lose 1.96 pounds a week. This is the first time ever that my mini goal has needed a sustained loss of less than 2 pounds a week.
I am smiling. And it's not just numbers that are making me smile. I walk to work every day, and I now walk fast enough to catch a light I used to miss. The suits I wear to work every day all feel a little big. I was able to increase the resistance on the elliptical machine and still blast through my workout. When I stopped by the grocery store after the gym to pick up some extra produce, I actually stuck to my shopping list. Yesterday after dinner, I wasn't all that hungry for desert, and it wasn't because I ate too much.
There's a long hard road ahead. For now, though, I'm happy to be walking it.
And in case anyone's curious, thus far the new guy seems really nice. I ate breakfast at my desk this morning without feeling embarrassed about it, and it was definitely in large part due to all of your "He probably can't hear you and wouldn't even care!" comments, so thank you. :)
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
In the chaos of the morning, I just made a mental note as I finished rushing to brush my teeth, pack lunch, etc. I just kept the number in my head and planned to jot it down at work.
Then, as I was on the way to the office, it hit me: I've lost 15 pounds. NICE!
So, there's a bit of a spring in my step today. I'm still worried about the issues I brought up in last night's post, but I'll deal with that tomorrow. For today, I've lost 15 pounds (15.4 to be precise), and if that's not excellent I don't know what is.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Last Friday, my office-mate, easily my best friend in DC, left for another job. Her new position is in Texas: close to her family, better paying, more what she wanted to do, all around an excellent and amazing step for her. But it means this wonderful, sweet girl who I loved to bits is being replaced with a stranger. And I just found out he starts on Wednesday.
I am petrified.
One of the things that's big for me is eating in bits throughout the work day so I'm not particularly hungry at the end of the day. I'm really bad with night time eating, but I've found that having a dinner early in the evening (6:30 or 7) and then essentially closing up the kitchen works really well for me. So, on a typical work day, I'll bring:
1 fat-free yoplait yogurt
1 chewy chocolate chip granola bar or 1 polly-o string cheese
~12 baby carrots (I guesstimate when packing in the morning and count before I eat)
1 apple or other piece of fruit (today I brought 1/2 cup of blueberries)
1 sandwich, made of: 2 pieces of light style Pepperidge Farm bread, 1 slice of cold cut (right now, I'm working on a half pound of roast beef), 1 tablespoon of miracle whip, two slices of tomato, and a bit of lettuce.
This actually only adds up to about 600 calories throughout the day. Most days I have the banana and yogurt shortly after arriving, the granola bar around 11 or so, the roast beef sandwich at 1 or 2, and snack on the fruit and baby carrots throughout the rest of the afternoon. When I go home around 5:30 or 6, I'm hungry but not ravenous, and have 600-700 calories left to make myself a relatively extravagant dinner.
There are many, many reasons I love this system. The first is, quite simply, that it works. The lack of slip ups on work days is proof of its day-to-day effectiveness. I like that it doesn't feel like deprivation: I get to pack a whole ton of food in my bag each morning, and when I get hungry at work, it's fine because I've almost always got something left to eat. When I've eaten everything, I tend to be sated--there's a lot of fiber and a lot of volume in it. I like that it leaves me enough calories to eat a big dinner. I like that when I'm hungry at night, I can tell myself "it's okay, tomorrow you'll have enough food at work and feel better" and I like that it's true. I like that on mornings when I actually am ravenous--which has happened once or twice in my 4 weeks of diet--I can actually get something that's close to a binge in terms of satisfaction by eating the sandwich, granola bar, yogurt and banana all in the morning, and that I'll still have baby carrots and another fruit to get me through the day. I can (partially) lose control, but since all the food I have is the food I've brought in with me, I don't actually mess up my diet. I like that it's healthy and delicious and feels like it has variety: there are tons of flavors of yoplait, tons of different fruits I can bring, the sandwich is different depending on which meat I use, and I even get some chocolate in the granola bar.
There are many, many things I like about my diet. Up to this point, there's been precisely one thing I've disliked: people walking in on me eating. I can almost hear them thinking, Ew, gross fat Hadley, of course she'd be eating when I stop by her office. And, for self-conscious me, that's a substantive drawback. But it's rare enough that it's only happened a few times thus far, and is easily outweighed by all the good parts. 98% of the time, the only person who could hear me eating was my dear office-mate, who was possibly the sweetest and most non-judgmental person in DC. (Yes, I know that's like saying someone's the least corrupt person in New Jersey, but I swear she'd count as nice even by normal standards.) So yeah, she could hear me eating, and while I'd still rather she didn't, I wasn't really embarrassed because it was just her.
Now, the person who's going to hear me eating is some strange boy who could easily be thinking, Ew, gross, I can hear her eating like all the friggin' time. And who could tell people, "No wonder Hadley's so fat, I can hear her eating like half the day." Scary!
So, I have until Wednesday to figure things out. I need to balance the embarrassment vs. my continued success. And I think I want to not be embarrassed about my weight in the future more than I want to not be embarrassed by eating seemingly-massive amounts right now, but right now, well, I'm just scared.
Let's start with the good news first: I'm more than half way to my mini goal! I'm 28 days in and I've now lost 14.4 pounds and 5.18% of my starting body weight. My deadline to hit 25--a 10% loss of my initial bodyweight--is 9/15/2009, which is 43 days away. No matter which way you slice it, I'm pretty darn happy with the 263.6 number.
Things, however, weren't looking so sunny immediately upon my return from San Diego. The first two days went relatively well. I perhaps ate a bit more than I would've if I'd been at home, but not by much. By mid week I'd succumbed to french fries and a glass of white wine. Thursday I went on an In-n-Out burger outing. Friday was pretty darn close to an unmitigated disaster. In the morning I ate a scoop of hash browns, two pieces of sausage, and berries and cream. On the flight from San Diego to Atlanta I ate both complimentary cookies and an $8 turkey, apple and brie Sandwich with honey mustard (delicious, by the way). Stuck in the Atlanta airport, I ate a grilled Chick-Fil-A sandwich and fries. Disaster. Delicious, delicious disaster.
And it showed. My weight on Friday evening was a super high 269.4. By Saturday morning I was down to the still insanely high 268.0.
I dropped quickly from there though. Yesterday, I joyfully hit a new low of 264.7, and today, an even lower 263.6. I feel like I might be in for a small gain tomorrow, but we shall see.
I'm on track. I'm more than halfway to my first goal. And I've lost an amazing 14.4 pounds in 28 days. Now if I can only stop dreaming about Chick-Fil-A's delicious, delicious waffle fries, we'll be in business.