Friday, October 8, 2010

Hot 100 Update #2

Goal #1 Blog Five Days/Week: Well, this is number two for the week, so . . . didn't happen. I did, however start writing posts on both Wednesday and Thursday, so, partial credit?

Goal #2 Walk Every Day: I didn't on Sunday or Thursday, but 5/7 is not too bad all things considered. Partial credit again.

Goal #3 Career-y Stuff: I applied to a job! I've found a few others I want to apply to but I'm still struggling with writing cover letters. I'm still totally making progress.

So, not the week one would hope for, but it could've been worse. Progress!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday Weigh In


In a word: yay! This is Tuesday, and thus my big official side of the blog weigh in. 254.0 means I lost 3.2 pounds this week, and have now lost precisely 10 pounds since I started. And it's a great weigh in. 3.2 pounds is above what I expect to lose in a week.

I went for a walk yesterday and Saturday, but I haven't really been exercising as I'd like. The lion's share of the credit goes to the relatively on point job I've been doing with food. While I did have a horrible Thursday night involving a pizza (and a Friday that, I admit, included pizza leftovers), I've been doing a solid job keeping calories to a minimum even on the pizza night. Other than Thursday (when I think I hit about 1800), I think most days I was right around the 1200 mark. All in all, numbers to be proud of.

The 254 weigh in also means I have now met my initial "super mini goal" of being 255 or less by the time I go down to North Carolina on Friday to visit one of my friends. This goal was originally invented as a stretch goal, and I'm glad I hit it. My mini goal is to get to 250 by 10/25 (which will mark having lost 5% of my starting weight), a goal I'm quite well placed for. I have four pounds to lose and 20 days to do it.

It will not, however, be as smooth sailing as it might seem. On Wednesday night, I'm going over to a friend's house for a movie and take out. Despite the added calories, this is worth doing: friends are important, and I don't want my diet to lead to locking myself away. A single meal is also easy enough to make up by just keeping the rest of the day low calorie.

This weekend, however, will be trickier. Friday after work I'm flying down to North Carolina to visit one of my best friends from college. He's an awesome guy, and he's currently down there getting his Ph.D. from Duke. If I were making a list of my favorite people in the world, he'd easily have a spot in the top three. So, going down to visit him is all kinds of awesome, and I'm very, very excited.

The visit, however, is going to be a diet disaster. He wants us to go to a Brazilian steakhouse (one of our occasional traditions out at Chicago), which, if you've never been to one, is basically a temple to meat. Just imagine a buffet, only the food is actually good and fresh and you don't need to stand up to get it. Waiters come around and bring you unlimited quantities of things like filet mignon wrapped in bacon. If delicious and gluttony had a child, it would be a Brazilian steakhouse. I'm not saying you should go, but if you ever say "screw the weight loss thing, I want a heart attack" a Brazilian steakhouse would be approximately the best way to make that choice. (For the comments: have any of you ever been to one?)

So, that's going to throw me off course. I'll talk more tomorrow about how I'm going to plan for the weekend and what strategies I'll use, but for now, I'm not going to stress. I lost 3.2 pounds this week, and hit my first mini goal. Today I think I get to be proud.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hot 100 Update: Week 1


Yes, yes, that number is moving in the wrong direction. I've been home sick yesterday and today (excuses!) and I may've ordered pizza last night.

My first week of the Hot 100 has been, well, probably best described as a hot mess. Let's take a look:

Goal #1: Blogging 5+ days a week. BZZT! Didn't happen. Wasn't even close.

Goal #2: Walking outside everyday. Again, no dice. I walked on Tuesday, and that was short. Other than that, this was an almost impressive fail.

Goal #3: Not letting weight hold my career goals back, with a practical application of applying to jobs. Didn't happen at all.

So, bleh. Bleh, bleh, bleh. I'm terrible and lost and not motivated and fail. Such is life. My goal for the remainder of the day is to get a bunch of sleep (in the interest of getting better) and to not go hog wild on food. Hopefully tomorrow and next week will be more back on trackish.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday Weigh In


This counts as my official weekly side of the blog weigh in. From now on, I weigh on Tuesdays. (Of course, me being me, I'll still start each post with my weight.)

I'm not faring too poorly in my wedding/weekend home recovery. This is .1 pounds lower than Friday, and 1.6 pounds lower than yesterday, when I shot up to 258.8. What's important is that I'm back into progress, and that my goals didn't get too horribly thrown off by the wedding.

Still, right now, I'm mostly feeling pretty blah. I'm squeaking along, but I'm just not accomplishing anything.

Let's be honest: the number one thing I need to do right now is apply to jobs. It's not that I don't like my job (I do!) but I've been here almost two years and it's time to move on. I need to get something that pays more and where I'll have more challenges and more opportunity for advancement. My current job is stale, and it's time for me to move on.

So, I've settled that. And I've actually found two jobs I would love to have and think I have a decent shot at. (Well, one I would love love love love to have, and one that would be a solid choice and improvement over my current position.) I've worked a lot on my resume and think it's currently at a place I like. But I just can't write the damn cover letters and get my applications out the door. I don't know what's wrong with me.

One of the jobs (the one I'd love love love) is in Denver. I have spent literally hours online looking at apartments I could get if I moved to Denver. I could get a place as nice, if not nicer, for about half of what I'm paying to live in DC. I've also spent hours looking at cars, dreaming about what my priorities would be if I were to get a car, debating if I'd buy purely from my savings or if I'd go wild and finance a nicer one than savings could buy. (Spoiler alert: I'm pretty cautious with money and there's approximately a zero chance I'd take out a loan to buy a nicer car.) Basically, I've just been daydreaming. Sure, I suppose it's better than, you know, eating, but it's really just not productive.

What I need to do is focus. Apply to jobs. Work out. Kick ass at my current job. Heck, even blog. I just need to not spend forever thinking about what I'd do if I got a new job without, you know, actually doing anything about it.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Of Weddings and Weight Goals


Holy progress batman! Since I'm not going to be able to weigh in tomorrow or Sunday (traveling for a wedding), this is going to have to go down as my weigh in. It's a loss of a very impressive 6.7 pounds for the week. In a word, nice.

The next weigh in that I'm planning on putting on the side of the blog is Tuesdays. I know, I know, I started on a Saturday, so Saturday should by normal logic be my official big "side of the blog" weigh in date. Let's be honest: Saturday is a terrible weigh in day. In addition to being one of the two days I'm least likely to blog (tied with Sunday), it's also the day I'm most likely to be away and least likely to have access to a scale. Saturday has all the qualities of a terrible weekly weigh in day, and it will not be mine.

What will? Tuesday, of course! I love Tuesday for weigh ins. 80% of this is purely sentimental, of course. I weighed in for months and months on Tuesday when I first started this blog, and with it I dropped over 40 pounds. There are other reasons why I think Tuesday makes a great weigh in day: it's close enough to the weekend to keep you on your toes, but far enough away that you have a smidgen of time to get rid of any sodium induced bloat. It's unaffected by most holidays and long weekends, meaning you're less likely to be away from a scale. It's a great weigh in day, and most importantly, it's *my* weigh in day.

I mentioned, yesterday, that I had weight goals that I was keeping separate from the Hot 100 challenge. And I do.

Sort of.

Obviously my intention, broadly speaking, is to lose weight, preferably at a reasonable clip. When I first started on the 18th at 264, I set myself up with what I thought to be an extremely ambitious "super mini goal" of being 255 by Friday, October 8th, when I'm flying down to North Carolina to visit a friend for the weekend. On that day, it required me losing a rather tricky 3.15 pounds a week: more than I'd normally shoot for, but I knew I'd get some help from first week losses. I also set myself up with what I viewed as a more reasonable mini goal of getting down to 250, which would mean having lost a smidge over 5% of my starting weight, by Monday, October 25th. That originally required me to lose a hard but reasonable 2.65 pounds a week.

Good, stretch yourself goals, right? Not so much any more. For 255 by October 8th, I now only need to lose 1.15 pounds a week. For 250 by the 25th, I now only need to lose 1.65 pounds a week. These are not the things ambition is made of.

Which might lead one to say "change your goals." The thing is, however, you don't really want to spend all your time shooting at a moving target. Part of weight loss has to be occasionally succeeding. I set my targets, and now it's time to head towards them, wimpy though they may currently seem.

My official, near term goals, therefore, are to be 255 pounds by Friday, October 8th and to get down to 250, marking a 5% loss of my starting weight, by Monday, October 25th.

What are we looking at long term? Well, my best friend from college is getting married this June (unfortunately, to a guy I despise) and I am on the hook to be a bridesmaid. Her mother is sewing the bridesmaid dresses for us, and has asked us to get measured and send the information to her by February 1st. This is going to be insanely tough for me emotionally, and I'd like to be as low as I can by then.

Depending on how things are going, I may end up just telling my friend's mom that I've been losing weight and am probably going to lose more before the wedding and just see how she wants to deal with it. If it means I need to get the dress professionally made closer to the actual wedding or even step down as a bridesmaid, that's life. If push comes to shove, I'm not going to put my life/health on hold for four months because of someone else's wedding (especially a wedding I think is such a terrible idea).

To get back from the bridesmaid tangent, what all this means is that February 1st is a goal date of mine, although I don't actually yet have a goal number. To get to 220, I'd need to lose almost exactly 2 pounds a week from now until then. To get to 210, I'm looking at 2.5. And for 200, I'd need an average of 3, which is almost certainly out of range.

I think my current plan is to shoot for 255, and then 250, as quickly as I reasonably can. From there, I'm likely to set a goal for either 237 (a bit over 10% of my starting weight) or 233 (no longer morbidly obese, and historically a big trip up point for me). The date will be determined by how soon I hit 250. If I do 237, my next goal is 233 (clearly), and from there I'll shoot for 220 and/or figure out where I can be by February.

This first week is the easy week. Weight falls off like water. Being at home tonight and Sunday, and dealing with food at the wedding tomorrow, are going to be my first real challenges. Let's meet them with aplomb.

In other news: 25th Happy Birthday to Mae Flowers of A Journey to Thin! She's amazing and has lost over 60 pounds.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hot 100


Not bad. I'm down another .5 pounds day to day, and I've dropped an awesome 5.2 pounds since I started.

As of today, there are exactly 100 days left in 2010. Steve of Log My Loss is running, as he did last year, a Hot 100 challenge for the last 100 days of 2010. I, as I did last year, intend to participate. In the interest of mixing things up, this year I intend to, you know, actually finish the challenge instead of puttering out mid-November.

This year doesn't have last year's requirements that all goals be measurable, achievable, and entirely within your control. So it's just, basically, to make three or more goals that can last you till January, and to write about them each week.

1. Blog 5+ days a week. Blogging helps me stay focused and motivated. It forces me to spend a portion of each day really *thinking* about what I'm doing and why. Blogging help keeps me on track, and so I shall blog.
2. Go for a walk outside every day. Yes, even if it's hot or cold or raining or snowing or I'm feeling under the weather and really would rather not. Every damn day, I need to go outside and spend some time trudging through the fresh air. I can do it.
3. Act as if my weight can't hold my career back by doing what I should be doing and applying to new jobs. This might not seem quite like it fits in with a weight loss challenge, but for me it does. I've been using feeling bad about my weight as an excuse not to apply for jobs, and I shouldn't be. While yes, studies do show that obese people are less likely to be hired, there is no chance I'll ever get hired for a job I don't apply for. Ideally, I'd like to find a new job before this challenge is over, and if that happens I'll update with a new goal.

So, those are my challenge goals. You'll notice they're not quite weight centric. The only one that has a direct effect on the scale is #2, and even that's a pretty weak one. A walk of indeterminate length and intensity, even every day, is not the stuff big losses on the scales are made of.

There's a reason for this. It's not that I don't have lots of weight related goals: I do, and I'll probably discuss them in the upcoming future. But the issue is, I already have those. Those wouldn't be challenge goals, they would just be me continuing along my merry way and picking up challenge credit as I went.

So, those are my Hot 100 goals. If you want to try to close out the last 100 days of the year with a bang, it's not too late to join! They're accepting participants until October 1st. Just head over to Log My Loss for all the details.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The trick is to get back up

Well, it's been a long time since I wrote. Too long. And my weight's gone up. More than it should have and more than I'd like to admit, but not more than I will admit.

And so Saturday, I weighed myself, I recommitted, and I strolled through the blogosphere. Jo is in Onederland! Monica got a job! (That was old news, but I was reading through the archives and saw a mention to coworkers, plus you can never read too much of Monica's blog.) Katie J. is making all sorts of progress and now has the most beautiful picture as her icon! 266 is at a normal BMI! And Sue aka Mrs. Fatass is having the birthday celebration to end all birthday celebrations.

And me? Well, on Saturday I weighed 264 pounds.

Yes. 264 pounds. That's only 14 pounds lower than my original starting weight. How miserable.

But at the same time, in some ways, it also wasn't all that bad. I'd kept up a loss of just over 5% of my starting weight for a year and nearly two months. I work in health policy: the literature on obesity is bleak. Keeping 5% of my starting weight off for over a year actually makes me, statistically speaking, a success story. Imagine that.

Of course, that's not the level off success I want. I want Learning to be Less levels of success. (Who, by the way, is pregnant and due in just over a month. Congrats!) I want Diane from Fit to the Finish levels of success. I want to be what they are: namely, the awesomest kind of statistical aberration there is.

In my last post, on the last try, I said "Falling is okay, though. The trick is to get back up. And I'm going to get back up."

Well, I'm back up. I've been going for walks. (My gym shut down, and I'm not really up for finding a new one just yet.) I've been eating well. And I've been steadily progressing down down down the scale.

Saturday, 9/18: 264
Sunday, 9/19: 262
Monday, 9/20: 261.5
Tuesday, 9/21: 261

And finally today, Wednesday, 9/22: 259.3. 4.7 pounds down, a bunch to go.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Blizzards and Weight Loss Do Not Go Together

Ah, blizzards and weight Loss. They're certainly no peas and carrots.

Since Friday at noon, when I got out of work early because of the impending snowstorm, to, well, right this very moment, where I still don't have work today and haven't since. While I may have work tomorrow, it's less than certain. If the metro's still not fully operational, then the federal government will close, and I, too, will have another day to fill up with nothing but bad habits.

It's been a disaster. Really.

I do well with my diets during weekdays because I'm out of the house for work and bring only a limited amount of food with me. During the weekends, I do well because I exhaust myself with gym trips and walks around the city, far from my kitchen. And then there are blizzards. Where I can't go for walks because crossing the streets is terrible, and after 40 minutes outside my boots are soaked wet and out of commission for the rest of the day. And I can't go to the gym, because it's alternatively closed and separated by a block with a vacant parking lot that nobody's even thought of cleaning.

So, I haven't been doing well. It's my own fault. I got thrown out of my element and out of my routine, and I've let it defeat me.

Falling is okay, though. The trick is to get back up. And I'm going to get back up.

I just hope hope hope this storm that might come on Monday turns out to be a bust.

Friday, February 5, 2010


Still 237.5

DC is in the midst of preparing itself for a Snowmageddon, so last night I went to the grocery store after work to stock up on a few essentials to carry me through the storm.

A reasonably common sight on street corners in DC is vendors hawking "Street Sense" which is a non-profit newspaper that deals with homelessness and is sold by the homeless as a source of income. While sometimes it can be a little "I'm just trying to walk don't shout at me," in general I've always thought it's a perfectly decent non-profit and respected their work. The vendors generally aren't rude or obstructive, and won't put pressure on you or bother you if you're waiting for a light at the same corner and have indicated you're not interested.

I say generally. There's one guy who hawks the paper on P street between 14th and 15th, right outside of CVS and next to the Whole Foods I go to. He's always been very aggressive, rude, not like the other vendors. So, you know, not a good guy, but whatever, I have my headphones in and can just zip right by. Last night, as I did so, he shouted out something along the lines of "Hey [Lady? Blondie? I couldn't tell] you know I looooooooooove big beautiful women."

Fuck you. (Not you guys!) Seriously. I do not need to be called fat on my way to Whole Foods. What a douche. I half wanted to give him a New York Salute, but instead just walked on by because, you know, I'm not an asshole like he is. I am officially NEVER buying Street Sense again. And I'm going to tell my friends never to buy Street Sense again either. Fuck him.

Needless to say, this made me a little mad. And you know, whatever, I am fat. I get it. I lost 40 pounds. I'm working on losing more. But someone essentially shouting at me on the street "Hey Fattie"? Not helpful.

Brushing it off as best I can, I go into Whole Foods. It's chaotic, at best. I manage to get fruits and veggies, milk, and get myself in one of the enormous lines. (They were actually wrapped around the aisles, it was crazy.) Right in front of me was a mother with two small children, one in a large stroller, and the other a girl of about 5 or so. Although the mother and I briefly commiserated about the length of the lines at the beginning, DC's a city, people don't really talk in the lines, and she wasn't all that comfortable in English. (It seemed like she was speaking Chinese to her children, but if you told me it was another Asian language I'd believe you.)

As I stand around waiting, I sometimes like to stand on my tip toes just to see how long I can hold it. The five year old, it seemed, was amazed by this and asked me how I did it. I showed her. This was about a 30-45 minute line, so we had plenty of time to kill. She and I ended up going through my basket food by food, with me saying "do you like bananas?" and her replying "I like bananas." After we'd been through the 12 or so items, I went into "do you like cheese more than strawberries?" and whatnot. Then I did the only economist trick that's vaguely cool to young children, by proclaiming that I knew she liked cheese more than bananas, even though she hadn't told me, because she liked cheese more than strawberries and strawberries more than bananas. Ah, to be 5 and still impressed by transitive properties and revealed preferences.

And we waited and waited.

She started asking me the same questions I asked her: "Do you like green beans?" "Do you like tomatoes?" and on and on.

And then, as we waited more, she pointed at my tummy and said "Do you have a baby in there?"


I don't blame the (adorable) little kid. She obviously didn't know any better. And she certainly didn't know I'd just got called fat by the homeless guy outside.

But still, yeesh.

Still, I suppose it's all for the better. I'd hate to lose all the weight before I at least once endured an erroneous question about pregnancy.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thursday Weigh In


Well, today's the big official side of the blog weigh in. I am, unfortunately but predictably (I'll get into that part later) up .4 pounds from yesterday. I'm also, however, down 2.7 pounds for the week, which to me is a definite win. 2.7 pounds in a week is a strong showing by almost any definition. I've now lost a full 7 pounds since I came back exactly 2 weeks ago, and 40.5 pounds since I began this whole adventure in July.

So, why was it predictable that I was up .4 today? Two reasons. First, I didn't workout last night. Second: I had easy mac in addition to my dinner. At 220 calories, it's not really that bad for you, but the sodium in it is just insane. I've been in the habit of eating relatively low sodium foods of late, so one processed food and I tend to see a big jump. So, it is what it is, and I don't think it's a real gain.

Okay, it's getting late and I've been trying to write this post forever, and just keep filling it with negative nancy stuff. I lost 2.7 pounds this week. That's great! I'm back over the 40 pounds lost mark. That's great too!

So today, no nitpicking. I'm happy with my progress, and that's that.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Worth It


The weigh in this morning was very nice, but I don't want to curse myself for tomorrow by talking about it too much. Still, I'm definitely moving in the right direction, and seemingly at a pretty nice clip.

Before I get into anything else, Kimmers of 100 in 28 has officially lost 100 pounds! YAY Kimmers! I'd encourage you all to go over there and congratulate her.

I did, in fact, wake up this morning and go to the gym. (So did Lynn! Go Lynn!) Sure, I didn't hop out of bed at 6:30 as one might like, but I managed to schlep my way over there—through 3 inches of snow—and put in 20 minutes run-walking on the treadmill. Not a huge workout, but if I give myself credit for the 1.4 mile roundtrip walk there, it's about a million times better than not waking up early. I am incredibly proud of myself for getting up, and hope to make a habit of it. I'm still planning on hitting the gym after work tonight. For my lunchtime walk, I'm hoofing it over to the charity to drop off the clothing I'm donating. It's about a mile and a half roundtrip, which is about half of my normal lunch walk, but since I'm going to be carrying lots of bags and it's for a good cause, I'm still giving myself credit.

For the eggs, I ended up just going with two plain scrambled eggs. They ended up being incredibly delicious even without the cheese. I loved all the good egg recipes in the comments! I may try out a few of them as I work through the remaining 7. And to answer a few other assorted questions from the comments:

I do have a DVR and in fact record Biggest Loser as I watch AI live, I just don't want to put off watching Biggest Loser a whole day since I'm almost certain to get spoiled and find out who got booted.

You can technically freeze the Purdue perfect portions things, but whenever I do it just doesn't turn out right. Freezing meat is somehow still above me. Which is actually impressive considering that all that's involved is, you know, putting it in the freezer.

I do have (and love!) Trader Joe's. I eat their organic vanilla yogurt every morning and it's like the best thing ever. I love their salad mixes, their apples, their baby carrots, and use their whole wheat as my go to bread. All their stuff is so cheap and ridiculously delicious. I loooove Trader Joe's. (I love Whole Foods too. I begrudgingly accept that Safeway must be a part of my grocery store rotation, but still hate it with the fire of a thousand suns.)

In other news, I'm wearing contacts today! Two weekends ago (right after I got back to blogging/weight loss) I saw the eye doctor and decided to go for it. I'd considered it before because I hate the way I look in glasses—every pair feels like it makes my face look fat, which could just be because my face is fat, but still makes me emo—but I'd just never been able to get over the fear of touching my eyes. I think part of me just accepted that I was ridiculously unattractive anyway, so what was the difference between a fat girl and a fat girl with glasses?

All of which makes wearing contacts (and learning how to put them in) a big deal for me. The first time I was able to walk outside and see without a pane of glass separating me from the world was just amazing. And while I've worn the contacts on the weekends, today's the first weekday where I had enough energy and enough will to get them in on a work day. I'm so, so happy I did.

So, so, so much of this journey is just accepting that you're worth something. I'm worth work outs, I'm worth eating healthy. And you know what? I'm even worth touching my eyes for. (And that, blog buddies, is friggin' terrifying.)

For the comments: do you wear glasses or contacts or none of the above? And if you're feeling inspirational and have a strong tolerance for cheesiness, what's one thing you're going to do (or did!) today because you're worth it?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Groundhog Day Resolution


Another day, another .4 pounds down.

Yesterday was, in a word, solid. My eating was absolutely on point: the food I'd brought into work for breakfast/lunch/snacks, and a chicken breast and salad for dinner. Exercise was 100% acceptable: an hour walk during lunch and an hour on the elliptical after work. I'm not yet one of those awesome people of awesomeness who does early morning workouts, but I still give myself full credit for both a lunchtime walk and a regular workout, with a few bonus points for pulling out a full 60 minutes on the elliptical rather than wussing out after 45.

Today, I'm mostly feeling exhausted. I went into bed a bit before 9:30, but I wasn't able to fall asleep until well after midnight. I've been having a lot of problems sleeping of late, and it's the most annoying thing ever. I want to be able to fall asleep at a decent hour mostly so I can wake myself up at 6:30 to go workout. But I can't fall asleep early. And then I can't wake up early. And thus the bad cycle of badness continues.

I'm tempted to say, here and now, my Groundhog Day resolution is to wake up tomorrow and go in for a morning workout. But tonight has both American Idol (my gosh can they get to Hollywood week already? I'm so over auditions) and Biggest Loser, so going to bed early is definitely not happening. But maybe just maybe I'll be able to power through and wake up early tomorrow, even if I can't go to bed early tonight.

Okay, yeah, let's do it. My Groundhog Day resolution is to workout tomorrow morning before work. No excuses.

In other news, I've run through my Purdue perfect portions chicken breasts and am now faced with the difficult problem of making an actual decision about what I want for dinner. (Whenever I buy the Purdue perfect portions I pretty much have to eat them for 5 days nonstop because there are 5 pieces of chicken in the package and the sell-by date is always like 5 or 6 days ahead of when I buy them, no matter what. It's annoying because it's such a commitment of "guess I know what I'm eating all week" but it does make things easier.) I have 9 eggs that expire on the 8th, so I'm thinking I should do something with those, but everything I come up with is way more calorific than the 130 calorie piece of chicken I've been making the centerpiece of my dinners. 2 scrambled eggs would work, but I'd want cheese, and then I end up at 230 calories. 1 sunny-side up egg is also viable, but that needs toast, and then I'm at 215 calories. Decisions, decisions.

For the comments: how do you like your eggs? Happy Groundhog Day!

Monday, February 1, 2010



Technically, I re-entered the 230s on Sunday, but today is my first time posting about it, so yay 230s! Thus far I like them much better than the 240s.

I'm .6 pounds away from reclaiming my 40 pounds lost trophy, which is pretty exciting. This is also the first time since I've started back up that my BMI has been 40.whatever instead of 41.whatever. There are tons of baby markers of progress that I could give you (Over 5 pounds lost since I started again! More than halfway to my mini goal!), but the basic point is that the weigh in this morning is a pretty good one.

I originally had all sort of outdoors adventures planned for this weekend, but unfortunately DC got hit by a nasty snowstorm which forced me to cancel most of my plans. Instead, inspired by all of Monica's do-gooding last week, I decided to sort out all my too big clothes and see if I could find a good place to donate to. Luckily, there's a women's shelter not too far from my house that does really great work--including health care, education, training, and job placements and all sorts of support--that takes some donations, and almost all the stuff I wanted to give away was on the list. (Interestingly enough, they right now will only accept clothing in larger sizes, which I suppose isn't that surprising when you think of the strong connection between obesity and socioeconomic status: donors are statistically more likely to be thin, and those using the donations are more likely to be fat. Which isn't to say there aren't exceptions: see, for example, me.) Anyway, I'm overjoyed that I've found a place that will be able to make good use of all my nice but too big suits and work sweaters. They were even able to take my casual pants and shirts. I'll be dropping the donations off on Wednesday during my lunch hour.

Overall, I'm mostly in a good and productive mood. There are some nagging doubts and issues that I really ought to blog about, but if I keep trying to write then I won't be able to go for my lunchtime walk, and that would clearly be no good.

So, off I go, into the cold and (now slushy) snow to get a bit of fresh air. Enjoy the afternoon, blog buddies. (For the comments: what are you going to do today that's outside?)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Some guidelines and goals

Weight: 240.2

Today marks one week of being back. I've lost an excellent 4.3 pounds, which is just .2 pounds shy of half the 9 pounds I gained being away.

I'm debating whether or not I should put it as my big side of the blog weigh in. On the one hand, I started on a Thursday so this is a week later and should be my next weigh in. Just going by normal standards, this should be the day.

But, Tuesdays are my weigh in day. For months I weighed in on Tuesdays. I like Tuesdays. They're close enough to the weekend to keep the pressure up, and you're less likely to be away then you would on a Monday. And they're just my weigh in day.

On the other hand, I know I won't be able to weigh in on at least one Tuesday next month since I'm going to be on the road, so maybe I should just suck it up and stick with Thursdays for the time being.

I know I owe you guys a post on serious stuff, but today I just want to do today is set out some straightforward goals for myself:

1. There's no reason not to take the stairs down when I leave my apartment. I live on the 8th floor and taking the stairs down is both easy and smart. Unfortunately, I can't take the stairs up: you can't open the doors from inside the stairwell on any floor but the lobby and basement. (For the record, how lame is that? Shouldn't it be a fire hazard or something?)
2. I need to really write down what I'm eating. When I originally started this blog/diet, I wrote down every morsel. Along the way, I got comfortable enough judging my food and tracking calories in my head that I stopped. For now, I need to write things down. I'm not assigning myself a definite calorie limit, but I know around where I want to be.
3. Lunch time walks are one of the keys to success. Going out in the fresh air and getting a bit of midday exercise not only burns calories, it makes me feel infinitely better for the rest of the afternoon. At least 4 days a week, I want to go for a walk during lunch.
4. The most important thing I can do to get myself to the gym is to not sit down after getting home from work. If I change immediately, grab a bottle of water and head off, I get there. The moment I sit down, my chances of heading out the door plummet. As of now, I'm going to plan to hit the gym at least 4 work days a week, and hopefully on the weekends as well.

For now, those are my basic guidelines for staying on the right track.

Two days ago I made plans to fly out to visit my best friend from college in February, and I'm really, really excited to see her since we haven't been able to get together for a little over a year. Literally a few hours after we finalized the trip and I bought the tickets, her boyfriend proposed. So, come the weekend of February 20th, I'll not only be seeing her for the first time in a year, I'll be meeting her fiancée for the first time ever. A little nerve-wracking, to say the least. It's a little over three weeks away, so nothing drastic is going to happen, but I'd like to make some decent progress by then. If I can lose 4.7 pounds by then, I'll at least be as thin as I was before I got lost, and if I can drop 7.2 pounds by then, I'd no longer be morbid for the visit. Who knows if I'll be able to make either of those goals (I really should be able to make the first and the second is within reason), but now is as good a time as any to set them up.

It's highly unlikely I'll be at my goal weight to walk down the aisle for my brother's wedding this summer, but maybe, just maybe, I'll be there by the time I need to be a bridesmaid in hers the summer after.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Work out joy and a changing equation

Weight: 240.5

I had a fabulous workout yesterday. I went to the gym pretty much straight after work, and did 45 minutes on the elliptical. But it wasn't your run of the mill "chug along on the elliptical." It was me, giving everything I had and going faster and harder than I thought I could. It was the sort of workout I hadn't had in a while, and it felt great. I'm so glad I'm working out regularly again, and I haven't stopped beaming since I left the gym last night.

Despite yesterday's slight melancholy and yearning over a past I couldn't change, I do think on the whole I'm quite a bit happier when I'm on track and losing weight. A feeling of joy just started on Thursday, shortly after I returned to blogland and the world of the on-track, and it by and large hasn't subsided.

I've spoken in the past about what we're really saying when we embark on a diet/lifestyle change/weight loss effort/whatever you want to call it:

What "I'm on a diet" says, essentially, is "I was wrong." It says somehow, along the way, I messed up. Maybe I thought I enjoyed food more than the idea of being thin, maybe I was stressed and let impulse get the better of me, maybe I was just plain lazy, but what I did, was wrong. Being fat was a wrong choice. I messed up. And right now, I'm fixing my error.

(Side note: reading that post back I think it may be the best post I've written here. In general I'm not wild about my writing, but I do from time to time write things that I think are good, and that post is definitely one I like. Best or not, it's certainly one of my favorites.)

And I think what I said there is true. It does say that. But it also says something else.

The flip side of what "I'm on a diet" says is "I'm worth investing in." Yes, mistakes were made, but I'm worthwhile, I'm worth changing. That there's value in me, and that I'm worth protecting and taking care of. It's saying my future and my health are worth whatever pains I must endure along the way. It's not just saying the short term suffering is worth the long term rewards, it's saying I am worth far more than cramps or hunger pains or delicious delicious cheesecake.

I'm going to talk about this more tomorrow: there's a lot to be said here, about faith in yourself, about marginal costs, and about what side of the equation flips for the "I'm worth dieting" vs. "no, I'd really just have the pizza."

In the mean time, though, as my head churns the analysis and philosophy of it all, I'm still smiling. I'm happy to be here. I'm happy to be exercising. I'm happy to be eating healthy. And I'm happy that it's the season where the grocery store sells huuuuuge strawberries that I just absolutely love.

For the comments: what's one thing you're happy about today?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Lost Time

Weight: 241.2

I'm mixed on that number. On the one hand, some part of me keeps saying "That's good! You're down 3.3 pounds from when you started!" But, I was 240.7 on Saturday, and 240.9 on Sunday, so I'm not crazy about the reverse progress of the past two days. I just need to keep reminding myself that 3.3. pounds would be insanely good for a normal week, and that I should stop thinking about it in terms of a "first week back" thing.

One of the things I'm having a really hard time with at the moment is not kicking myself too much for missing as much time as I did. I've found myself looking, almost jealously but more with an anger at myself, at the progress my compatriots have made. Seeing so many posts and pictures I missed over the intervening weeks . . . it's just hard.

In about 10 weeks, I gained 9 pounds. To be fair, I don't think that's actually a fair accounting. Even though my absolute lowest weigh in was 235.5, my real weight was closer to 237 or 238. I've also been able to knock off the first 3 pounds of that 244.5 so quickly that it clearly wasn't all real weight. If I'm honest, in the 10 weeks I was away, I probably gained about 6 or so real honest to god pounds of fat.

What bugs me the most though isn't the reasonably small amount of weight I ended up gaining. It's all the weight I didn't lose while I was breaking. I probably could've lost about 15 pounds in that time. I'd be in the 220s, not morbid, and probably within spitting distance of the 210s. Instead I'm struggling to reenter the 230s, and facing a long road until I can drop the damnable morbid label.

However, all is not lost. As I was reading through archives trying to catch up with what had been going on with everyone, I stumbled upon this great piece of wisdom by S. at Ethereal Endeavor: "One thing my weight loss adventures have taught me is that just because I missed a day (or four) doesn't mean that I should throw in the towel."

A lost week (or 10) isn't great. But it's better than a lost year.

I'm not as far as I wanted to be right now, but I'm also a lot farther than I would've been if I hadn't undertaken this journey in the first place. 241.2 isn't fabulous, but it's a heck of a lot better than 278. The best, the only thing I can do right now is to keep on going and keep making progress. I'll get there eventually.

In other news, Erin of the XXL Files very kindly gave me an award on Friday!

Thank you Erin! I promise I'll consider playing by the rules and doing the award thing tomorrow. In the mean time, it was incredibly nice of you to hook me up with blog love after I'd been back such a short time. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Onward and downward

Thank you all so much for the warm welcome back! It definitely feels good to have returned to blogland.

I did indeed go to the gym last night, and it was nice to be back after quite a few weeks away. I only put in 20 minutes on the elliptical, but it was much better than nothing. Combined with the hour walk during lunch yesterday, and the mile roundtrip walk to/from the gym, I think I got in some pretty solid activity.

I weighed in this morning at 242.7, which is 1.8 pounds less than yesterday. The scale tends to move quickly in the first few days of a new/renewed diet, but it's still nice to see. Getting rid of the easy weight is always a nice way to kickstart a diet.

The question, of course, is how much easy weight I have to lose. I'm hoping a good portion of the 240s will end up being fluff and water weight and that I'll be back in the 230s in no time, but things of course don't always turn out as we might hope.

Anyway, a few "While I was aways" just to get you guys updated:

While I was away, I finished my Arabic class. I got an A! I'm really happy with it and enjoy the language, but I think I'm not going to do Arabic this semester and instead focus on losing weight. I simply don't think it's smart to spend 10 hours a week (6 class, 4 homework) on it at the moment.

While I was away, a big paper that I'd spent a lot of time on at work finally came out. It's been received very well, and I got thanked in the footnotes! I was, I won't lie, pretty damn proud.

While I was away, my dormant blog managed to attract its first marketing email. It's from LA boxing, offering me a few months of membership in return for telling you guys if I liked it or not (well, probably it's "tell you if I liked it, say nothing if I didn't"). They sent it to me about a week ago, and since I just checked this email account, I just got it and replied.

While I was away, I turned 24! The side of my blog has now been updated accordingly. Part of me is debating if I should just rock "mid-twenties."

While I was away, I missed you guys a lot. And since I've been back, it's been great catching up.

Right now, I'm optimistic and happy. I had a pretty good 2009, and I'm looking to make 2010 even better. Onward and downward!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Return of Lunch Time Walks

I took a walk today during my lunch hour. I used to do it almost every day back when I was blogging and genuinely focused on trying to lose weight. As I was out there in the not too terribly cold fresh air, I knew what I needed to do. I've known what I've needed to do for a while now. I'd just been too terribly scared to do it.

I needed to come back.

Slightly before Thanksgiving, I made a few food mistakes. At home for the holidays and my birthday, I made more. And between the icky gains on my scale and the fact that I just couldn't really control myself around food, I became too afraid to come back and own up to my failures. Not coming back immediately was a mistake.

While I was away, for most of the time, I kept yearning and thinking about going back. I silently visited some of the blogs of people I just couldn't let go of—Katie J., Jo, Monica, the kittehs, Actual Scale, Learning to Be Less, and 266, just to name a few—but avoided my own like it was toxic. I winced every time I typed anything starting with an "H" into my browser.

From November to late December, my weight hovered in between about 238 (what it initially jumped up to) and 240. I kept going to the gym, but not with the regularity I had been. I kept hoping that on my own I would find the strength to get the numbers lower, that I'd be able to come back here and post some number, any number that was lower than the 235.5 I left. As late as the beginning of January, I had a weigh in at 237.7.

And then there was the rest of January.

My weight this morning was 244.5.

These past three weeks have been entirely and ridiculously out of control. And it stops now.

I'm heading home from work in just a few minutes. I'm going to go home, change, and head right off to the gym. When I come back, I'll toss out what junk food I've accumulated these last few weeks, make myself a healthy dinner, and come say my hellos in blog land.

I've missed you guys, and I've missed making progress. It's time to get this weight loss show back on the road.