Weight Loss Tracker

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

So close I can taste it -- no pun intended

I've been bobbling up and down the same couple pounds since the end of November.  Granted, Thanksgiving also occurred at the end of November, and I suppose I didn't do so badly considering, but the scale and I haven't been on friendly terms most mornings because I'm thisclose to 100 pounds lost.  As of today, it's officially 99.  However... I. Want. That. Last. Pound.

So... here's to hoping it can be done before Christmas, when it's likely it'll all be undone anyway, right?  :)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The aftermath of Thanksgiving

Considering Thanksgiving food and eating on the fly in the car, I really didn't do all that bad.  I weighed myself before I left last Tuesday and didn't step on a scale again until yesterday.  The good news is that I only gained two pounds, which in itself is rather amazing for the time of year.  However, as of THIS morning, I had already lost 1.5 pounds of it.  I was already up about 1.5 additional pounds before I left, having gained that from my new low of 190.2 just over a week ago.  I'm STILL waiting to hit that 100-pounds-lost, and I'm very close, but it'll be another week or so before I see that.

Also, since I rarely took pictures before (and am still not great about it now), I looked back at my measurements around the last time I would have seen my siblings.  Since that time, I've lost approximately 46 inches overall -- a HUGE, noticeable difference.  I'm feeling very accomplished.  :)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Knocked it out of the park

Well, I'm back home from my Thanksgiving visit with the family.  I haven't seen my brother and sister in over four years -- but I did see my folks back in August.

My mom and dad were the most vocal about how I looked, and that had me really surprised since I saw them a few short months ago.  They noticed the difference from that time, and they kept saying over and over, "Wow, you look SO GOOD!"  My mom said that, especially from behind, I just look "normal size" now.  Since I can't really see how I look from behind, I was very surprised by this.  I also wore some jeans I got at the Goodwill recently which I felt fit my frame very nicely.  My mom said she can't remember the last time she's ever seen me in jeans -- which is very true.

My siblings also said I look good, but it was much more low key.  I didn't expect much from my brother, but I also believe my sister was a bit taken aback, which kept her comments to a minimum -- especially after we teasingly did a "butt check" with my mom, who said our butts looked pretty much the same (my sister is taller than me and says she's a 12 compared to my 14, but I don't know that for a fact).

Though it wasn't a contest for me, it felt good to be close to her size for the first time in 20 years.  :)

And for obvious reasons, food was NOT logged nor calories counted during this trip.  Come Monday, it's back to the grind.  I'm READY to hit that 100-pounds-lost mark.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

5-year bandiversary!

The fact is, I've missed the date of my bandiversary more often than I've remembered or recognized it.  But today is year five, and as of this moment -- after recommitting myself to my health and weight loss -- I'm down 98.8 pounds and 114.75 inches.  I had hoped to hit the 100-pounds-lost mark by today, but I'm close enough to be satisfied.  I figure I'll make it before Thanksgiving next week when I go to see family.  The last time I saw my brother and sister, I was down about 65 pounds and probably not working out as diligently as I am now.

Anyway, here's to a non-cake celebration of five years.  :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I'm sure it's mean of me, but...

...my sister posted a picture on her Facebook page last night from a month or so ago of her driving her boat.  The picture was from behind and, I have to say, she was looking a bit... thick.

Now, under normal circumstances, this would probably be mean.  However, as I posted here and here, MY weight has been fodder for jokes and a topic of intense interest to her -- mainly, I believe, because she's concerned about how I'll look when we get together for Thanksgiving.

But I have to say, I felt just the tiniest bit of glee seeing that picture.  Mean?  Yeah, maybe.  But right now, I don't care.  :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Epiphanies and other odd things

As I was rushing around this morning getting ready for work, an epiphany hit me, and in some ways it's rather odd.  What's odder still is I have absolutely no idea why this popped into my head as I was scrambling to shower and get ready after a morning where I forgot to set my alarm.

Issue Number One:  I was always upset that my husband never seemed to accept who I was, regardless of how I looked.  Any of you reading this probably understand what I mean -- we KNOW we don't look good, but we want to be accepted and feel loved anyway.

Issue Number Two:  I recently went out on three very short dates with a guy who loved the way I look NOW and wanted me to stay where I was.  Though that sounds great at first blush, I don't like how I look right now, and I'm still working to get to a better place in my weight loss journey.

So... what's wrong with me?  When I was heavier, I wanted to be accepted for who I am no matter how I looked.  And now, I don't want someone to want me to stay where I am today.  Don't get me wrong, I'd like to know that somebody accepts me where I am, but I would also want someone who is supportive about me bettering myself while being encouraging.

Does this make sense?

I guess I never thought I'd find myself in a place where I would be disappointed at somebody accepting me and wanting me to stay where I am right now.

Additionally, I went out twice with another guy a few months ago who was actually surprised that I exercise as much as I do and my dedication to it.  He was a large guy himself; and though I'm not knocking him for that, all I could think of was, "guy with food issues -- how long before I'd be back to my old habits?"

Again, we'd be going in opposite directions.

Though it all makes sense, it also seems very odd to me.  Maybe I'm learning something about myself.  Then again, maybe I'm just hormonal and confused.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Attempting to understand BMR and RMR

All this calories in-calories out thing has led me to try to delve deeper into what BMR and RMR are and what they mean to me in relation to my weight loss.  I've heard of them, but they've never really meant anything to me.  In general, they may not in my everyday journey, but I still felt it was important to know what they are.

Obviously these are all estimates and don't take all factors of your individual activity or body mass into consideration, but I think they're still good to help you see what your caloric expenditure would be just resting all day in comparison to the calories you take in  and the exercise you do.  For me, it further shows the difference between my BMR/RMR and recommended calories for weight loss, especially in relation to calories expended doing exercise and how divergent these numbers are from the BMR/RMR calculations.

Make sense?  No?  I didn't think so.  Okay, so here is the breakdown:

This site talks about BMR and RMR and their similarities and differences and how to calculate them both.  This is what they say about them both:
  • BMR stands for Basal Metabolic Rate, and is synonymous with Basal Energy Expenditure or BEE. BMR measurements are typically taken in a darkened room upon waking after 8 hours of sleep; 12 hours of fasting to ensure that the digestive system is inactive; and with the subject resting in a reclining position.
  • RMR stands for Resting Metabolic Rate, and is synonymous with Resting Energy Expenditure or REE. RMR measurements are typically taken under less restricted conditions than BMR, and do not require that the subject spend the night sleeping in the test facility prior to testing.
Probably all of us have heard of BMR, but if you're like me, RMR is not quite as common a term.

The site provides calculations to determine what your caloric intake should be if you are simply at rest for 24 hours.  The first is the Harris-Benedict* equation for BMR:
  • For men: (13.75 x w) + (5 x h) - (6.76 x a) + 66
  • For women: (9.56 x w) + (1.85 x h) - (4.68 x a) + 655
 Based on this formula, my numbers look like this:
(86.8 kg x 9.56 = 830) + (170.18 cm x 1.85 = 315) + (48 x 4.68 = 225) + 655 = 2,025
This site also says that the Harris-Benedict typically overestimates by 5 percent or more.  Subtracting 5 percent from 2,025 is 101, which then brings the number to 1,924.

The other calculator is the Mufflin* equation for RMR:
  • For men: (10 x w) + (6.25 x h) - (5 x a) + 5
  • For women: (10 x w) + (6.25 x h) - (5 x a) - 161
Based on this formula, my numbers look like this:
(86.8 x 10 = 868) + (170.18 x 6.25 = 1,064) + (48 x 5 = 240) - 161 = 2,011
(*Please note these two calculations are done in metrics: w = weight in kg; h = height in cm; a = age)

What I take away from all this math is this:
Harris-Benedict:  2,025 (or 1,924 based on the overestimation)
Mufflin:  2,011
This shows that they're pretty close (even with the overestimation of the Harris-Benedict test).  So, when my LoseIt! or other apps tell me that, in order to diet, I should be taking in 1,225 calories, it's understandable to me now that if my net calories for the day are less than 500 (calories in minus calories through exercise), that my body would go into a form of self-preservation "shock" and stop losing, resulting in plateaus.  This is why I MUST either scale back on my exercise or increase my caloric intake.

And if I've kept your interest thus far, I hope you've learned something today, class.  :)

**Information retrieved from Caloriesperhour.com

I'm only overweight!

Though I know these things aren't the best indicators of health due to a number of factors, I will use and exploit any NSV at my disposal. :)

I plugged in today's weight (191.4), and today's calculation has taken me from Obese Class 1 to straight Overweight.

Though nobody likes to hear they're overweight, I'll take that category over obese any day.

Now on to 159, the next category -- Normal Weight.

Less truly IS more

I've put into place the plan from my post here over the last week, and the results are in:  I'm down 2.2 pounds!

I admit I'm no whiz-bang where diet and nutrition are concerned, because it just seems as if the more exercise you do, the more "reserves" you're tapping in to.  It should truly be that simple.  However, it's not, and I've had to get my mind around actually working out LESS to get off my plateau.  It was difficult mentally, but I liked it physically, as it only required about 20 to 25 minutes of my time each day.

The other things I see in my very near future is 100 pounds lost and my 5-year bandiversary next week! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New direction

I had hit another dreaded plateau for a few weeks, bobbling up and down about 1.5 pounds.  Though I know I'm still losing inches, I hate scale plateaus and decided to research to see if maybe there is another reason for it.

What I came up with was this:  I needed to either eat more or exercise less, or some combination of both.  My kettlebell training, which is every other day, expends about 850 calories for 50 minutes.  Though that's great, the fact is that if I don't eat back any of those calories, it would leave me with a net calorie intake of less than 400 calories.

Though one would think that anything worked off that goes beyond what we eat would automatically result in pounds lost, the fact is that our bodies only look at the net calories, apparently.  So, day after day, my body thinks I'm starving because IT only sees those 400 calories.

Okay, so I decided to go against what we THINK we should do and scale back my exercise somewhat and intensify parts of it.  Because of my band, it's nearly impossible (and rather dumb) to eat back my exercise calories.  As it was, I was somewhat supplementing with candy.  Which, I know, is rather dumb.  So starting Sunday I decided to reduce my kettlebell training to about 20 to 25 minutes on my weight days, and to do about 30 minutes or so of cardio on my alternate days.

I also remember that our bodies tend to get used to the exercises we do if we keep doing the same thing for weeks on end -- which I've been guilty of.  So on my cardio days, I have begun to do shorter bursts with higher intensity -- and to shake up what I'm doing (previously, my cardio was 50 minutes on the elliptical only).  For the next couple weeks, I will be doing a combination of my walk-run, where I walk for two minutes and run for two minutes, and do this back and forth for 30 minutes.  It is actually one of the suggestions for HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) that is becoming popular these days.

Just since making these two changes this week, I've lost 1.4 pounds since Saturday!  It's great that I may actually get more for less when it comes to my workouts.  I mean, who WOULDN'T be all for realizing weight loss for half the exercise?  :)

Skinny fingers

I got myself a topaz ring back in June that was a celebration of my new singledom.  When I got it, I had it sized from the standard 7 all rings come in now to a 6.  Not long after I got it, it seemed a bit too big; however, being a top-heavy ring with a thin band, I didn't really think much of it.  Them it went in the drawer because one of the tiny diamonds fell out of it.  This was probably in August or so.

I finally took it back to Macy's to have the diamond repaired (luckily I bought the service plan), and I asked to have it re-sized as well.  The lady pulled out the little sizing rings to see what to size it to, and the 5.5 slipped right onto my finger.  WOW!  I can't even remember the last time I could wear a 5.5 ring -- probably about 15 years ago.  When I was skinny, I wore a 5 on my ring finger, so maybe I'll be back there again!

I'm loving these NSVs as much as the SVs.  :)

Friday, November 8, 2013

I wish I saw what they see

Don't get me wrong, I can SEE my progress.  But between yesterday and today, I had no less than three people really going on about my progress.  A friend of mine came over last night to talk to me about possibly joining a gym he goes to across the street from my condo (not gonna do it), and he now refers to me as The Incredible Shrinking Woman.  Today I was running errands and bumped into two people I know (one came up to me talking to the other).  The first one kept saying how great I look, and when the other joined the conversation, she said the same.

However, though I know I'm BETTER than I was, I don't feel like I look great.  I'm having a hard time with that one.  I mean, my BMI still has me ever so slightly in the obese category (though I do know that those things, when doing a straight calculation, isn't exactly precise), but three more pounds will have me as simply overweight.

I know I'd feel I was in a better place if I didn't have my dunlop apron hanging out in front.  I'm trying not to be vain about that, but it IS there and it does affect how clothes fit, too.

Well, that's another issue for another day.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Keeping focused and tracking calories

Last week was kind of a bad week for me all the way around.  Wednesday would have been my 20th wedding anniversary.  I went out with -- and summarily stopped going out with -- a guy who I found out had a bit of a criminal past.  And I think in all the emotion -- excitement over a new guy, sadness over the non-anniversary, and being irked at the lying new-guy jerk.

Couple that with a Costco-sized bag of chocolate that was bought for the office, and it was a bad combination.

All this year we've had this same candy, and it never even fazed me.  I rarely even picked up a single piece on any given day.  But last week?  Wowzers, I was eating sometimes eight or nine pieces a day for multiple days.  What was worse is that I wasn't logging them, and because I wasn't logging them, I often wasn't logging that day's calories at all.  It was reminiscent of days past where I would eat indiscriminately and mindlessly, just grabbing and shoving in my face.

To add to that dilemma, I wasn't exercising as diligently, either.  So, not only was I eating over 600 calories a day in chocolate, but I wasn't even doing anything to get rid of those excess calories.

The good news is any weight gain I had was minimal -- less than two pounds.  The bad news is I saw a peek into the old me -- mindless, emotional eating.

I will not beat myself up over it, but yesterday was a new day.  As was today.  For a few days, I suppose I'll just be taking it one day at a time.

Even my feet are smaller...?

Is it possible?  well, I GUESS it is since I know my shoe size got bigger when I got heavier.

I used to be a solid 8 for many years.  Then I got heavy, and the next thing I knew, my she size was an 8.5.  For probably close to 20 years, I've been wearing an 8.5 (and sometimes a 9 depending on the shoe or manufacturer).

For the wedding I was in, I bought some closed shoes (after having worn open-back shoes for many years as well).  I was really glad I tried those on when I bought them and didn't just go with the belief I was an 8.5, because the 8.5s were swimming on my feet.  Meh, I thought, it's that pair.

Well, I went to a shoe store this past weekend and was looking around, and I tried on one pair in an 8.5, and my feet were swimming in it.  Again, I figured it was that particular manufacturer.  I then found another shoe in an 8.5, and again, it was too big.  By the third time of trying an 8.5 only to find it far too big, I moved over to the 8s -- which fit.

Since many times our shoe size increases with our weight and girth, is it possible -- even likely -- for our shoe size to go back down again when we lose??  I'm thinking it must be a reality, because so far as I can see, I'm now an 8 again.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Words of wisdom

My mom shared with me part of an e-mail a friend of hers wrote her about my situation and weight loss.  Granted, I always pretty much figured this was the case, but to hear it coming from somebody else was interesting.  She said:
Of course, [he] won't compliment [her] on her weight loss.  He wanted her fat!  Because of his insecurities.  He doesn't want her to feel good about herself!  That's what all these years have been about.  Keep that self-esteem on the floor!  He knows he's not good enough for her, he's known it all along, and if she ever realized that, she'd be GONE!  And guess what?  That's exactly what happened!  Tell her...take her time...she doesn't need a man to define herself.  If the right one is out there, he's out there.  She won't find him if she's tied down to ONE, just so the world knows she CAN get a guy.  Take it from one who's been there.  Screw the world, too.  She's not the fat chick anymore.  She's free and single because she WANTS to be!  And if Mr. Right isn't out there, well, there's a lot of Mr. Wrongs you can sport f--
Well, let's juts say she figured I could "enjoy" them.  Yeah, not really my thing, but I get her drift.

But she's right.  I used to always say that he NEVER supported my weight loss, even though he didn't like me fat.  But in his own way, I guess he needed me fat so that, in his mind, I wouldn't leave.  Besides that, he had an eating buddy in me.  It was a no-win no matter how it went down.

Monday, October 28, 2013

So, yeah... my sister (part trois)

I meant to post this earlier, but since I was out dating... :)

My sister called late last week, and we were chatting about non-incidentals.  And then she started asking:  "How much weight have you lost?  What do you weigh now?  Are you still losing?  Are you still under 200?"

I was ducking and weaving like a prize fighter, trying hard not to answer.  It was easier for my mom to do it when she was being asked because it could be believed that we don't really talk about it.  But being asked outright is something else altogether, obviously.

The best I could do was say stuff like, "You know, weight goes and weight comes back," or, "I've been in a holding pattern for a while" (true).  I really disliked being put on the spot like that and having her ask me, especially since I know the only reason she really cares is because she's worried about us all getting together in five weeks and me maybe looking better than her.

New boys and new dilemmas

I met a nice guy this past weekend.  Nothing too hot or heavy, but it already brings up a few interesting issues.

First, even though he's pretty buff, he likes larger women.  I saw the woman he was last dating, and she's quite a bit bigger than I am.  He actually likes me at my size NOW, but I intend to lose about 50 more pounds.

This is one heck of a change from my marriage, where my husband never accepted me at my heavier weight.  On the flip side, this guy likes me where I am, but I don't.  In some ways it would be nice to be able to stop where I am and simply be accepted, but that's not good enough for me.  Not anymore.

How odd that I would go from one extreme to the other?  But the fact is that no matter what path my life takes, I have to stay true to me and my health and goals.

Secondly, I find myself having to decide what to share with a new person who seems interested.  How do you do this?  I DID tell him about losing nearly 100 pounds, and he never blinked.  Tonight I mentioned something about having trouble eating enough calories when I'm working out hard, and he asked if I had surgery.  I just brushed over that question and didn't answer.

He cheered me on Saturday (via text) when I did my 5K.  His support was amazing, and it's something I haven't had in ages.  He texted this to me:
It actually made me very happy that you made such a big accomplishment in losing weight and getting yourself in shape.  Thought it was cool that you were running in your first 5k.  Even though we only recently met, I am genuinely proud of you.
I was shocked.  I never got support like that from the man I was with and married to for 20 years!  Even the day of the race, I got no type of support or encouragement from him like what this guy said.

It's all very nice, but he'd better be okay with me continuing on my weight-loss journey if things are going to go anywhere.

Missing links

I had to make my watch smaller today.  I know, it's a relatively small (and odd) NSV, but do you know how hard it is to get smaller wrists?  :)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I finally did my first 5k!


Back in December of 2009, I said I wanted to eventually do a 5k.  Yesterday was that day.  It wasn't pretty, and I would have won no medals, but I DID do it.  There was some running, much walking, and just a little too much heavy panting (and not in that good way), but I finished it -- AND in a fairly respectable time, considering it was my first:  43 minutes.

I wouldn't get that engraved on a plaque or anything, but I wasn't last, either.

I won't be doing another one in the next week or so, but I WOULD like to do it again.  Now that I have a time to beat, I will challenge myself.  And I've recently met someone who is very active and rooted me on (and was very proud of me and called me a "Warrior Queen!"), and I know if anybody can challenge me to do more and do better, he or someone like him can do it.

Friday, October 25, 2013

"Your face is getting so skinny!"

I heard this today.  I have to say I felt great hearing it.  It's weird how you don't really notice much when looking in the mirror, which is why I tell people they really should take photos, measurements, and anything else OTHER than just relying on the scale. Those non-scale victories can save your sanity when you don't see any movement for days, weeks, or sometimes months.

It was nice to hear this from someone that I see periodically, but rare enough that he noticed.  He said he's seeing it all over, but he specifically mentioned my face.

The photos above are taken three months apart.  There is only 10 pounds' difference in my actual weight, but even I can see the difference in my face.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

So, yeah... my sister (part deux)

Remember me telling y'all about my sister's "chunky comment" last month?

Yeah, well, it seems as if I'm in some sort of competition with her that I was unaware of.  A couple times recently, she's asked my mom how I've been doing on my weight loss, to which my mom hasn't really said anything.  She just dodges the question or says she doesn't know how it's going.

Today, however, my sister texted me about something else and TWICE, 3 1/2 hours apart, asked me how much weight I've lost while saying that she has gained what would be about 35 pounds from her ideal, "fighting weight."  Because she asked about my weight interspersed with a couple other questions, I dodged the ones about my weight and only answered the others.

Then, when she saw I wasn't biting on the questions about my weight, she asked for a photo of me in the bridesmaid dress I'll be wearing this weekend.  I said, "I sent it to you in August."  Now, when I sent it to her, all excited that the dress fit though I bought in a size smaller, I got one word:  Awesome.  That's it.  Not another word, then or after.  So, when I said that I sent it in August, she said, "It's October, dude."

I dodged the questions about my weight, so she went the circuitous route and asked for a photo.

Yeah, as if.  It's not like she's asking because she gives a crap -- she's asking to see how much weight she has to lose by Thanksgiving, when we'll all be together.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

New underpants and My 600-Pound Life


So, last night I was channel surfing and came across reruns of the TLC show My 600-Pound Life and was just... shocked.  I've seen big people before, certainly, but I don't recall ever seeing a show that followed them for years through weight loss (though, from what I can tell, this show specifically focused on their weight loss after gastric bypass surgery).

The only show I watched both parts for was the case of a woman named Melissa.  She was so cute and enjoyable that you really WANT her to succeed.  She has what seemed like a very supportive husband, but as time goes on, I realized that he probably preferred her fat because she was his project, somebody to take care of, somebody who needed him.  You see the dynamic of their relationship change as she loses weight and becomes more independent, driving again, doing things for herself... You almost see him losing his identity.  Oh, and you also find out later he's been messing around on her, at least emotionally, and quite possibly physically.

Anyway, not to belabor his asshattery, it was really emotional to see her change so drastically and taking to her new life.  It was also alarming when I'd see that she had gained weight, feeling her fear along with her, wondering if, in the long run, she succeeded or slipped back into obesity.  I'd like to watch more of it if they continue to play it.  Partially to see how they dealt with it, and maybe even in part as relief that I'm not battling such a huge journey.  Sure, mine is great as well, but it's never been so alarmingly huge.

On the good side, I think I need to go down TWO sizes of underwear.  I found some 9s in a box of smaller clothes at the house, but when I put them on, the butt in them is still too big.  Seems I'm in the market for some 8s!  I'll take every NSV when it comes.  :)

Shock and awe

I bumped into somebody today who I haven't seen since mid- to late-2008, when I looked like this:
She was totally shocked to see me now looking like this:
It was really great to have somebody who hadn't seen me in years notice this huge change.  It's one thing when friends who maybe see me monthly notice, but she was so shocked and complimentary that I walked away feeling really great.

Now to do this to my siblings at Thanksgiving.  :)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Piggybacking on my post below...

The post I just made showing my measurements, and also based on a conversation I'm having with a friend who is in the beginning stages of her weight loss journey, I can't stress enough how important it is to use non-scale ways of measuring your success.  I say this because the last time I took my measurements was on September 19.  On that day, my weight was 196.4, while this morning it was 195.  So, in 20 days, I had only lost 1.4 pounds.  However, I also lost 3.75 inches.  Though the scale didn't show how well I did, the tape measure did.

We have become so conditioned through our lives to live and die by the scale that we allow it to dictate our success.  I still sometimes do when I get on it and see a slight gain or no loss.  I certainly have those old feelings.  But that's why I make sure to measure on a fairly regular basis.  Besides that, if truth be told, I'm certain I'm in a solid 14 by now (though I need to get more things in this size) -- at 195.  A 14.  Now, in the past, I remember getting excited when I lost weight some years back and got into a size 14 bathing suit, but I was about 185 pounds then.  So, I'm most certainly leaner at this 195 than I was at that 185.

Newest measurements

I weighed in today and hit a new low:  195!

I also decided to take measurements again today.  I tend to do them about every two or three weeks, though I don't have any set time frame.

The results are in.  Since my last measurements on September 19, I've lost another half inch lost in my bust, a half inch in my ribs, an inch in my abdomen, an inch in my hips, a quarter inch in each of my upper thighs, and a quarter inch in my right upper arm, for a total of 3.75 inches.

Just since June 15th, when I began taking measurements on this particular chart, I've lost 30.75 inches!  In four months, I've lost in the following areas:

Neck:  0.5"
Bust:  3.5"
Pecs:  3"
Ribs:  3.5"
Waist:  2.5"
Abdomen:  4.25"
Hips:  3.5"
Right Upper Thigh:  1.75"
Right Lower Thigh:  1.75"
Left Upper Thigh:  1.75"
Left Lower Thigh:  1.75"
Right Calf:  0.5"
Left Calf:  0.75"
Right Upper Arm:  1"
Left Upper Arm:  0.75"

Not too shabby.  :)

Monday, September 30, 2013

14! 14! 14!

Omg, I actually put on a pair of size 14 slacks today -- and they fit!

For a while now, my size 16s have been pretty loose, and as far as I can tell, I only have one size 14.  So, I tried them on last night and as able to get them buttoned up.  They were a bit snug in the waist, but they fit perfectly fine everywhere else.

If I had to guess, I haven't been in 14s since I was in my mid-20s.  SQUEEEEEEE!!!  :)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

"I'm getting so jealous!"

I actually heard those words the other day from a girlfriend of mine who, whenever we went out, would typically get the attention from men.  She's pretty and blonde and has a beautiful smile and a great personality.  Additionally, she's led a very interesting life and has no problem finding things to keep her entertained and interested.  I always felt completely invisible next to her.

We were talking the other day, and she said out of the blue, "God, you're looking SO good!  You're going this way (she motioned inwards with her hands), and I'm going this way (she motioned with a widening of her hands).  I'm getting so jealous!"  This was on the heels of two other people within as many days who had made comments about how good I'm looking.  Our landlord at work showed up on Friday and said I was "wasting away."  Okay, that is certainly an exaggeration as I'm still nearly 200 pounds, but it felt good.

My mom thinks maybe I've hit another plateau and it's getting people's attention.  She would laughingly say that one of my other plateaus would be around the 212 mark.  At 213, I looked heavier than I did at 212, and that number was my plateau mark somehow.  Neither of us can figure how one pound can do that, but she swears it's true.

I'm very much looking forward to seeing all my family at Thanksgiving and surprising some folks.  :)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My pants don't work anymore

Well, they work, as in they cover up my legs and butt -- but I put on a pair this morning that I probably haven't worn in at least a few weeks that have the extra "panel" in the tummy part to allegedly help hold your gut in a bit.  The last time I put them on, the panel was snug as I pulled the pants up over my hips, and I could definitely feel it doing its job and snugging up against my tummy.

Today, however, the panel isn't doing anything.  The pants slid pretty easily up over my hips, and they were even a bit loose around my waist.  Which means the panel was nothing more than an extra piece of fabric.

To add to this, there was a bra I bought less than a month ago in a smaller size (I needed one that can convert to strapless for a wedding I'm going to be in on October 19th and found a nice one at Wal-Mart -- decent price since I won't be in it forever).  The first couple days I wore it, it was tight enough that the dang thing cut into my sides and left marks.  Here I am just a few weeks later, and I'm already using the second set of eye-hooks (in fairness, the distance between the loosest and the next set of eye-hooks is relatively small, about a half inch).  Luckily I didn't spend much for it, which was the plan.

I keep getting more and more surprised by the amount of change I see in such short periods of time.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Speaking of butts...

I opened my e-mail today and found an article from Shape Fit that focused on the three best butt-shaping moves out there.

The specific article can be found here.

3 Best Butt Exercises To Strengthen Your Glutes and Reduce Pain

Your glutes do more than hold up your pants. These large muscles help to stabilize your pelvis and lower back, move your legs, and help you to sit and to stand. The glutes function for hip abduction, or moving your legs outward from the side of your body, and hip adduction which involves bringing your leg toward and across the center of your body. Glutes move your legs backward in a hip extension movement. Moving your knees toward your chest when doing a hip flexion movement is also assisted by your glutes. Weak glute muscles can contribute to pain and weakness in your entire lower body. For example, weak hip abductors on the side of your glutes and outside of your upper thigh area can even cause knee pain. When your glutes are not strong, your pelvis may tilt forward and possibly lead to poor balance and further weaken your glutes. Your body will compensate for an unstable pelvis by adjusting your gait when you walk, which can lead to injuries such as ankle sprains and stress on the knees. Strengthening your glutes will help prevent injury and pain, and you might even be pleased with the visual results of a tighter booty!

Butt Exercise #1: Lunges
Lunges are among the most effective glute exercises out there. Lunges also work your legs and core muscles. The standard lunge is performed by standing up straight with your feet about hip-width apart. You can place your hands on your hips for balance. Prepare to lunge by bracing your abdominal muscles and then take one giant step forward. Slowly lower your body straight down toward the floor by bending both knees. Keep your upper body straight and resist the urge to lean forward. Hold the lowered position for 2 to 3 seconds and then push up with your rear leg and step forward to bring your body upright again. Repeat the lunge by stepping forward with the other leg. You can add resistance to your lunge by holding a 5 or 8 pound dumbbell in each hand. Hold a medicine ball straight out in front of your chest for an extra challenge. Holding weights in your hands while lunging not only adds resistance to your workout, but also provides a good workout for your arms and upper body. Do 10 lunges on each leg or 20 repetitions of alternating lunges.

Butt Exercise #2: Squats
No glute workout would be complete without a few squats. The squat is one of the best exercises for your glutes, hips, thighs and core muscles. You perform the standard squat by standing with your feet about hip-width apart and your hands on your hips. Squeeze your abdominal muscles and then hinge your body at the hips. Lower your body until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Keep your back straight, feet flat on the floor, and don't allow your knees to go forward past your toes. Hold the squat for 3 to 5 seconds and then push your body back upright. Hold a kettlebell or a dumbbell in each hand as you do squats to add extra resistance to your workout. Beginners can squat by standing with your back against a wall and sliding down the wall. Place a large stability ball between your lower back and the wall. As you squat down, the ball will roll up your back. This can help keep your upper body straight and prevent you from leaning forward.

Butt Exercise #3: Bridges
The bridge exercise not only works your glutes, thighs and core, but is also one of the most versatile lower body exercises. You can incorporate exercise equipment, such as stability balls or a foam roller. You can do bridges on one leg, on your heels, or place a towel or foam roller between your knees to include some hip adduction exercise to your bridge. To perform the standard bridge exercise, lie on your back on an exercise mat. Extend your arms straight out from your shoulders with your palms up to stabilize your upper body. Bend your knees and place your heels on the floor with your toes pointed toward the ceiling. Brace your core by squeezing your abs and your glutes. Push your lower body up by raising your pelvis toward the ceiling. Don't let your back sag or arch so that your belly arches up toward the ceiling. Keep your back straight. Your body should make a straight line from your chest to your knees. Hold the position for up to 30 seconds and then lower your body back to the mat. Rest for 2 seconds and repeat the exercise for 10 to 15 repetitions.

To challenge your balance, place your heels on a large exercise ball to add a unique element to the bridge exercise. Using a stability ball will force your glutes to work harder to provide lower body stability during the exercise. Dig your heels into the ball when you raise your hips off the floor. Try to hold the stability ball bridge for up to 30 seconds. For an even greater challenge, do one-leg bridges by raising your body to the bridge position and then lifting one foot off the floor. Try raising your knee back toward your chest and holding the position for 15 to 30 seconds. Lower your leg and then repeat on the other side. Lower your body to the floor and rest for 2 seconds and then repeat up to 20 repetitions.

To get your glutes in shape and keep them strong, incorporate a lower body glute circuit to your workout 2 to 3 days each week. When you do circuits, don't work the same body parts and muscle groups on consecutive days. Work your upper body one day and your core or lower body the next day to allow your muscles at least 24 hours to rest and repair between workouts. Glute workouts may consist of two sets of 20 repetitions of each exercise. Rest for 30 seconds between sets. Circuits can be intense so it's important for beginners not to overdo it. Start out with two sets twice each week. Exercise for no more than 20 minutes. When you grow stronger and your endurance increases, add a set or do your lower body circuit 3 days each week. By using these different exercises and workouts you will be able to strengthen your glutes, reduce pain and tone up your butt in no time!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

I found a muscle in my butt! No, really!

The other night as I get onto bed, I got onto my side as I always do and tucked up my knees somewhat, and as I went to pull my covers up, my hand ran down along my side and hip actually found a muscle.  In my butt.  That I didn't know was there.  Granted, I could still feel the glob of fat that was sitting on top of the maximus part of my gluteus, but there was a very solid muscle thing going on down there, too.

This actually made me smile, to know that there is some musculature going on down there that I might actually see one day.

Hey, I take my successes where I can.  :)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

An interesting spa day

I bought a Groupon about a month ago for a spa relatively close to home to reward myself for when I dropped below 200, which I've been consistently at for the past week now.  I made a call yesterday to set something up for next weekend, since the paper I printed said to call a week ahead.

When I called yesterday (Saturday), they asked if I wanted to come in that day or today.  I was surprised I could come in so soon, but I chose noon today.  The Groupon was for a 30-minute Shiatsu massage and general admission to the rest of the facility.  I asked at that time what the general admission meant, and the lady said it was a number of different dry saunas, the pool, a couple wet saunas, and the jacuzzi.  I said, "Oh, okay, then I'll bring my bathing suit."  She replied that in the pool area, nudity was mandatory.  [insert needle screeeeeeeech here]  WHAT?  I asked her to repeat that part.  "In the pool area, nudity is mandatory."  What I didn't know is that this is a Korean spa, and that's how they do things.

Uh... okay.  Now, in all fairness, the pool areas are separated by gender, so I'd only be naked around other chicks.  Cuz that's better.  Yep.

So I get there today with five minutes to spare before my massage appointment.  I am called into the room, take off my top, and lay prone on the table.  Can I just say that Shiatsu apparently stands for "oh holy hell, I hurt worse now than I did when I came in here"?  Now, in fairness, I definitely had some tight muscles between my shoulders.  But once she got started, it was very apparent that my lumbar area was also very tight.  If I wasn't sure based on how it felt, her comments of, "Oooohhh no!" were dead giveaways that I was, apparently, in pretty rough shape.  She commended me for being "good" -- apparently meaning that she was impressed that I wasn't crying out like a big baby at the pain she was inflicting.  She topped off the pain-fest by walking on my legs and butt.

The dry saunas were all pretty cool and were in the co-ed part, which meant clothing.  Thankfully.  Each one was a different temperature and made of different materials, along with a plaque describing what each one was good for.

Then I went to the bade pool, which is a big pool with different "stations" with water jets which hit the different areas of your body.  There are also three different jacuzzis with temps ranging from 64 up to 104, a wet sauna, showers, a bathing area, and a section for body scrubs.  The fun began when I was required to disrobe before going in.  And the towels they provide are about the size of a standard hand towel, so there is NO hiding any of your bits.  It was uncomfortable for the first minute or so, but after that, I settled right in, walking around as if I owned the joint.  More people looked like me than didn't, so that made me feel more at ease.  It was a veritable vaginapalooza.

I decided to REALLY treat myself and got the body scrub as well.  I decided that I wanted to gift myself with something once I lost 100 pounds, but I'm only about 7 pounds away from that, which could occur in a couple weeks.  I figured it would be cheaper and easier to do it today and treat myself ahead of time than to try to figure out something else.

If you've never had a full body scrub, let me just tell you, there's nothing like it.  You're laying on a table, buck naked, while a lady works on you in her bra and panties.  They use varying levels of scrub, from coarser to less coarse.  I'm sure the first scrub was called something like Lovely Lava Stone, and it was finished with Soothing Sand.  Ugh...  That was followed by a baby oil rub, warm water washes, a cucumber mask for my face, and some sort of hair treatment.  This chick saw more than my gyno ever has, and I give her much credit for doing so.

They have a restaurant and a juice bar there, as well, so I was able to get some lunch.

I spent five hours there, and I would most definitely go back some day.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Stalled? Try eating more. Yes, you heard me!

So, I've been stalled around the 200 mark for nearly three weeks, even though I've been staying within my calories and exercising regularly (though, in all fairness, when I looked back at my LoseIt! reports, I wasn't consistently eating all of my calorie allotment, which is also a big no-no).  In talking to others, it was suggested that my heavy-duty workouts might be part of the reason.  Not that working out itself is a problem, but that maybe the fact that I wasn't "eating back" some of my exercise calories maybe the reason I was plateauing.

In case that's not clear, say I have a 1,200 calorie allowance each day.  Let's also say that I exercise 800 calories.  That would give me an allowance of 2,000 calories.  But what I was doing (and what most folks probably do) is to eat their 1,200 allowance and not eat
into that additional 800, thinking that at the end of the week, you will have exercised away 5,600 calories, equaling about 1.6 pounds lost.  Simple math, right?

It very well could be that our bodies go into starvation mode similar to what happens if, say, we don't exercise at all, have a 1,200 calorie allowance, and only eat 900 calories each day.  Simple math again would dictate that at the end of the week, I'd have "dieted" away 2,800 calories.  But since the 1,200 would be the minimum my body needs to function, to reduce my intake to 900 would throw my body into starvation mode.  I think the same can occur if you're eating your minimum but are also working out heavily.

I decided this past week to eat back about half of my exercise calories .  So, using the earlier analogy of a 1,200 calorie allowance and 800 calories from exercise, I would be eating about 1,500 to 1,600 calories.  Which, I will admit, isn't super easy when you have a band and are eating healthy.  But, it HAS gotten me moving downward again.

Friday, September 13, 2013

I was called a name today, y'all

I couldn't believe my ears.  My boss today said that her daughter used the 'S' word when referring to me.  Yes, she said I was getting skinny.  Whizza whuzza??  What is this word?  SKINNY?  Now, 198 is far from skinny, but I am working towards that goal.  But I will say, I was amazed to hear it.  Because, you know.  Skinny.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Oh, and just to inspire (or disgust) you...

Here is my comparison of before at 289 and today at 200.  I still have a ways to go, but it's nice to see the progress so far.

Why photographing your progress is crucial

The photos on the left were taken in 2011 and showed me at 80 pounds lost.  The ones on the right were taken this past weekend and were at almost 90 pounds lost -- about 89.2, to be exact.  To me, the differences are very obvious.  My legs are MUCH thinner, my butt is more defined, and even my face looks slimmer.  And for sure, my gut and boobs look smaller.

The fact is, I'm probably more muscularly defined now than I was in the previous photos; so while the scale shows about 10 pounds' difference, the fact may be that I've lost about 20 pounds of fat and gained 10 pounds of muscle.  And we ALL want muscle gain, because it's muscle that burns fat hours and sometimes a good day after we've exercised.  The more muscle mass you have, the more efficiently our bodies burn fat.

So, though I know that I have harped on taking measurements and photos before in this blog, I wanted you to see why.  When you're still large, 10 pounds may not sound like much; but once you see it in photos, you might be more pleasantly surprised with the outcome.  Especially if, like what's happening with me right now, your scale decides to be stuck in plateau mode.

Monday, September 2, 2013

So, yeah... my sister

I guess I don't understand some people, but if I really think about things, I may be figuring some of them out; namely, my sister.  And though right now it's her, later it may be somebody else.  So, I guess she's just practice for what may be coming.

The other day, I texted her with news that I made it into ONEderland.  She replied with kudos and "atta girls" and such, and then replied with (and, I apologize, but I'm taking it right from her text shorthand):
"Geez, by [the] time i see u i wont b able to see u LOL.  Xxxx (her boyfriend) will be like hey i thought u said yer sissy was pudgy."
I replied:
"I'm so thrilled how you tell all your boy toys about my weight."
To which SHE replied:
"I was just kidding dude."
Okay, first and foremost, she totally missed the point.  It wasn't that she shared that comment with me -- it's that she has made it a habit in the past of letting people I'd never met know that I was fat.  She had another boyfriend a couple years ago who made some snarky comment about my weight while she and I were kidding via text message.  Not only did he make a snarky comment about my weight (something akin to, "Well, at least I got the THIN sister"), but she thought it would be funny to share WHAT he said WITH me.  In text.  And then play like she was aghast at what he said and wasn't a party to it.  Yet, she was, if only because she shared with him that I was fat.

Apparently, to her, I'm defined by a number on the scale or the size of my clothing.  Never mind that I'm intelligent, witty, was a decent mom, was the first person in our family to graduate college -- AND graduated with honors, am artistic, or any number of other things that define WHO I am, not WHAT I am.  I mean, it's not like I've ever talked to friends and mentioned my ex-bulemic-but-currently-alcoholic sister.  Why would I?  It's ugly, for one, and it would be painful to her if she ever found out.

I called my mom with this and asked her what she thought.  She said something I knew in my heart of hearts, but I was focused on what was said instead of why.  The fact may very well be that I, for one, am taking care of business and fixing what was wrong with me.  She, however, is not.  She's gained about 30 pounds (per her) and is still drinking pretty heartily.  I think her drinking was one of the things that ruined her marriage, and it would ruin any good relationship she might have.

Beyond that, I had read articles years ago which warned bariatric patients about possible changes in relationships -- with spouses, with family, and with friends.  In marriages, the relationship may change where the individual who lost the weight feels better about themselves and that they deserve better (whether the relationship was strained before may or may not be a factor, but a strained one prior to weight loss is probably doomed).  With family, siblings may feel threatened.  With friends, your "place" in a group of friends may be compromised, your definition redefined.  For instance, in a small group, there may be the "smart" one, the "pretty" one, the "funny" one, and the "fat" one.  Once the "fat" one loses weight, what happens to the dynamic?  Oftentimes, it can change, and sometimes friendships fizzle.  None of it is intentional, necessarily, but it does happen.

My mom pretty much brought this up.  She said that, while I was a beautiful teen (her words), my sister didn't really come into her own until she was about 25 -- oddly, around the time I was becoming fat.  Add to that the fact that her issues are not being dealt with, and maybe she feels threatened, jealous, and inferior.  Maybe... It's very possible.

Regardless, we will likely need to talk -- primarily because I don't find my weight to be a laughing matter, and I certainly don't like how she's made it fodder for conversation with folks.  I think it's mean and very unfair, even if she needs to do this in order to feel better about her.  It's time for her to take care of her own back yard and quit focusing on mine.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

My most recent inch-loss chart

If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you already know that I believe in relying on much more than the scale in our weight loss journeys.  Pictures are great for showing you your progress, and so is recording your inch loss.

Just a couple weeks ago, I passed the 100 inches lost club!  That's over 8 feet of me GONE.  This chart was begun in June, a month after I got back on the wagon, and I've lost 23.25 inches just since then.

I've been a horrible host

I truly apologize for the time I've been away. In the past, when I wouldn't blog, it was usually indicative of doing poorly with my weight loss or some other bad things going on in my life. However, I've been doing better than I probably ever have or ever expected to. Since my last post, I've lost 14.5 pounds and 23 inches. In fact, on August 19th, I hit a goal of over 100 inches lost since my highest recorded weight! I've gone from extra large clothing items to regular large in most things. My 16s are getting very loose, and I'm probably a 14 in many things, if only I would try. On the 28th of this month, I hit ONEderland, recording in at 199.8! I lost one dress size in six weeks when I bought a bridesmaid dress for a wedding I'll be in in October and bought it one size smaller than what I was wearing at that time. And I signed up for my first 5K for late October. I've been diligently working out six days a week, and yesterday I began some training for the 5K by doing a combo walk-run. I was consistently able to walk two minutes and run two minutes for 30 minutes total -- something I had never been able to do before (in the past, I was lucky to run one minute and recuperate for two or three minutes). WHEW! So, why haven't I been here to share? Honestly, I think I just got to a point where I forgot because I had been away so long. I've got some stories to share that I need to catch up on. So, if y'all can forgive me, I'll move forward and show up more often. Oh, and here are some photos that (hopefully) will inspire. :) Here is a comparison from my last documented photos in October of 2011 at 80 pounds lost and today at 90.

Additionally, here is the dress I fit in for the wedding I'll be in this coming October.  I fit in a tight 18 when purchased, but I ordered a 16 (and, ladies, we ALL know how small wedding clothing runs!).  Just a few days beyond six weeks after I fit into the 18, I zipped this 16 all the way up.  My hope and expectation is that I'll have to have it altered to a "bridal" size 14 by the time of the wedding.