Weight Loss Tracker

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.