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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

50 Since Christmas

Just returned from an epic cross-country trip - one I was a little worried would ruin my progress. But - I'm happy to report that vacation didn't ruin me at all. I blame walking nonstop in San Francisco and even a bit in Vegas in spite of three days on the train. Besides, the food on the Amtrak trains really isn't that bad - I had a black bean burger a few times and the portions are reasonable, not gigundous. Even the Vegas buffet at Aria was pretty darn healthy if you didn't go mega crazy with the desserts. Still, I did gain a few before re-losing it again last week.

And now, today, I'm down 50 since Christmas. Finally. It feels good to be on a roll instead of covered in them.

Woohoo!

Getting there - well, getting back to there, that is. Progress is sweet.

Monday, March 31, 2014

By The Numbers...And The Other Numbers...


I asked my husband last week - when I was "having a day" - to look at photos taken of me from the last time I weighed what I do now and to tell me if I look the same. He said flatly, "No. Absolutely not." 

Incredulous - because numbers do not lie and my body dysmorphia is absolutely bananas - I insisted that I must look that way...because that's what I weigh!

But he insisted, "You do NOT look like that. Not at all. Your body, your face, none of it. You do NOT look like that."

I wanted to believe him - I really, really did. But...the guy loves me...so, he's as blind as I am. 

Right? 

Then I remembered I keep meticulous measurements and have been since 2009 - I measure myself with each weekly weigh in (arms, waist, hips, legs, bust, etc). With this information, I'd surely be able to prove him wrong...and proceed to wallow in self-pity for a while. 

But he was right! 

With the exception of my hips and calves that are only slightly larger, today's measurements align with a 30 pound lighter me from the last go-round. 

It's a lot different losing with a fitter body than with a flabby body. Glad I kept the records. It truly is about more than just pounds!!!!

I don't know how this stands to tamp down my body dysmorphia - at all - cause it's really more of a mindf**** than not...but at least it's a good one this time!  


Oh, and I am officially down 40 -- and a LOT more than that if you're counting back from the very beginning of this journey...but I'm not willing to share how much just yet. 

Ain't gettin' to 50 before vacation next Friday...but whatever. It'll be waiting to go when I return. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Under Again and Back In The Rotation

Welp, I made it. Under the first of a few mile markers I said I'd never get over again. Woohoo!

Down 36 this latest go-round and, with 3 weeks left til vacation, my goal of hitting 50 beforehand is looking less and less likely...but, because today is a "good day", I'm just happy to be losing at all...especially because the past few weeks have been inches but not pounds weeks, and those are effing maddening.

You know those songs you love so much that you play them over and over again until you hate them? Ya know, "Uprising" by Muse or "Peace Sells" by Megadeth? (Two of my on again/off again favorites.) Yeah, I have the same problem with workouts.

Today, I fell back in love with one that I'd put in the time-out chair for the better part of this past year. "Super Slimdown Pilates Yoga Blend" from Ellen Barrett and Crunch.  I've mentioned it before a couple of dozen posts ago...and I've also typed at length of my respect for how Ellen runs her routines. First off, she's very easy to deal with - no drill sargeant crazy, no whiny or scream-y voice - just simple, straightforward, personable, etc. I don't need to be shamed into working out a la Jillian Michaels - my Catholic upbringing has infused my inner voice with more than enough of that. I just need easy to follow instructions, counting, less chit chat and music that sort of fades into the background instead of wearing on my nerves.

The thing I like most about this workout - and it's why I considered it my "easy" routine for a few years - is that it's more about form and isometrics than it is about reps and losing your breath. Don't get me wrong, your heart rate gets plenty worked up, but this routine is really about toning, stretching and elongating muscles.

If you're feeling stiff or just like a block of stone when you get up in the morning - I strongly suggest trying this DVD out. It heats and stretches muscles you work in your regular cardio routines and builds fantastic core strength over time as well.

It's just the workout I needed after a week full of heavy biking and skiing. My muscles feel loose and happy again.

On to the next 10 pounds!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Suck It In!

So, I started doing the silliest thing last week (well, I thought it was silly at the time) and, um, it's totally working!

I have a to-do list on my work computer that's always displayed on the left hand side of my monitor. I wrote "suck it in" in big bold letters at the top of the list to serve as a visual reminder to sit up straight and pull in my abs.

Let's face it, not every day is going to involve ab toning exercises - either because of the "I don't wannas" or because there's no time.

Well, my posture has already improved and my waistline has already come in an inch! Sure, some of that can easily be attributed to weight loss and general exercise, but since most of my losses at the waist are about .5 inches per week...hmmmm.

I remember reading somewhere that for every ten seconds you "suck it in", you get the equivalent of 1 sit-up. It would appear there's something to this!

And, the more I am reminded to "suck it in" at work, I find I'm more compelled to do it while walking around the house and sitting in front of the tv. Being more conscious of my posture feels really good!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Oh, NOW I remember!

Gotta love the ol selective memory. It seems every time I jump back onto the high protein/lower carb (don't freak out - I'm not going Atkins extreme here) bandwagon, I immediately fall back in love with the rush of ketosis -- so much so that I conveniently forget all of the miserable effing side-effects.

Starting with...constipation.

Yeah, I'm goin' there. Deal with it or move on. Lord knows, I'm not. Oh, you bet that was a pun. I went there again.

Sorry, I'm a little cranky.

As with any dietary adjustment - the body and its, shall we say, functions, also take their sweet time to adjust.

AND I DON'T LIKE IT.

Thing is, if I only just ramped up the exercise a bit more, I'd probably be fine. Historically, I have been.

But, frankly, I don't want to do the 60-90 minutes of heavy cardio 4x per week plus 2 pilates/yoga sessions that I was doing before. It was un-friggin-sustainable --- and when my mind and body had finally hit its limit, I stopped all of it and never really got back on track again for a full year. (See the blog post lapse for proof.)

I also am not a fan of laxatives because, for starters, your body becomes dependent upon them and I really don't feel like popping Miralax for the rest of my natural born life.

So, for as great as I feel and for as much weight and as many inches as I am losing...the balance still isn't quite there.

Frankly, the only diet plan I was ever on that had me feeling equal parts energized and regular was the vegan plan...and, damn it, I don't want to give up sushi or steak again ever. Cutting down is all I can reasonably stand. (Oh, and bacon. I'd be a goner without the occasional piece of bacon - even turkey bacon!)

I guess it's off to rejigger this whole plan again. Up the cardio a bit more and up the complex carbs and fiber (even though - honestly - I am taking in at least 25g and upwards of 30g of fiber per day!). Need to pull back on the dairy, too. That's not doing me any favors.

Why can't I just find one way of being, stick with it and move on? Because I bore too easily, that's why! Ergh.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sugary Sluggishness

Ehhhh...not the greatest week I've had, but most definitely not the worst. I'm just not feeling the losses (3.3 pounds, 2.5 inches) the way I normally do -- though, clearly, by the numbers, they're there. I used my bike and Nordic Track skier 5x and got an Ellen Barrett Grace & Gusto in there too.

Maybe it's the sleep deprivation courtesy of Daylight Savings.

Maybe it's the hangover/Saturday carby goodness that came before it.

Yeah, ^ that's most definitely the culprit.

After four straight weeks of being on plan and really sticking to my guns, I decided to drink a bottle of wine by myself on Friday night. Usually, not a big deal.

But, with few calories in my body and no tolerance left to speak of...

Yeah, kind of a big deal. Ugh. Headache and desperate need for spongey, doughy, ooey, gooey calories came next. What's really weird? I didn't WANT them, I just felt like I needed them. I don't know if that's ever happened to this carb-o-holic!

Fast forward to today, I'm still bloated and bleh. Down on the scale. Down with the measuring tape. Just plain down.

An odd combination, to be sure!

So, today it's 25 on the skier, 30-40 on the bike, lots of calisthenics, clean eating and an early bedtime. At least, that's the plan!

Hopefully tomorrow will have me feeling like myself again - and FEELING motivated instead of relying solely on the scant motivation living inside of my sugar-detoxing brain.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Oops! [I Did It Again]

So, yeah, it's been...a while...and a lot of pounds, up and down, ups and downs in general, yeah. So, yeeeeah.

The good news: I didn't gain it ALL back.

The honest news: I damn near did.

The better news: I've already lost 34 of it again.

I'm working out and eating clean and not beating myself up too much about it. Everyone has their fair share of issues - and I much prefer my brand to some of the others I've been exposed to of late.

Bought an exercise bike, too. I find it to be about as good an "I don't wanna" buster as it gets. I mean...you're working out while sitting on your ass in front of the tv, if you're really smart. What's that little lazy voice in the back of my head? Yeah, I didn't think so.

One thing I know that DOES work for me - a ticking clock. Losing for our wedding in '12 (and the photos) was about as big a motivator as it gets. This time around, I've set up a few more.

The first - and the reason for the 50 I hope to have gone by the time we leave - is a cross-country train, plan and automobile trip in mid-April. Amtrak's Cali Zephyr to San Fran, a few days in the Bay City and then off to Vegas for a Megadeth Motorhead one night only show. Can't. Friggin. Wait. Of course, being less gigundo-huge will make travel a heck of a lot easier - and meeting my husband's super cool cousins while out there and possibly meeting up with some in his family who last saw me skinnier is an even bigger mental nudge.

The next - another trip later in the year to Cancun - so, bathing suit...yipe!

The third - and most exciting - is that I'm going to be an aunt again! And, like the wedding, there will be lots of pictures of my holding my new "niecephew". I fully intend to look fabulous in them...even though I'll be the only one looking at ME in the damn shots. Why are all fatties (and former fatties) such narcissists? Jeez.

Now that I've confessed to being a dope and allowing myself to fall down the carbolicious rabbit-hole again...I feel better. Kinda. Well, at least I'm motivated!

So, it's 63 down. %$&* left to re-lose...and then we shall see what more I'm willing to do (if anything) beyond that.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Holding Steady ... ?

Well, the good news is, I haven't gained. I've been fairly good about my diet but not so much with the exercise this past month. Intermittent at best.

But I DID work out today - and that's a start. I've also been getting plenty of activity in with housework, since Spring has sprung and there is much to be done. So much.

Work is also going like gangbusters. Plenty of great new clients and steady work from long established ones. I'm so busy it's pretty remarkable.

Just need to hold myself accountable with the exercise. I can't lose weight or really hope to keep what I have lost off without out in the mix.

This coming week's goal is for four - that's it - four workouts. I think that's more than doable and it should shake up my psyche and metabolism just enough to push me ahead.

Seeing as I'll be in Paris in just 41 days...I had better lose a few pounds just to make room for the inevitable one's I'll be gaining in butter and fat! London right after that...bangers. mash. beer. Back to Paris for more rich decadence...and then back home (after days before/after in Montreal, where more fat and butter will be consumed). Then, the reality of my brother's wedding just a month later will set in - and I'll probably wind up on Medifast again as a penance.

Oh, the cycle. The endless cycle. That reminds me, I need to save for a cycle. Sigh.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Back In The Game

So, clearly the Medifast/wheat detox was in order. It's only been five days and already I'm down more than 10 pounds...and it's that time of the month...so, lord knows how much water I haven't let go of yet.

This is going to be a short stint on the 'ol Medifast. For starters, I don't need it long term. My weight loss goals aren't as monumental and the timeline isn't so abbreviated with a wedding looming overhead. Actually, there IS a wedding...my little brother's is a week after our 1-year anniv. in July...but I'm not the belle of THAT ball. Besides, I'll be back at my fighting weight by then for sure.

The other reason I don't want to be on Medifast for too long? Food. I like it. I like eating it, cooking it, figuring out what's on the menu for the week to come, etc. I have been eating healthier overall - well, HAD been - until I let the move be an excuse to fall into some bad old habits. That said, even then, I was still making homemade hummus, eating tons of veggie burgers and cooking with less oil, fat and sugar. It's just that when I cheated, it was spectacular. LOL! And, I was drinking too much beer and eating too many wheaty carbs. It all just added up to bloat, lethargy, etc.

My biggest problem is working out - I need to really get into a groove there. I am not going back to the 90 minute workouts per day. Sure, I felt awesome, looked awesome and it was satisfying as hell to accomplish...but looking out into the long-term horizon, I know it's unsustainable. I need to commit to 4-5 workouts per week. Some heavy. Some not so heavy. Just some kind of activity on work days and, on top of that, just getting out of the house on weekends. That along is activity enough.

All in all, I am feeling good, feeling in control and definitely back on the path. I am also counting down the days til this "fast" is over -- 2/23! We go to Hilton Head and relax, eat lots of non-fried seafood (best sushi ever!!!) and ride bikes on the beach. WOOHOO!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Aaaand, I Fell

Yeah, 111 isn't quite 150. But this sure as hell isn't a starting point. I'm still 111 pounds skinnier than I was at my worst and my clothes still fit  - well, mostly. So, I enjoyed the first few months of marital bliss a bit more than I should have. So friggin what?

I'm not so pissed about the diet piece of it - since I really wasn't that bad. I'm just annoyed at myself for falling out of the regular workout routine. I was going along so well there for so long. But, then, we went on our honeymoon and I relaxed...and forgot how great it was to just sit on your ass for days on end. And then - THEN - we up and buy a house. Yeah, that took precedence over anything and everything and while it did involve relentless activity, it wasn't in any way regimented, I fell out of my routine and once we were in the house, I had lost my drive altogether.

So, now that we're settled and my butt has settled too - ugh - it's time to get back on the damn wagon, create new great habits and new routines in this wonderful new home and just get moving already. It's going to be weird to establish new workout areas - to figure out where the best spots are for yoga and pilates, to decide whether I like the idea of the basement workout room or if it's really just an overpriced pipe dream and to just stick with it.

Today, I'm going to try my favorite Ellen Barrett routine in the living room. The sun is pouring in through the windows and I'm going to hit publish and finally get off of my ass and get my energy and my ass back!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I'm Slipping

It's been a month since I've blogged. Yeesh! It also feels like it's been a month since I've been in a real routine. Double yeesh!!

I am still eating pretty clean and healthy though - at least during the week - so that's something. Hell, even when we go out to our favorite 'cheat' spot on the weekends, I order a friggin veggie burger. I'm such a rebel.

What I'm not doing nearly enough of is working out - at least not in the traditional sense. I have been getting a lot of activity in though, since we just BOUGHT A FRIGGIN' HOUSE!

Packing is definitely a big energy spender - no doubt. However, judging by my steadily declining sleep patterns and my progressively more jiggly abs...it's not as great a workout as I need it to be.

Bleh. There is just something about this transitional time of year that always F's with me too. Less sun and heat leads to this natural inclination towards lethargy. Add to that the stress that goes hand in hand with buying a first house, and it's a miracle I haven't gained metric tons of weight back.

That's one great thing in all of this - I am NOT gaining. That said, I am obviously losing muscle tone and that's inevitably turning right back into fat. So...I have to get back into a routine.

The plan is to work out three days this week and ramp it up to four next week. If I can manage four per week into the foreseeable future with all that's going on, I'm calling it a win. Honestly, I just want to maintain for a while anyway -- so this will probably be enough.

But I HAVE to get those workouts in...or else this is all going to shit! So, off to roll out the yoga mat I go.

Monday, August 27, 2012

I'm Ready...Again

After a little over a month of self-indulgence with some stopgap workouts peppered in, I woke up this morning ready to take on the (what was 30 but has now ballooned to) 45 pounds left to my original goal.

On top of that, I've decided I actually want to amend that goal. Instead of reaching half of my starting weight, which is actually 187.5, but I've adjusted to 185 for easier math...I want to go for 200 pounds of total weight loss, or a final goal weight of 165.

I'm hovering around 230 now, so that's 65 pounds left to go.

Yipe!

It's going to be another long road, but it's time. I'm not done. I'll probably never be done. But I AM DONE tempting the fates. An occasional cheat here and there is reasonable, sure...but I've allowed more indulgences than I should and I know it. (I also needed the break, so I'm not beating myself over it, either!)

Oddly enough, so much self-indulgence kind of takes the fun out of it and replaces it with guilt. Who needs it? Back to the disciplined life with cheats that incur consequences (calorie-burning, sweat inducing, profanity laced cardio-fueled consequences).

Friday, August 24, 2012

"Your Body Doesn't Just Have A Front And A Back..."

"It also has sides."

Ellen Barrett shared that odd bit of painfully obvious information with me yesterday afternoon during my first attempt at "Grace & Gusto". I laughed and likely even barked something snarky back.

Fast forward to today. Whadya know? My body has sides. And holy mother of moly do they hurt.

If you want a deceptively simple workout, try this one. As you've likely gleaned, I'm a big fan of Ellen Barrett's workouts. I started with her Crunch titles for about a year and have now moved on to her fusion studio series (a bunch of which are live - and that really ups the energy), starting with Power Fusion for the past four months, 2x a week. There are a whole bunch of titles in the series and they all blend together for a full week of workouts if that's something you're after - there's Power Fusion, Grace & Gusto, Fusion Flow, Fat Burning Fusion and Barefoot Cardio. I can only vouch for PF and G&G so far.

All of her workouts feature a methodical mashup of yoga, pilates and dance - and you don't have to have any clue about any of these disciplines to get through them.  She blends them together seamlessly. In fact, if you were thinking of getting into yoga or pilates and are more familiar with basic cardio routines, this series is probably a great bridge.

Overall, what I like about Ellen's approach: Her workouts move around a lot. There's little repetition - at least, what does repeat doesn't happen all at the same time - so, they're not monotonous. She explains things - the how and the why of every move. She lets you off easy and doesn't scream at you a la Jillian Michaels (so not my cup of tea - I prefer to yell, not to be yelled at). She works to build your total body fitness (explaining the "flow" mentioned in many titles). This helps you learn how to use your whole body, as opposed to merely targeting trouble spots in isolation. Oh, and the only piece of equipment you need is your body and a mat. Honestly, if you have a carpet, you don't even need a mat!

This 45 minute workout really flew by and I was surprised by how not wiped out I felt afterwards. Part of me wondered if it really had any affect at all.

Oh...it did. This one's definitely staying in the rotation. It works a lot of the same areas as the kettlebells, actually - with a lot less power and potential danger. I think my kettlebell is going to become a glorified dumbbell for my strength training days - or a doorstop. My lower back is going to be thrilled.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Loving Life...Perhaps A Bit Too Much

So, these four weeks since getting hitched have been great. Wedded bliss and all that - check. No ticking time bomb...er, clock...making me crazy - check.

Only problem is - without the wedding and honeymoon hanging over my head, I've found (inevitably) that working out and eating right isn't as easy a priority to keep as it used to be.

For the most part, I've been a very good girl. I'm still counting calories. I'm still working out.

However, I'm not as motivated.

And, when I cheat - oh, how I cheat! Beer, junk food, monstrous portions. Still, with the exception of some Combos (the Buffalo Chicken flavor is out of this world!) and some Ben & Jerry's (Strawberry Shortcake Greek Yogurt - I split a pint with the hubs), the cheats I've been making have been on days where I've either worked out crazy hard and at least have a hole to pile them in - or - they're in social situations (parties, get-togethers). Social cheats don't freak me out as much because I'm not bringing them into the house and thereby potentially re-integrating them back into my daily lifestyle. They're more of a one-off. There's something about bringing junk into the house for me, however, that's very very dangerous. It's like having a random cigarette at a bar when you're tipsy and the opportunity presents itself versus actually going out, stone cold sober and buying a pack.

I have decided to cool my jets a bit on the working out so damn hard and so damn much. I think I owe it to myself and my psyche. I've also decided that I'm going to try and maintain for a while as opposed to trying to lose more. I just need a break! It's been since November of '09 and the last 7 months involved getting ready for a wedding! The last however-many-pounds will be waiting for me when I'm prepared to take them on.

The problem is, giving myself any sort of a break is a slippery slope. First, I decided that 5x a week working out is fine - so long as only two involve heavy cardio. Now, I'm flirting with the idea of 4 workouts, 2 of which would be heavy cardio. Of course, for every day I take off, that first day back at it is a psychological struggle. My body responds immediately, so I know my fitness isn't suffering -- but boy oh boy, my mind just screams for the couch!

So, how do I stay balanced on this tightrope? Is it crazy of me to think I can hold my hand over the flame like this? Is that really what I'm doing? Am I just being too hard on myself and is this my fear talking?

I've lost most of what I gained on the Honeymoon and am holding steady to boot. It's not like I've gained back 150+ pounds.

Still, I don't feel like I have the handle on things that I once did. So, I'll keep at it til I find a mix that works for me.

In the meantime, I'm going to continue enjoying life as a significantly skinnier woman! And, if that means having a few extra beers and maybe even a slice of pizza here and there, so friggin be it!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Up 14 & A Ring

So, as you've all likely assumed from the blog radio silence of late, I did, indeed, go through with the whole marriage thing. Just a little over a week in and I'm loving it.

And, wow - the honeymoon! We ate and drank our way through Excellence Playa Mujeres in Mexico! So much so that you'd think I hadn't eaten in months...oh, wait.

So, now I'm up 14 pounds. When we first got back on Saturday, I was up 20...so, 14 is a gift. It also tells me that it's more water (add in my monthly friend that was here to greet me when I got home) than it is actual weight gain. By my guesstimation, the lack of working out plus the alcohol and overeating probably gave me a real five pound setback. I mean, hell, our wedding feast alone was enough to feed all of the food insecure families in the entire Tri-State area (God, I feel gross for having said that...even worse for the fact that it's completely and totally true).

But...screw it. Every morsel was worth it and I'm already back on the wagon. Did 60 of heavy cardio today and am back to counting calories. No more rest for me, since A.) I clearly am never going to be "out of the woods" when it comes to my weight and B.) I do still have a good amount of weight left to lose. In fact, after seeing the wedding photos, as happy as I am for getting to where I am...I am also rethinking where I want to wind up/down. I think I can (and should) go even farther than I initially planned. Not sure yet - but I really think it's necessary and more importantly, realistic. We'll see.

For now though, I'm just going to revel in the 151 pounds of weight loss I achieved before the "big day" and how wonderful it felt to be able to look the way that I did. I felt like me and I looked like me. Better still, I married the love of my life. You can lose all of the weight in the world and look your best, but you can't fake the look and feel of happiness. Want proof? Here it is.



Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I did it!

With just 3 days to spare, I hit my wedding goal weight loss of 150 pounds. Honestly, I kind of can't believe it. I even would have been happy with 149. What's not to be happy about with that sort of a loss. Still, 150 pounds is downright unfathomable to me right now...and, I only have 30 left to lose before I hit my final goal.

Un-be-freakin-lievable.

Oh, and I get married this week!!! Life is grand at the moment and I'm loving it.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

14 Days And One Piddly Pound

I decided a few weeks ago (unofficially - seeing as I didn't share it with anyone but my mom) that I wanted to hit 150 pounds of weight loss by the wedding. Seeing as the wedding is two weeks from today and I've just hit 149 as of this morning...I think it's totally do-able! WOOHOO!

After that, it's just 30 pounds to go -- and there's no deadline on that -- it'll come. I know it.

In other news, I've experienced another major "shrink" over the past three weeks. Here are the numbers:

  • Down another 1/4 inch in my upper arms (6 inches total loss)
  • Shrunk a half inch in my chest (9.5 inches total loss)
  • Burned another 1/4 inch in my chest (8.25 inches total loss)
  • Lost another half inch in my saddle bags (13.75 inches total loss - clearly, I am a pear!)
  • Obliterated a full inch from my belly (16.5 inches of total loss - holy shit!)
  • Even lost another half inch in my thighs (14.5 inches of total loss)

The rest of my body is 'unchanged', but all told, I've lost 96.15 total inches since November 2009.

I predict my final stop with the tape measure will tally up somewhere around the 115-125 inch mark, cumulatively...but I am definitely in the homestretch...er, homeshrink!

Now, off to do some pilates/yoga with Ellen Barrett...or maybe some kettlebells.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I Love New York ... Again

When I left New York for a better and simpler life four years ago, I was fat (and I hadn't even gained my last 85 pounds yet), out of shape, a pack a day smoker and in complete denial about all of it.

To say I am a wholly different person today is an understatement...and how I feel when I'm there is too.

When I left, I was done being who I was. I blamed the city for getting me to that low, but it was me who allowed "the city" to take its toll. I allowed work to take precedence over my health. I allowed my laziness to supersede all else. I allowed myself to come last. I let my personal life fall to pieces. I did this.

There are as many lifestyle choices in New York as there are neighborhoods. I chose what I chose, the stereotypical television production behind-the-scenes slob approach, but I could have easily have chosen to do the whole vegan/Bikram/farmer's market/bike lane approach, too. I probably would choose some of that now...and it makes me wonder...not with an ounce of regret, mind you, but wonder...

This weekend, Gabe and I went down to the city for what we called his "Groom's Gift Weekend". We stayed in Midtown (for shame! I know, I know...but we got a great deal on a hotel and it was close to the 7 train) and went to a Mets/Yankees Subway Series game at Citi Field. We ate, we walked, we walked some more and we ate. It was glorious and fun -- and a little bittersweet.

I like New York when I'm feeling good. I wish I had more years there when I did. I wish I had spent less money getting myself fat and more on having fun. (Actually, I wish I'd saved more money...but who doesn't look back on their 20's and say that?) Walking from 40th and 5th to Columbus Circle, through the Park and back was easy and fun. Walking up and down countless subway steps didn't leave me huffing and puffing for breath. Walking every inch of Citi Field was awesome...especially after stopping over at Shake Shack and blowing my diet for the day. I felt alive and invigorated, clear-headed and open to the city like I had back in 2000 when I first moved there and lost a gaggle of weight.

Again, I have no regrets -- all roads I chose led me to where I am now and I am stronger, better and happier for it. Still, I do wonder what my life in New York could have been like had I not chosen Haagen Dasz over a NYSC membership, or a nightly 3-6 Stella Artois over a single Skinny Girl Margarita. There's no doing it over again and there's no use in going down that mental rabbit hole, but I am grateful to have had this past weekend to remind me in a very real way of how far I have come and how far I have to fall should I ever lose my way again.

Monday, June 11, 2012

There Will Always Be 'Fat Days'

Last week was another plateau weight-wise, although I did continue to lose inches and I ate right and exercised like my life depended on it.

However...

I accidentally - or absentmindedly - sabotaged myself by over-consuming a lot of extra wheat. I'm not completely allergic, but I am very sensitive and can only tolerate a nominal amount in my diet. Turns out, a cereal Gabe bought that was labeled as an 'oat' cereal also contained metric butt-tons of wheat. (Dumbass me didn't even bother to read the label - something I usually do!) Add to that the soy sauce I had with a few dinners and the Morningstar Farms Chik'n Patties I had with a few lunches (both of which are hidden wheat sources) and my internal ecosystem went kablooey! At first, I had no idea what had happened to me - and then, after a second day of it, I went all Perry Mason and was horrified at how blind I was to what I was actually eating. 

Ugh.

So, for about five straight days, I've been varying degrees of bloated, fatigued and bleh. Even though I haven't gained a single ounce - and have likely even lost weight once all of this excess water finds its way out of me - I feel so fat, so ugly, so out of shape and so gross. Oh, and it did a number on my skin too. Yay.  

What's really weird is that - even though I'm technically smaller - when I feel like this in my head, what I see in the mirror reflects more of what I'm feeling than actual reality. I'm looking at the same body, only I see a much fatter me. Every imperfection has a spotlight on it and I feel like total crap about myself. 

Fortunately, I have 143 pounds of loss to shore me up and I have been able to rationalize my brain out of the self-loathing vortex (for the most part). I also find that once I've worked out - so long as it's a good session - I feel a lot better psychologically and am less apt to look into the mirror with cellulite-colored glasses. 

I guess there will always be 'fat days', no matter how far down the scale I slide! At least I have plenty of experience in dealing with them and now, I have a closet full of considerably smaller clothing to remind me that it's all in my friggin' head. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Another Day, Another Dress Exchange

As expected, I had to exchange my cocktail dress ... again. The 14W was just too big...and that's the smallest 'Plus Size' there is.

So, yesterday, I boldly went where my behind hasn't gone since the turn of the century -- to the regular size rack!

Yep, lucky for me, the dress I chose is available in both Plus and Regular sizes. Thank you Calvin Klein.

I figured I'd wind up in a 14 regular. Good enough for me to do the happy dance. Only, they didn't even HAVE a 14 regular. (I called ahead and the saleslady who said they did either lied or sold it to someone else - bitch.)

But they DID have a 12.

Ugh.

I was reluctant to even try it on. I mean, come on, I had purchased an 18 just a few weeks ago and that fit...still, it was my only choice. That, or find another dress entirely.

So, off to the dressing room I trudged.

I'm not going to lie and say it was a picnic to put on. I've still got some shrinking to do in order to make it look 'right' - but holy crap! It fit. I wasn't even wearing Spanx and it zipped all the way up in the back. Hell, I could even breathe in it.


Here's a pic of the original dress, followed by a pic of the regular  dress on a skinnier model. It's basically the same  - only it's much more fitted in the waist. I HAVE A WAIST!

...and I'm a size 12 bride! Well, I'm going to be!

Who'dathunkit?

I also exchanged the 16W Ralph Lauren cocktail dress I got as a backup/honeymoon outfit. Another 12. It's not the same dress, but it's similar, only it's VERY snug, VERY hot pink, V-E-R-Y form-fitting and not quite ready for prime time either...so, off to the gym I go. Elliptical, time to work your ass-shrinking magic!

I don't expect I'll be making any more exchanges and that's actually a big stress reliever for me too. There just aren't any decent seamstresses available at the height of wedding season. I want this dress to be done!

On a quick side note: I've all but banished the color black from my wardrobe. Anyone who knows me and anyone who's ever been supremely heavy will know how big of a milestone this is. I have one black tank top left, a black and white blouse and one black pair of slacks. Everything else is bright red, pink, green, orange, magenta, yellow. It's great to feel confident enough to stand out from the crowd!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Waistline Is Wasting Away! (and so is everything else)

For shits and giggles, I decided to measure myself again this week. Jeez!

I'm down another 6 inches on top of the 5.8 pounds I've lost since 5/22.

That's insane!

I know those numbers won't continue - at least not at that crazy pace - for long, but damn! How crazy awesome is that?!?!

The only downside: my second wedding dress is getting too big, there aren't any decent seamstresses around here taking on more clients and I'm probably going to have to exchange it again or just find another dress closer to the day of.

Oh well. I really just don't care. It's a cocktail dress and at this rate, I'm going to look good in damn near anything. WOOHOO!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Fish Called Shannon

When I was a kid, you'd practically have to pay to get me out of the pool. Even when I was a bit of a chunker. My parents called me a fish. We had a backyard pool for a good portion of my childhood and even after we moved, I spent weeks of my summer driving out to the lake, slathering on sunscreen and hanging out with friends. In college, I joined a local gym and swam there.

I took my last swim in the summer of 1999. I remember it clearly. I was at the gym ... a gym I was spending less and less time with since I had turned 21 and realized beer was a much more enjoyable pastime once it had become legal to consume ... the gym was crowded and I felt really self-conscious.

And I never went back.

Then, life got in the way. I moved to New York, got a really demanding series of jobs and then I got fatter and fatter and fatter.

There was no way in HELL I'd have ever gotten into a pool after that.

Until yesterday!! Our complex pool opened on Memorial Day and I woke up ready to swim. So, I put on my first bathing suit in 13 years and swam - first, for about 2 hours and then I went back again for another hour.

Talk about a non-scale victory! Only 38 pounds to go!

Friday, May 25, 2012

The First 140 ... The iMovie

It's been 19 pounds since the last one...and quite a lot has happened visually!  (It's like a puppeteer is pulling a string attached to my rump and an invisible man is pushing down on my tummy, LOL!)

video

Countdown To (Plus Size) Extinction!

When we were in Hilton Head this February, I decided that the outlet malls were the perfect solution to one of my biggest weight loss woes: the expense of constantly having to replace clothes.

So, in the spirit of wishful shrinking, I bought my last three pairs of plus size jeans at the Lane Bryant outlet. 20, 18 and 16. Lately, I've been afraid to try on that last pair...it seems I do every other week and I can't even get them over my hips. Then, earlier this week, with the dress and crop pants successes shoring me up...I thought, maybe...just maybe...

Today, I hit 140 pounds and decided I was emotionally ready to try them again (and even to fail -- I mean, I still have those size 16 crop pants and a size 14 dress to keep my psyche feeling warm and fuzzy).

Ta-Da!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

From 28W to 14 - Shrunk In Half!

When I officially started this journey on 11/22/2009, I was uncomfortably wearing dress pants in a size 22/24...and I had completely stretched those damn pants out. My other pants featured the predictable elastic waistband. By the numbers, I was more of a 28W+.

Fast forward to yesterday...

Remember when I bought my dress last week and how excited I was to fit in the size 16? Yeah, well, I tried it on again on Monday and it was already getting baggy on me. I went back and forth on whether to try and exchange it for a 14 or to just have it altered...and I decided that since there's still 50+ days left until the wedding and nearly as many workouts a size 14 might even wind up being too big (of late, I've been working out between 90 and 120 minutes per day - elliptical, bike, kettlebells, pilates, yoga, walking, you name it - it's been awesome!). Better to start from there with a seamstress than from what will effectively look like a potato sack come July, right?

It was pretty fun to exchange it and explain the reason why. The store clerk was cute and said, "Well, if you keep on shrinking, we actually have this dress up on the 2nd floor in non-plus sizes too." She wasn't a skinny mini herself and smiled that knowing smile at me and winked. It was a nice moment between kindred spirits.

Riding on that high, I went over to the summer sale section and decided to try to squish myself into a size 16 crop pant. Um, holy crap. Not only did they fit, I could have easily squished myself into a 14. I mean, a dress I can understand -- especially this dress -- since it's fitted at the top (where I'm more of a 12/14) and flares out very forgivingly across the pear portions of my personage...but dude, I fit comfortably into tapered leg fitted khaki crops in a size 16. Needless to say, I bought them. (They were on sale, so F it!)

It's weird - but I feel like I'm shrinking exponentially faster now than I was before. I mean, I bought a dress last week and already had to exchange it. I only just shrank into a size 18 pant last month and now I'm on the edge of 14. My weight loss hasn't been as significant, but I'm losing inches left, right and center.

No matter how far down I get, I'm consistently amazed by how resilient and responsive my body continues to be. There's always this underlying current of worry that it'll eventually crap out on me ... but I've actually learned to listen to my body (and not just my kooky brain) and to give it what it needs. This is the change that overrides everything.

I got rid of high fructose corn crap. I went on Medifast and then stopped when it wasn't working for me anymore. I eat protein after my heavier workouts and feel wonderful for it. I went off of red meat for a while and recalibrated my system. I stopped drinking milk and severely limited dairy. I went full-on vegan for a while and even off of gluten and healed my digestive system - now I can actually tolerate being omnivorous again, within reason. I even weaned myself off of Zyrtec - which was pure but necessary hell.

This connectedness is hard to explain but it's really profound. I've learned to hear what my body wants and not just the carb-starved or emotionally ravenous demons in my brain. Not just to hear...but to really listen and respond. It sounds kooky, I'm sure, but knowing what I need and actually following through on it is something I have always struggled with, internally and externally. This isn't just an eating lesson I've learned - it's a life lesson.

Hit 139 pounds today. Here's to 140 and beyond!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

5 Pounds & 5.5 Inches - Slow & Steady

It's been just shy of a month since the last time I measured every inch of my body...and in that time, I've lost 5 pounds and 5.5 inches...from my calves, my arms, my belly and three from my friggin saddlebags.

This is why I love my tape measure.

I also love my new scale. Over the past three weeks since I quit Medifast, my weight loss has predictably stalled -- but my fat loss has been steady and significant. According to the scale, which measures % body water, bone mass, fat and muscle...I'm down from nearly 45% body fat to just under 43% and my muscle mass has increased from 33% to nearly 36% -- IN JUST THREE WEEKS!

My goal is to be under 40% blubber by the wedding, and I think that's totally do-able with the workouts I've been doing lately. I have so much energy and love working out now like I haven't in years. It's great to view food as fuel again. That's one component missing from the Medifast diet (which, again, has a LOT of merit -- but it's nice to feel my body responding so favorably after I abruptly jumped off of the plan). I find that if I do a workout of about 45-60 minutes before 2pm, by around 4:30/5, I'm ready for a mile walk around the neighborhood or another round of yoga or pilates. In fact, I've been averaging about 60-90 minutes of cardio and/or strength training 6 days per week over these past three weeks. It's fantastic and I feel so accomplished.

I feel especially awesome after scrolling through some of my earlier posts -- posts where I talked about not wanting to work out, not being able to work out as hard as I used to and only being able to do 15 minutes on the bike...or only being fit enough to play with the Wii Fit...wow, was I out of shape!

It's great to look over my shoulder to see all that's behind me -- especially when I look in the mirror and still see those pesky 40+ pounds I have left to lose. I have a feeling they'll be some of the hardest fought pounds yet.

I've lost 138 pounds and 86 inches. Another 42 pounds? Totally doable.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Perfect Wedding Dress ... Realized

So, I couldn't wait any longer. I just had to go wedding dress shopping!

I'm a non-traditional bride, sure...but I also have pretty conservative fashion taste. So, I already knew shopping for a wedding dress in this over-the-top era of 'My Super Sweet Sixteen' and 'Don't Be Tardy For The Wedding' would be a challenge. Hell, we had to buy my ring online just to get a simple, plain friggin band with a single stone in a Tiffany style setting.

Not surprisingly, our initial trip to the traditional bridal shop was a total bust.  My mom and I were gagging over the frilly cake topper dresses (and the outrageous prices)...and speaking of sizes, how evil are gown sizes?!?! I tried on a 17/18 and it didn't even go over my tatas. What. The. Fuuuu?

Anyway, after a much-needed pit-stop for sushi, my parents and I decided to take things down a notch and go in the opposite direction. So, off we went to Macy's to see what they had to offer.

Thank God we did. After all, my fiancee and I are having our wedding in a wine room at a local restaurant and our dinner is more like a dinner party/cocktail party. A cocktail dress seemed more in line with the occasion ... and with who I am as a bride.

I have to admit too, that my dream dress has always been a red one. My mom quickly put the kibosh on that idea when I let it slip to her a few months ago.

But then...we saw this dress. It's red. It's in that late 50's/early 60's Joan from 'Mad Men' style I have always L-O-V-E-D....it's by Calvin Klein...it's tea length...



All I can say is WOW! (I have a pic of me in it, but it's not going up on the web...you can see that when my photog snaps it in July.)

Oh, and it's 5 sizes smaller than my starting size AND it'll likely have to come down another size at the tailor's next month...which will land it at the size 14 goal I had set for myself back in January.

GAH!

I even convinced my mom -- actually, wait a minute, they were her idea -- to let me try on a pair of matching red patent leather peeptoe pumps.

This is my dream wedding ensemble...and it not only fits...it actually looks good! All I need is a spray tan and my fiancee and we'll be ready to get hitched.

I can't believe this is all happening!!! I'm a size 14/16 people!!! Holy crap!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Inches...Not Pounds

So, I might not have lost a single pound in over a week...but when I was getting ready to go out for a walk (my second workout of the day, btw...and the first involved 70 minutes of elliptical and bike hell)...I caught a look-see in the mirror and had to take a pic. Yahoo! Losing inches baby!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Taking The Training Wheels Off...Again

Last week, out of the blue, I decided I was done with Medifast.

It dawned on me that I had been on the plan for six months. SIX MONTHS! And, while it was an incredible -- and I mean incredible -- aid to my overall weight loss (I lost 69 pounds on the plan!)...I was starting to let it become a crutch and it was also beginning to undermine my intended path to wellness.


So, I'm taking the training wheels off of my diet again and going it alone -- for the rest of my life. Just 43 pounds to go! Sure, it'll take me a little longer to get there, but I know I'm doing what's right for me. 

When I started Medifast, I was just under 300 pounds and, while I was working out pretty regularly, I wasn't working out all that hard -- at least not in retrospect. Honestly, carrying that much weight, how could I have worked out that hard without blowing out my knees? Still, weigh as much as I did, it also didn't take nearly as much effort to burn a boatload of calories...since any effort required moving a hell of a lot more person to accomplish the feat.

When I've been fit in the past, I've always loved working out. Scratch that. Hated working out. Loved the feeling that came with it. That feeling always propelled me to work out an "extra five minutes" which occasionally turned into ten...and sometimes even became a second workout later in the day. 

Last week, that feeling came back to me...for the first time since 2001. The problem: I was on Medifast. 

See, on Medifast, you're quite literally fasting (hence the name). It's all very scientific and genius...you deprive your body of carbs/fuel in a very controlled and sneaky way and it's left to tap into the only source of energy it has available -- fat! The only downside is that it's quite a delicate balance, this trick you're playing on your body, and if you work out too much or too hard (they recommend 45 minutes tops/day), you could send your body reeling into starvation mode...and could harm yourself in the process, all without burning that wretched fat. Kind of defeats the purpose of working out, no?

Here's the crazy shit that was swirling around in my brain last week: "But...but...I want to work out. I want my muscles to be sleek and toned. I want that fat to burn off super fast, yes...but...I want to work out. I'm dying here on this couch. I need to..."

So, rather abruptly and kind of against the plan I had set out for myself leading up to the wedding...I quit Medifast cold turkey and went back to healthy eating...and I started working out longer and with a hell of a lot more effort. 

Now, here's the other reason M-fasters will think I'm insane: I quit without transitioning out of the plan. Medifast, and arguably rightly so, STRONGLY encourages clients to slowly transition out of the diet and into healthier eating. Here's why I skipped the transition: A.) I missed eating and cooking healthy foods; B.) I'd already been eating smaller, healthier meals before even going onto Medifast; something most Medifasters can't claim. Most Medifasters go right from their bad eating habits onto the plan. I had already lost 68 pounds completely on my own prior to starting the plan...so, I already have the tools I need to survive in the real eating world; C.) Medifast is f-ing expensive, y'all! 

Now it's off to work out! Here's my latest favorite: http://www.amazon.com/Power-Fusion-Ellen-Barrett/dp/B005OMN9E8

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Impatient and Retaining Water

I'm down 135. I have just 45 to go. Oh, and it's just 73 days til my wedding.

I've already realized - and I really, really mean it - that I'm not going to make it to my goal weight by July 14th. I never started this whole journey with even the dream of a wedding at the end of it - my universe has just oddly aligned itself that way.

However, I would be lying if I said I wasn't desperate to be down under 200 pounds by then...and until the past few weeks of slowed losses, I thought that was even achievable. Now, with just 30.1 pounds away from technically meeting that goal...and with just 73 days between then and now...I honestly don't know what I'll weigh and I'm trying to accept that reality.

Fat chance of that happening!

Of course, if I use the rational part of my brain, I know that the reason for my slower weight loss has been the return of my monthly visitor. It's the reason I plateau every month. Still, for as many months as I've been working at this, nothing, not even rational thinking, seems to override the hormone-fueled emotional reaction to seeing my scale at a dead stop.

There is a double-edge sword to this ticking clock business. Knowing that my wedding is coming up helps to keep me more accountable. However, knowing that my wedding is coming up also stokes the wildfire of obsessive compulsion.

To say that I am completely fixated on my working out, calorie counting and weight loss is an understatement. Here are just a few examples of the thoughts constantly swirling around in my mind:

"How is my left arm going to look in pictures?" (There's this little fold in it that developed when I gained weight the last time - a fold I didn't have the last time I weighed what I do now - and I am completely terrified that it will never go away, no matter how much fat I lose and how much muscle I build underneath).

"Will I find a dress that fits me?" (I know I'll find one...but will I be a size 16, a 14, a 12? Will I have to wait until the very last minute to shop for a dress or will my body stop majorly shrinking at some point and just start toning and smoothing itself out? GAH!)

"Will I be able to wear a shorter cocktail dress or will my legs still look like tree trunks?"

"Will my double chin resurface and make me look like a cow in pictures?"

"Will everyone marvel at my weight loss at the wedding or will no one notice at all?"

"What in the hell will I look like in a bathing suit?"

"Will I feel confident enough to wear a bathing suit on our honeymoon or will I hide under a friggin cover-up the whole time?"

Yeah...and these are just the most common ones. Thank goodness we're having a small wedding that was easy to plan...cause if I had to toss a bridezilla on top of this weight-loss-zilla, I think I'd have to be on meds!

I know all of this is nuts. Totally nuts. I'm also incredibly proud of myself. I've lost 135 pounds! It's incredible! I also know I'll look great on my wedding day. I know I'll be the happiest woman in the world that day, too - I am marrying the love of my life, after all. But - I'll be so relieved when it's all over and I can go back to normal life...and only have the last however-many-pounds to obsess about!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Less than 50 to go!

I've had a LOT of far off friends ask for recent photos after the latest weight loss blitz. Problem is, my once tight leggings don't fit me anymore. They're just pj pants now. I'm also too cheap to go out and buy new ones just for the sake of photo taking. So, I've opted for a cami that's just about ready to go into the donation bin and a pair of jeans. This is me at 234.


131 down. Just 49 to go!

In other news, my losses have convinced my mom to give Medifast another go. She's going to do the program the way the docs recommend with little to no activity. After just a few days she's already down three pounds. I hope she can stick with it - it's not easy - especially for a food addict like the two of us!

I've modified the plan to suit my lifestyle a bit, however. I just like the feeling of accomplishment that comes from working out (too much) and can't cut it out of my life partially, much less altogether. (To be fair, they do suggest you exercise at least a little bit when you're settled into the program - but walking for 20-30 minutes is not a workout to me!)

So, I've upped my protein intake a bit by way of some extra cheese and lean meat in order to protect my muscles from depletion without messing with the low carb formula Medifast relies on. I also allow myself the occasional "cheats" and haven't seen any halt in my progress (for example, last week I ate an Indian meal of Tandoori Chicken with about a quarter cup of rice and a serving of whole wheat roti; yes, I know that sounds so like the polar opposite of a "cheat", but remember, I'm working to stay uber loooooow carb here! Rice is completely forbidden on MF!) Regardless of my naughtiness, lately I've been moving down the scale at a pace of 10-15 pounds per month!

Could my losses be greater if I never ate extra carbs here and there? Probably. Would I be at risk of being committed to a mental health facility if I never cheated periodically? Probably.  You bet your ass I would!

I attribute much of my losses to Medifast, and the ketosis and calorie deficit the program creates. However, to say that my 5-6x/week workouts have nothing to do with it would be nonsense. Actually, I think the fact that I do work out so religiously has helped to keep my "cheats" from costing me precious pounds. Lately, it's been kettlebells 1x, pilates/yoga 2/x and 30 on the elliptical and 15 on the bike 2-3x. Adding the elliptical and kettlebells into the mix this past month has really ramped up the visible muscle tone in my arms and legs...but you won't be seeing my gams for at least a few more months! Still have some flab to attend to.

Can't wait til those hips are more proportional to the rest of me and my tummy is gone. I can see the end in sight!!

By the way, if you're looking for a tough but fun workout - give this kettlebell bootcamp a try. The host takes a bit of getting used to, but the program is broken into sets, so you can skip some, do others you like twice, etc. It's a great starter to kettlebells - and boy, will your legs burn!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

102 Days Til The Wedding...103 Til A Bathing Suit

I'm down 126 pounds now. Back into the 230's...for the first time since...2002? I'm also of the belief that I am now a 'reasonably overweight' person for my frame as opposed to a just plain obese lady.

Now, I'm still obese by definition, but having been every number between 365 on down and knowing what I know about my body, how I look and how others react to me now...I'm really just overweight at this point. I'll never be what's considered normal for my height - around 135. I haven't weighed that since I was in like 6th grade. Even when I was at my absolute skinniest I was in the 150s and couldn't sustain the weight without working out at least 60 minutes per day and eating less than 1000 calories. My body just isn't built the way the charts and graphs decree it needs to be.

Personally, I think that somewhere between 165-185 is going to be my sweet spot. I'll know it when I get there. For now, my goal is to hit 185 ... preferably before my wedding ... but that's 54 pounds and the wedding is 102 days away.

Lately, I've been resigning myself to the fact that this number is completely unrealistic. Actually, 'resigning' is the wrong word. I've accepted it. If I've learned nothing over the past 126 pounds, it's that my body is in control as opposed to my wild and often unreasonable expectations.

So, my new goal: to weigh less than 200 pounds by the wedding. I don't care if it's 199.9...just to sink below that silly, and frankly, meaningless number will mean so much to me. (Yes, I realize the absurdity of that last sentence, but it's the truth!)


My other goal: to look reasonably good in a bathing suit by then. We're going to an amazing all-inclusive north of Cancun for our honeymoon and there are pools and beaches everywhere! I can't wait to swim again. It hasn't been since college that I've worn a bathing suit. I'm not sure which would be more of an achievement for me - losing a person and a half's worth or weight or wearing a bathing suit with confidence.

When I said this to a friend the other day, she immediately asked, aren't you as concerned about looking good in your wedding dress? My immediate response, without even skipping a beat, was NO! No matter how form-fitting the dress winds up being, I'll A.) still be more covered up than I would be in a bathing suit, and B.) will have Spanx under there smoothing, pushing, smooshing and holding everything in place. I might not be able to breathe, but I'll look fan-freakin-tastic.

My midsection is just about bathing suit ready. My arms are almost there too. My ankles and calves don't have too far to go...nor do my inner thighs. However, my rear end and my upper legs in general are as flabby as can be. No matter how much I lose or how hard I work out, those areas may shrink, but it seems like they're just revealing newer, flabbier unsightlyness underneath. Ugh.

I know I'll get there ... especially now that I've pulled kettlebells into the workout rotation and have really ramped up the elliptical training too. Things are quickly tightening up ... but the question remains: will I be bathing suit ready by mid-July?

You bet I will be!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling!

My name is Shannon. Clearly, I'm Irish. Fortunately, the luck of my people - you know, the luck that inflicted potato famines, starvation, religious persecution and religious terrorism - rubbed off on me today in a decidedly good way.

I'm down 125 pounds. That means I only have 55 left to lose before I hit my goal weight. It also means I only have 41 left to lose before I'm back in the 100's again.

Woohoo!

Just can't eat any potatoes or drink any green beer like the rest of the amateurs...but I can wear a form-fitting green top and a smaller pair of jeans to my fiancee's band's show tonight.

These Irish Eyes are Smiling!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Weight Loss: The iMovie - From 365 to 244

You'd never know I was a television producer in a past life, seeing as I created this little ditty in iMovie...but for the purposes of showing my transformation thus far in as quick and painless a way as possible, here ya go.

Maybe I'll do the last transformation montage in Final Cut...full with R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly" as a music bed.

Um, no.

video

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

If A Camera Adds 10 Pounds, Then Damn! I'm Looking Good!

I realized today that it's been a long time since I'd taken a progress photo. 18 pounds, in fact. It's something I often dread. In fact, photos in general have been something I've worked very hard to avoid being the subject of over these past ... oh, I dunno ... ten years?

It's getting less painful to see myself in a photo. Of course, I'd look even better in these had I bothered to put on makeup, a bra or waited for my hair to dry but, what the hell. You've seen me look far worse. Just scroll down! I also apologize for wearing all black - but I have precious little left in my wardrobe that's form-fitting. My old white tank that I used to wear in the photos is all kinds of stretched out, so I opted for a cami. That way, I can keep tabs on my arms as they shrink too. Even these black leggings are starting to get bulky on me - so I had to take a pic with me in them freshly shrunk out of the wash.

It's strange, but I'm actually really starting to look forward to having my picture taken at our wedding in July. I know I look good and I know I will look great - and that selfish and completely conceited side of me wants ample photographic proof. Is there any better "after" picture than one taken on the happiest and most glamorous day of your life?

I don't know what you see in terms of progress, but I'll tell you what I see. First, my bangs are finally the length I want and my hairstyle is more versatile, LOL! Second, my arms are definitely getting more toned thanks to all of the major strength training I've been doing. My butt is where it's supposed to be for a woman my age. Instead of being behind my knees, it's up on level with my hips. It's also considerably smaller. My saddlebags are smoothing out. Instead of two sets of hips, I seem to only have one that begins at my waist and curves down around the sides of my legs. Used to be, I had the spare tire set of hips and the saddlebags set. The backs of my thighs are starting to protrude less and look more sleek. My calves are smaller. I still have sasquatch feet, but hey, what can ya do? Finally, my belly is shrinking. It used to bulge forward about as far as my rear end did backwards. Now, it's just a little pooch that I can continue to tone down. I also have a waist!

Wow. It feels really good to have written that list. It's honest, real and a true accomplishment. I'm going to go pat myself on the back now - cause, for the first time in ages, I can actually reach. ;-)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

121...59 to go!

Last week, we went on a much-MUUUUUCH needed vacation. Between Gabe's father passing away and the sadness and stress that comes after it, plus the stress of planning a wedding, a honeymoon, budgeting for it, ups and downs at work and some health and dental issues...dude, it was either Hilton Head or The Cuckoo's Nest.

In the weeks preceding, I flip-flopped quite a bit on whether or not to stay on my diet religiously while on vacation. That quickly flew out of the window after the first day of our drive. I was so tired and so flipping hungry that I splurged at Perkins for a burger with no bun and a side salad. FOR SHAME! I'm such a rebel.

Of course, I then proceeded to splurge a bit more and veer off of the low carb path quite a bit...lots of sushi rice, lots of pasta and booze, lots and lots of yummy goodness. That said, if I were who I was just a few years ago, very little of what I ate would have impressed me in the least, at least not in terms of its indulgence factor. Lots of salads, lean meats and veggies and reasonable portions, even. Still, it wasn't the diet of someone trying to lose weight.

I figured if I worked out, kept to a reasonable diet for a normal person and worked out some more, the worst thing that would happen is that I'd gain a bit of water weight without sacrificing any muscle tone. So, I spent a lot of time at the vacation club's gym and did some of my yoga/pilates workouts in our condo...we even rented bikes, but got so busy that we hardly even used them. Next year, we'll bike more. Hilton Head has over 50 miles of bike paths - it's really quite amazing.

Well praise the weight loss gods, it worked! I gained about 8-10 pounds (depending on what scale I'm going by) while on vacay...and that's as of Sunday morning. Today, I'm down that 8 and another 4.5. That's 121 pounds total now. So, it was all water weight (which I kept telling myself over and over on Sunday so as not to have a panic attack.) Guess I really shocked my metabolism good!

Here's hoping that this is the start of my final push to my wedding body. Just 59 pounds to go!