Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Getting back to it

I went off-plan - boy did I ever! For the first time in 9 months I want Mylanta, I've gained pounds, and my face looks old. I am actually eager to get back on the meal plan and get more svelte. My mother posted pictures of myself on Facebook and while she was kind to pick the ones I don't look too ugly in, I still look fatter than I want to. I want to fit into those 16s a lot better and get to Onederland. The holiday is over and I'm ready to commit to 3 months solid (with the exception of a monthly or bi-weekly cheat) to real meal plan adherence and be under 200 by March 28 (which will be 1 year.) I saw Avatar tonight and was body-conscious and while I know my body will never be perfect I just desire the body I never had!! I feel like I really could be normal weight for a time, even if perfection is a little impossible post-obesity at age 36.

Hope you all had a good Christmas, if you swing that way.

Here's my meal plan for next week - these fresh foods appeal to me right now as much as cake would have a week ago:

Day 1
Breakfast: Oat Bran Cereal w/ Apples and Walnuts
Snack: Ham and Apple salad
Lunch: Tofu and Black Bean Salad with Fruit
Snack: Cottage Cheese with Veggies and Olives
Dinner: Tuna Stuffed Tomato with crackers, almonds, and milk

Day 2:
Breakfast: Home Fries w/ Ham, Soy Milk, and Grapefruit
Snack: Ham and Apple salad
Lunch: Tofu and Black Bean Salad with Fruit
Snack: Cottage Cheese with Veggies and Olives
Dinner: Tuna Stuffed Tomato with crackers, almonds, and milk

Day 3:
Breakfast: Home Fries w/ Ham, Soy Milk, and Grapefruit
Snack: Tuna-Avocado Salad on Rice Cakes
Lunch: Veggie Burger Melt with Savory Zucchini, Nuts, and Fruit
Snack: Cottage Cheese with Veggies and Olives
Dinner: Shrimp and Veggie Toss eith Rye bread and fruit

Day 4:
Breakfast: Canadian Bacon Cheese Melt with grapes
Snack: Tuna-Avocado Salad on Rice Cakes
Lunch: Veggie Burger Melt with Savory Zucchini, Nuts, and Fruit
Snack: Cottage Cheese with Veggies and Olives
Dinner: Shrimp and Veggie Toss eith Rye bread and fruit

Day 5:
Breakfast: Canadian Bacon Cheese Melt with grapes
Snack: Ham and Apple Salad
Lunch: Tofu and Black Bean Salad with Fruit
Snack: Cottage Cheese with Veggies and Olives
Dinner: Shrimp and Veggie Toss eith Rye bread and fruit

Day 6:
Breakfast: Vanilla Protein Shake w/ peanut butter and bread
Snack: Ham and Apple Salad
Lunch: Tofu and Black Bean Salad with Fruit
Snack: Cottage Cheese with Veggies and Olives
Dinner: Shrimp and Veggie Toss eith Rye bread and fruit

Day 7:
Breakfast: Canadian Bacon Cheese Melt with grapes
Snack: Ham and Apple Salad
Lunch: Tofu and Black Bean Salad with Fruit
Snack: Cottage Cheese with Veggies and Olives
Dinner: Tuna Stuffed Tomato with crackers, almonds, and milk

I have a lot of repetition during the week both to reduce the cost of groceries and to help me to make food prep more rote as I contend with a potentially busy work week.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

December 23, 214

This morning I woke up slowly and naturally and the feel of my hands on my shoulders and curves had me thinking again that I would show a loss on the scale, because historically when I feel exotic things on my naked body in bed in the morning, it translates to a scale weight loss. But I was actually up 0.5 pounds from yesterday, to 214, which is still less than the 215 I generally remember myself being when I graduated high school. Which makes sense, anyway, considering that yesterday I got trapped at work all day (unexpectedly) and had restaurant meals for lunch and dinner. Plenty of sodium, if nothing else.

My other jeans have been driving me crazy. Maybe it's just that they need to be washed or they're a little big for their size, but they feel like they're going to fall off. My butt feels like it's completely disappeared in them. They're size 18s, according to the tag.

I just bought a pair of size 16s. They fit my butt great, though I must say my butt is looking much less special than it used to - big, but flat. And my belly fat mounds out over the waistband, which is in danger of rolling down when I sit because of the pressure of my rounded belly fat pushing it down.

So they don't exactly fit, and my figure is messed up and I need to lose more from the waist. But I don't know how to do that - all I can do is just keep losing weight and hope it all evens out eventually.

These jeans are 16W, so technically they're still plus-size. I don't know how I'm going to cope with clothes shopping when I'm not plus-sized anymore! I'm sure we can all identify with what I might mean by that. It'll be so weird, and it might be like a betrayal to my old self, whom I've been my whole life, to suddenly just be able to buy any clothes at any store off any rack and not have to wind my way to the back corner on the bottom level to find a small section of shapeless clown clothes.

I had SUCCESS at the gym today!! On the elliptical, I made it to 433 calories burned in 30 minutes, up from my previous high of 425, but short of my aimed-for goal of 440. But, that's what goals are for, to keep you striving higher. Tangentially, I will note that some guy came up and had a 15-minute conversation with the guy on the trainer next to me and I just got so irritated I wanted to scream, "You guys need to have dinner together please and catch up on old times! Don't *you* have some working out to do? Hasn't *your* timer run out yet???" Anything to make them shut up and get away from me.

Then I went and lifted weights and had more success with increased upper body strength, glad to say. Possibly the weight-lifting has been partially responsible for my ability to feel changes this morning in bed that didn't show on the scale this morning. May the weight-lifting continue to change my shape, I hope.

I wonder if anyone in the locker room thought I was oddly self-involved, watching myself in the mirror as I change clothes, and afterward, just looking at my face for a moment to see if there was any difference. I feel like I feel a change in my jaw, but I can't be sure in the mirror - I still have cheeks and some double-chin, and probably that will never go away again. But I do think my face looks different. I just can't point out where or how.

Well, I guess that's enough lounging for now. Let's see if I can't get some cleaning done. I'm not sure when it all got so out-of-control, the state of my things all over the place, but the house cleaning is relentless and I never seem to get any progress made on it. And I'm having family over on Christmas. Just the intimate family, though.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

December 19, 215

After skipping last week's weigh-in day due to "technical difficulties" (i.e. excessive bingeing) today's was a pleasant experience - back down to 215 (which was so exotic when I reached 215 last week). But better than that was the measurements. Measurements showed a marked decrease in some of the better places. Neck was down 1/2" again to 14.3". Bicep broke below 14" at 13.8". Forearm reduced for the first time in a while, down 0.15" to 11.25". Chest down a whole inch to 45", Waist down 3/4" to 44.75" (does happy dance), Hips down nearly an inch to 45". Meaning from chest to waist to hips I'm pretty much a cylinder, not an hourglass. - well, measurements-wise - the truth is more bulgy than that. Work in progress, still, and it may not work out the way I want in the end, but work in progress. Legs remained pretty much the same, which is fine, I don't need thinner legs right now, I need a thinner belly and arms.

I have half a mind to go find some size 16s and try them on. That may be a bit ambitious, but these 18s I'm wearing today feel really baggy.

I almost forgot my exercise pledge this week, but remembered finally and forced myself to do it. Yoga on Thursday or Wednesday (finished the session again this time, so that's a goal achieved). Yesterday I did elliptical training and strove to burn 430 or even 440 calories during my 30-minute session. But as hard as I worked (with 6 very intense 1-minute intervals every 4 1/2 minutes) I could see I wasn't even going to match up to my high so far, which would be 425 calories burned, and I only burned 418 calories in that session. I felt like I worked as hard as I could, so either I waited too long to return to the elliptical to see improvements from last time, or it's harder to burn as many calories when your body weight is low, or forgetting to increase the resistance for the whole first minute destroyed my chances that bad (and I don't think it's that last thing.) And just now I have returned from lifting weights for upper body and did succeed in increasing my strength as well as the flexibility in the back of my straight legs.

Anyway, I am feeling benefits of exercise and seeing improvements from session to session. The girlfriend of one of the stagehands on the show is a baker and she sends in cakes and brownies for each show. Last night it was chocolate bark - too extraordinary and too easy to overindulge in. I was able to kill the craving when I followed up the chocolate with some black bean soup I had with me. Bean soup kills chocolate cravings, people, remember that!! Today it was brownies, and they were really too wonderful but also too rich to over indulge in. So I'm trying not to overindulge while also not denying myself a little treat here in there - but depending on the treat, it can be difficult to allow myself a little and not wind up overindulging. That's good to know.

Hope all's well your end!! I confess I don't always read every blog I'm subscribed to these days, but I hope all's well your end.

Friday, December 18, 2009

December 18, 216.5

Happy to report I'm back down to 216.5 after the menstrual surge. Yesterday I had to be at work at 4:00 a.m., so I didn't go to sleep before going to work. Did manage to stay up until about 7 p.m., going to bed without dinner. I figured I'd get up early and have dinner. But now it's nearly 6 a.m., I've been on Facebook for 2 hours. Debating whether to just skip last night's dinner and go on to breakfast. Anyway, hopefully I'm back on track. :-) I just want to chill into this time of year for the next week.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

December 16, 218

I'm doing okay (she squeaked from under 2000 pounds per square inch of menstrual cramp).

Yesterday while out I decided I wanted a brownie and by god I got one, despite the voice of my seriously suppressed superego chastising me for maintaining a sweet-per-day habit that I felt I ought to break. Especially having gained from 215 back to 220 during last week's work crunch. I don't mind not losing weight at this time, as I've said, but I'm not looking to gain. I'm looking to experience maintenance and increase activity - neither of which I feel all that successful about despite the objective successes - I have exercised at least 3 days per week since before Thanksgiving, and seen continued improvements in my yogability and my elliptical prowess, and I have stayed below 220.

Perhaps it was due to the heaviness of that brownie that I was able to refrain from eating as much later in the day. And given the ovarian agony I'm in right now, I feel like my lapses may be explainable as a result of premenstrual urges.

I've been trying to make sense of my meal plan, since I skipped so many meals last week, and some food went bad, but some groceries have to be used. I think I've finally made sense of it and I have made a grocery list to start next week's meal plan. Anyway, today I'm 218 again, so... maintained so far.

I need to set new goals for the new year. I need to continue my exercise goals just exactly as they are, except that in yoga I might start thinking about trying out the Level 2 version as I continue to progress. Weightlifting has focused on upper body this past month, but I have thought about doing lower body once a week too, and adding walking once a week to improve the shapeliness of my lower legs. Cardio can continue as elliptical, focusing on power. But overall, I cannot overcommit myself in exercise goals, or there will be trouble - especially since it's really going to be time again for me to refocus on diet adherence and weight loss - getting under 200.

In the mirror my body has a new shape when naked. I kinda like it. It's still pudgy and dumpy with womanly fat in the abdomen and hips, but it seems more hippy and less belly than it used to. I don't know. And the other day I turned to the side and sucked my belly in and golllly, my midsection above the belly button was downright thin - I was worried about snapping in two! ha. It was exotic. I don't know if my body has changed while I've been maintaining - it was sort of my hope that, while I maintained here, my body would catch up and shape into something normal, my skin would take some time to catch up to my fat loss. But I haven't grabbed the measuring tape yet. I was supposed to measure at Saturday's weigh-in but since I hid from Saturday's weigh-in in shame from all that loss of self-control, I haven't put a measuring tape to me yet.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know that my few days of silence was not indicative of failure, just not indicative of progress either.

Take care and share the love this holiday season!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 12, ???

This week has been out-of-this-world for the amount of work I'v ehad to do, and I completely lost steam on doing the meal plan, and in the process wound up indulging again in more sweets than I should. The work is about to hit a more moderate and manageable rate and either tomorrow or the next day I'll be back on plan.

This makes me think that meal planning is going to have to be my maintenance plan forever. I can see in the future, after getting to the weight I want to be at, I'll gain 5 pounds and go back to meal planning, over and over. I just cannot allow myself to go back to how I was before, gain all the weight back, or start eating sweets as much as I used to.

I didn't even weigh in today. The overindulging combined with having had only 2 hours of sleep and I just decided to wait on that weigh-in until I get back to a controlled lifestyle.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December 10, 215

If I may get all Southern on you here, I liked ta've keeled over when I stepped on the scale this morning and it read 215. Weight loss is not a major goal for me right now, and often it seems slow, but when it happens, it's just one more number into La-La-Land for me. 215? 215 is about what I weighed when I finished high school. Only once since then have I weighed so little, after a long stint of diet, exercise, and hormone surges. Then I got to 207 for about one day before beginning the regain. So when I do get to 206, that will be a major major day.

So now I will be able to accept when my parents gawk at me and say "You are looking so slim!" Because even though I feel like the same person as ever, technically I weigh less than I nearly ever have in my adult life.

Now maybe I was a little dehydrated, but nevertheless, it was the legitimate scale reading and it's less than it's been so far on this journey. My size 18 jeans are getting very baggy on me already. Totally uncool, or not uncool.

As I forewarned, life is tough these days. Enough work to keep me busy all 24 hours of the day, but time must be made somehow for sleeping, bathing, and eating (and exercise.) I had the opportunity to sleep in today and I took it, which restored my strength. Often this week I did not have the time to make the planned dinner at all. Yesterday I went to Subway and got a 6-inch turkey - no cheese, but yes mayo because that's how sandwiches are supposed to be as far as I'm concerned - mustard is not the answer! Anyway, that's not the worst of it - then I added not one but two double-chocolate cookies. One would have been okay - two was me being out of control. Also, last night I drank three shots of Goldschlager with friends for a VERY good time :-D and when I came home I was hungry and grabbed an ounce or two of turkey to tide me over. I may have to keep some bird in my fridge for grabbing from now until eternity. That little turkey breast has been VERY useful in my own personal makeshift meal planning. So, apparently my decision to grab up a bit of protein last night was a good one. Considering my weight this morning.

As for my exercise goals - they have sort of fallen by the wayside, for many of us. My schedule is just literally too hectic to make it work, and I haven't had enough sleep to exercise. This morning (afternoon) when I got up I did 30 minutes of yoga. If I can do two more workouts in the next two days, I may actually get some money out of it!! Because a couple of other people have come to the group and are also saying that they're not going to make it through all the exercising they're supposed to this week in order to get their $20 back. There is also talk of renewing the pledge after Christmas. I say cool idea. I need the exercise.

So - tomorrow's weigh-in. If I can get enough sleep tonight, it might be exciting times! :-) I wonder what my waist measurement will be. Still no real improvement there.

I'm writing this from the computers at the public library. It is amazing all the belching and farting people are audibly doing all around me.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December 9, 217

My weight went up after my cheat day to 217 and even though I'm watching my food, I'm also not exercising and not getting enough sleep by far due to work.

Yesterday I had something happen to me that really stuck in that sore place of mine that was carved out early in my life and strongly relates to how being fat affects my self-image and my sexual confidence.

There was this guy at work who is just a real shithead to me. He hates me for some unknown reason even though I can see he is quite friendly with everyone else and they seem to like himto despite his general shitheadedness. He speaks to me with aggressive hostility and derision, and his real motivation is to make it seem like I'm so stupid and unworthy that I'm a liability at work. There are many people in this union who feel like their business is to figure out who doesn't belong there, who the scapegoat is. A lot of people in the union used to feel this way about me, but have been won over by me, one by one. Apparently Mike hasn't got the memo.

Sometimes I feel like some people are rude to me in large part BECAUSE they find me unattractive. I don't know if this is always true; there may be some correlation. Maybe they also find me unattractive in part because they don't like me, so who knows what's the cause and what's the effect.

It only came up two or four times yesterday, really - some rude snap or derisive commentary.

But anyway, there was this one time that 5 of us were working together to lift some heavy poles into a vertical position. As the pole was going up, my shirt got caught on something and started going up with the pole. I became conscientious and was worried about exposing myself. I said, "Oops, there goes my shirt." This could also have been seen as a playful sort of flirtation, a request for attention. Mike joked, "My eyes! It burns! It burns!"

Now I tried to reason that this was how "the guys" are with each other, but I know that if this had been an attractive woman, that would never have been the response. I tried to remember that the other guys on the pole who did not respond either to me or to him except in silence do like me quite a bit and might not even find me revolting.

I don't take this comment all THAT hard. In my adult years, I have received a certain amount of male attention and flirtation - maybe nothing amounting to much but enough to feel like there are those who wouldn't mind a peek at what I have under my shirt, who don't think it would turn them to stone.

But there was a time that that was the standard - for people, boys, to make me know that I was not just benignly unappealing but aggressively repulsive. I don't think that part of me will ever heal and stop hurting. I just usually don't pay any attention to it, but it's always there and it's a constant battle in my life just dealing with it and the effects that trail out from it.

Let me just add, real quickly, for what it's worth, that this guy lives in too glass a house to be throwing stones about the appeal of what's under someone's shirt.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

December 6, 216

Ok, today I weigh 216. My BMI is below 32, at 31.9.

I am getting ready to embark on an unreal week. Lots and lots of work, barely enough time to get the work in, let alone 3-4 workouts and keeping up with my meal plan. Fortunately I think I've secured a pretty easy meal plan for this week, plus I'm getting pretty cool about using substitutions, although I ought to start recording meals into a calorie counter somewhere as I start substituting. I have a ton of breakfast cereal, turkey, tuna, bread, oranges, nuts - the makings of standard meals if I need to fake it. I'm actually more worried about the workouts, because I've got $20 riding on that.

Today, I've decided, I'm going to get in my cheats. K&W cafeteria and Russell Stover. I'd like to say brownies, too, but I'd have to cook them, so maybe one from Boston Market - which I'll probably find to be too thick and heavy nowadays but...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I faltered. I succombed.

Tonight I went to a Christmas concert by our local symphony. It really got me in the Christmas spirit and when I came in the downtown Christmasy nightlife I wanted to celebrate living and merriment and get into the spirit of the season and of the nightlife. And I wanted to celebrate with coffee, or maybe spiked coffee. I went to a bar&restaurant and was already thinking about decaf with Bailey's. By the end of it, I had two decaf and Bailey's and chocolate lava cake with a half a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This is the happy-go-lucky way I used to exist, and it wasn't at all bad!

But I'm guilty of splurging when it was not planned. I had planned to splurge tomorrow, originally, and maybe Sunday or Monday if Saturday was too busy at work. I had been dreaming of the cafeteria food at K&W, and a box of Russell Stover's or some brownies. Now I'm going to sit back and see how this splurge affects me. Tomorrow I have to work, and for an undetermined number of days thereafter so I'll just stick to the meal plan until I know what's going on and can figure out a proper time and strategy for any future planned cheating.

Friday, December 4, 2009

December 4, 217

I've recently been saying that I needed to change my self-perception to lose more weight. I need to be able to accept the possibility and eventual reality of me being thinner than I've ever imagined myself being.

Last night I had a chance to get closer. While I was at the gym lifting weights. I was between sets, and holding the one 15-pound dumbbell in both hands, my arms hanging straight down in front of me. In doing do, they sort of masked the breadth of my midsection. Out from below were my slender hips and legs. Up above was a new head, with a more slender neck and shoulders, my hair back in a ponytail (which it never is)... I stared at this strange new thin woman with my eyes and tried to see her as me.

The damage from the Indian restaurant seems to have passed. I'm 217 this morning. (I'm 217? I can't believe I'm 217.) Maybe in part because I let myself be a little bit hungry last night. When I got home to prepare dinner (crustless turkey pot pie and garlic spaghetti squash) I was obviously hungry and had a hard time NOT stuffing myself with a bowlful of turkey (which I can eat like candy) or with anything else. I ate dinner hoping that I would be satisfied at the end, and I suppose I was, but the evening dragged on another 6 hours. Ah well, nothing to be done, and a little hungry feeling can be lived with, even enjoyed.

I have a little hungry feeling still now. It bothers me because I am so ready to eat breakfast but I have to do yoga first which is going to take an hour and be plagued with hungry feelings. :-( Guess I'd better get to it. I do have a goal.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Exercise Goals, in progress

Review of Exercise Goals:

twice a week - yoga, building up to doing the entire 45-50 minute session, with focus on constant improvement

twice a week - cardio, elliptical trainer, 30 minutes, building up to 450 calories burned in a 30-minute session, to build strength, stamina and quickness in lower body muscles

twice a week - weight lifting for upper body, to regain strength

So far this week

- I've done the yoga once and succeeded in finishing the full 45-50 minute session, yay. Have to do the yoga again tomorrow to satisfy the twice a week commitment.

- cardio - Monday opted for swimming instead of elliptical for some cross-training benefits and because I was cold. Today (Thursday) got on the elliptical for 30 minutes and succeeded in doing better than last time - needed to do better than 415 (or 418?) calories, and made it to 425!! Achieved this goal with the use of a few higher-intensity intervals which actually brought my stamina up throughout the entire workout. However, I do keep an eye on my heart rate, which stays a little above the recommended rate for someone my age for cardio, however, I don't feel that this is dangerous for me.

- weights for upper body (arms and chest and back) Monday I skipped this because the swimming worked out my arms and fatigued them so I didn't think the weightlifting would be advisable. Today I finally lifted weights at my original gym which has the same scorecard I've been keeping since 2 years ago with my inconsistent bouts of weightlifting in that time. My most recent bout was this past summer, when I went in and lifted weights for a couple of months pretty regularly and saw some improvement. Today, I saw that I had fallen back. It is not my imagination that I have weakened! I don't know whether my weakness was partially due to having just kicked ass on the elliptical trainer, and I'm sure that I will make some degree of improvement rather quickly, but, at least now I know where I am and what goal to aim for, so I have a target now! And here it is:

Weightlifting Goal (by Christmas)
(each exercise is done in two sets and is represented by "reps*weight")

Current Scores (reps*weight)
Goal (reps*weight)

8*120, 8*120
12*125, 12*125

8*85, 8*85
12*90, 10*90

Chest Press
9*55, 9*55
12*60, 12*60

Incline Press
8*40, 8*40
12*40, 12*40

Lateral Raise
9*35, 9*35
12*35, 12*35

Overhd Press
5*20, 5*20
8*30, 8*30

Dumbbell Curl
8*15, 8*15
12*17.5, 10*17.5

Tricp Ext
8*40, 8*40
10*60, 10*60

back of leg stretch (degree angle)
L-83; R-87
L-90; R-90

These are moderate improvements especially in the shoulders which is a hard area for me to improve in - but I only have about 3 weeks to get this done anyway. I will obviously have to lift AT LEAST twice a week, maybe more, to achieve this.

how healthy is your relationship with foor (sparkpeople quiz)

Follow this link to take the How Healthy is Your Relationship with Food quiz at sparkpeople.com. My results made it into the Healthy Balance range, although I know that some of my answers would throw my average into the negative realm (having purged after binging, for example.)

A Healthy Balance

You have achieved healthy balance with food. Although you get disappointed when you get off track, you keep a realistic mindset and know that it one mistake won't make or break your success. You're concerned about making healthy food choices, but instead of letting food control you, you practice moderation. Be sure to set goals and reward yourself when you reach them; doing so will remind you that you’re making positive progress and help you continue to put your lifestyle choices into perspective.

December 3, 219.5

Ooo, too close to 220!!

Last night I honored a dinner date with my friend - restaurant dining. I had a normal meal plan breakfast and lunch, and then we went to this Indian restaurant. My intention was to eat moderately. I had Aloo Palak, naan bread, and a glass of white wine and water. I ate more of the naan bread than I might have ordinarily because it was helping me to deal with the spiciness of the aloo palak. The meal was very tasty and I ate all that was on my plate, which was a very moderate serving compared to most restaurants, so I felt okay about how much mass I ate. I was enjoying the conversation so much I didn't take time to "listen to my stomach" but I definitely never got full and I was actually worried about getting hungry again after so much carb with apparently little protein. (I came home and ate about 3 oz of turkey to quell my appetite for later snacking - it worked.) And I don't know how the spinach is prepared - tons of butter, cream, fat?? Add to that the question of sodium and water weight, and I'm back up to 219.5 this morning.

Now I've been bouncing around 218 and 219 all week, so this is no tragedy, just part of a learning experience for me to observe as I try to figure out how to "do it on my own."

Another thing I'm hoping is that "doing it on my own" will save me money on my grocery bill. So, I'll hopefully get there eventually. Gradually.

Now, though, it's been about 16 hours since last night's dinner and I'm starting to be very very hungry. Time for breakfast.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December 1, 217.5

This morning it was pretty exciting. As I drifted awake, for some reason I ran my hands over my body and could just tell that the scale would show a reduction. Sure enough, I am now a ridiculous 217.5. It is hard to believe that I now weigh about as much as I did when I graduated high school, and significantly less than I have weighed for almost my entire adult life (excluding one brief period when I got down to 207). I don't really feel different enough for that. In fact, now, stuffed with all the dinner I could manage to force into me, I feel pudgy and every bit as fat as ever. I feel like I should look better than I do, but it only shows that I have more to lose and so I'm glad the scale has shown a reduction.

Following the meal plan is second nature to me now, so that I don't really feel like I'm dieting anymore, honestly. Tomorrow night I'm going to dinner with a friend, so that will be a restaurant meal. 9 months ago I never had food in the house and always ate restaurant meals, and now my fridge and cabinets are packed and I never eat at restaurants. That's a complete reversal.

The only question is still - how am I going to keep it up for life. When left on my own, I don't have the right triggers that tell me when to eat, how much to eat, and when not to eat - I sort of realized today that none of that machinery works right for me - I have a bad gauge. I'll have to consider that a handicap or a disease and work with it.

But anyway, this is all just about being happy to have lost even more weight now that I'm not suffering for it.

As for my exercise goals (as long as I'm posting) yesterday I went to the gym and it was a cold day and I became inspired by the sight of the pool to swim instead of get on the elliptical, so I swam 30 minutes. I'm not a fantastic swimmer by any stretch. I just keep going back and forth, doing different strokes to break up the monotony and to moderate my heart rate - doing the crawl brings my heart rate up. I try to keep my heart rate at a cardiovascular level and to really pull myself through the water with my arms and to keep kicking with my legs. It's hard for me to feel like I'm getting the same kind of workout from swimming that I get other cardio ways.

And today I made it all the way through Bryan Kest's Power Yoga 1 - all 45-50 minutes. First time ever!! Now I still have a lot of improving to do. There's really a lot I don't do well - straightening my legs is, surprisingly to me, very difficult; prayer twist just wasn't happening for me today; I can't maintain a lunge - my thigh gives out. The new territory at the end of the video introduces some ab stuff (boat pose) and backbend stuff. On the other hand, I am doing much better at tree pose, as previously I have not been able to keep my foot on my thigh, and I am seeing great improvements at Reverse Triangle!!

So one of my yoga goals for December - to make it through the video - is done. Now to improve through the rest of December while doing that yoga workout twice per week. To improve the mind-body connection, strength, flexibility, grace, and a can-do attitude.

My other exercise goal for December is to do elliptical twice a week, building up to a stamina of 450 calories in 30 minutes. I have yet to see improvement, but I have only done 2 workouts since I set that goal.

Along with the elliptical I'm also supposed to be doing upper body weights. I STILL haven't. Monday I didn't do it because I fatigued my arms swimming. I will do it tomorrow, though.

Getting to exercise 4 times a week is still tough for me. I'm glad I have the inspiration of my Facebook group.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Progress Pictures for 220

Ok, I took some progress pics. Apparently the camera and I aren't getting along well these days, but I'm going to go ahead and post these now.

Here's the infamous original inspiration pic from 285:

And here's the remake at 220:

Ok, now I can tell I have definitely lost some weight. At least in the butt and legs (not so much the belly):

And here are some more through the ages, starting at 265 and ending with Now, at 220, my original goal and obviously a stopover on the way to something even smaller.









220 - look at how my pooch still expands out in front!!