Sunday, November 28, 2010


I've been on the hunt for "before" pictures so here's one for you:

I think I was around 170-175 in this pic. It was right before I got engaged in 2007. I wan't huge, but I'd put on around 15 to 20 pounds when I met my husband and I wasn't feeling my best.

I also have one from before-before when I was really big. I just need to get it scanned in. It's my scary picture. The one that just broke my heart and opened my eyes. The one above isn't nearly so bad. I hide the really old one in my jewelry box because I'm still so embarassed by it. I think I'm working up the nerve to post it, so bear with me. All of you who put up so many pics are so brave. I'm really trying.

And here's me at Halloween. We dressed up Mad Men style at work so I look much more groomed than usual, but it's my blog so it's okay if I want to show myself looking my best, right?

Anywhoo - that's me! Hi!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Home Front

I'm always curious about the effect of people's spouses on their weight loss. My husband has had a big impact on my weight, both for good and bad. For example, right now I have pumpkin pie in my refrigerator that would already be in the garbage if not for my husband. He loves it, and we have it once a year. I had some Thursday and yesterday, and the rest is going to be for him.

I'm realizing that it's all a balancing act. Hubby knows not to bring home crap that I'm going to eat. If he wants chips and cookies and snacks, he keeps them at work or hides them if he really has to have them around. He's way taller than me, so he has lots of great hiding spots that I can't reach. I'm an out of sight, out of mind type of person so I don't feel the need to drag out a step stool to start hunting for snacks, but he also very rarely brings them home.

Today we headed to downtown Seattle to do a bit of shopping and general sightseeing. We hit the Pike's Place market and looked at all the different foods out there. In the past, hubby would've wanted some organic donuts and a sandwich from this Italian shop. But today we actually skipped it all, and came home to eat. I've become more and more resistant to eating out, and he's actually been okay with it.

It's not always this easy. Sometimes I feel really guilty because I know that he just really wants to go out for Chinese food or BBQ the way we've always done. I try to go and just make healthy choices, but I struggle. I'd rather not have it at all than have a healthy option. They're just not that great. If I go out for chinese, I don't want stir fried veggies. I can make them at home. Since I hardly ever eat out anymore, I usually feel okay letting myself indulge a bit when we do go. I just worry because once I have a little bit, I want more and more and more.

I've also tried to get him to work out with me more with very mixed results. I got him a membership to my gym that required a year commitment. He went once. ONE TIME. I was so pissed about that. It was just a big marriage learning experience period - leading the horse to water and all that. Now we go for a run together every so often, but I mostly work out on my own. Again, it's a balance.

So I think we're still figuring it out. Overall, I do feel supported. He eats the healthy meals I cook and enjoys them. If he wants to go out, he'll go with his friends. In fact, the biggest issue with my weight loss is the one that makes me feel the most loved - he just doesn't understand why I'm doing it. He loves me no matter what size I am. But he also respects that it's something I'm doing for me. I can't ask for much more than that.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How I Learned To Love the Kettlebell

Apparently my thai food indiscretion didn't do lasting damage. Careful eating in the week before balanced it out. Now let's see if I can make it through the Thanksgiving weekend the same way.

I also realized I haven't mentioned much about my personal training since I posted about having hired her in the first place. Just to preface, I realize I'm lucky in that I'm able to afford to hire her. Not everyone has the time or money to do it, but if you do, I think it can be a really worthwhile investment. Especially for women. Even just for a month or two. Of you ladies out there who workout at a gym, who hasn't felt intimidated when wandering around in the weight training area? Yes, you can use the weight machines with relatively little embarassment or explanation, but what about the freeweights? Or kettlebells? Or cable machines? All of these make for a much better workout than the machines IF you know how to use them properly. And without instruction, who does? I had hired a trainer a few years ago, and prior to that, I had no clue. My new trainer has refreshed my memory and given me a whole new workout using kettlebells, which are absolutely awesome! She's very focused on making each move work several different areas on the body - perfect for efficiency. Who wants to be at the gym all day? With the right training, I've got a 30-45 minute workout that does wonders. It's ended up being more than worth the cost, which is how I felt the last time too. It definitely is worth it to invest in your body every so often and spend the time and money to learn how to best use the equipment at the gym. I meet with her once a week, and she gives me homework to do the other days. Like with everything else in weight loss, you get out what you put in. But sometimes you need just a little help.

On a side note, I also have a pet peeve about "women's sections" at the gym. Not women's gyms, but special sections at a coed gym that are reserved for women. One of mine has this, and I HATE it. I understand that there are women out there who feel intimidated. I do. But my feeling is, get a good explanation about how to properly use equipment, and then get out there and own it! The thing is that if we continue to behave as though we're too intimidated and should be separate, then men will treat us like we should be separate and should stop taking up "their" space in the weight training areas at the gym, which are inevitably stocked with better equipment than the "women's sections" with their pastel rubber covered freeweights. Trust me, I feel the pain of being intimidated sometimes. I'm in Seattle where men don't actually hit on you, but they have no problem coming over just to be "helpful" and give you instruction on properly using equipment. It's condecending and obnoxious. I don't care if my form is off - that's no business of yours unless you're one of the trainers at the gym. Otherwise, don't talk to me. I'm working out. But hiding ourselves away just makes these guys worse! If they got used to seeing women out there sweating and grunting while doing their weight routines they'd realize that we're just there to work out too. And let's be honest - no one's being hit on so much that they can't get their workout done. It's not about that - it's about fear of looking stupid in front of men. We get scared and nervous. I've seen it a million times and sometimes it's me! Wandering around the gym, not sure what to do or how to use something. Just ask! No shame in it at all. When you learn how to do it right, weight training is so empowering. The shame is in hiding. And we've all done enough of that.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bad, Naughty Zoot

Last night we went out with friends to celebrate my husband's birthday. I did fine at dinner, kept myself in check. We were at a really great Thai restaurant and I kept my portions small and the food was totally worth it. I didn't eat out all week, and I've been keeping my calories lower in anticipation. After dinner we went bowling, and I had 2 beers. I wasn't tipsy or drunk at all. But we got home and busted into the leftovers from dinner at around midnight.

When I have alcohol, I just want to eat. I hardly have it anymore, just on special occasions on weekends, but I'm starting to think that alcohol for me is just a signal to cut loose with my eating. Any amount of it at all. For so long I ate more when I drank, I think that the connection is just still there. It's a bummer, because I love a glass of wine here and there, but I think that for now I have to keep my consumption - and the temptation - very low.

I'm not beating myself up over it. There's no point in that and it was one meal in a sterling week. But it's more that I let it happen. That's frustrating. I think I expect perfection, but that's not how I'm built. I just do the best I can and move on. So, off to the gym!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

That's What I'm Talking About

A much better weigh in today. I think last week was all about sodium and hormones. Can't blame everything on hormones, but without a doubt they cause a bit of a weight jump every month.

I found out yesterday that I'm going to be having some big deadlines coming up at work during the holidays, which I knew about, but they're all moved up a week or two earlier than I'd anticipated. Gotta love a challenge. But this is real life, and weight loss has to just work around it, right? It'll mean some early morning workouts, which are definitely not my forte. I'm an after work-workout kind of girl. First thing in the morning always seems like a good idea until I don't want to get out of bed. And then I do it and I'm perky afterwards until around 2 or 3 in the afternoon when I just want to take a big ol' nap from getting up so early. I also love evening workouts because I'm a nighttime eater - I used to binge like crazy from the moment I'd get home until when I went to bed. Heading to the gym before I go home helps tame my appetite and shortens the evening so it's just dinner, time with hubby, and bed. Works well for me! Anyway, needless to say that I will survive the next month and a half, it just might get a little bumpy. Nothing new around the holidays!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chill Sunday

The weather here in Seattle is pretty crummy so it was a great day to stay in and be cozy. Got some cleaning done, made a big pot of homemade spagetti sauce, and hit the gym in the late afternoon. Looking forward to some pasta tonight - it's a big treat for me these days! I really try to limit those carbs. They don't tend to do me any favors, but once in awhile is just fine.

Later I'm going to get the lunches and dinners for the week all set up, and then watch a little Walking Dead while hiding behind hubby on the couch. I equally love and am terrified by zombies so I'm really enjoying the show. AMC. Mad Men AND zombies - I love it!

I also spent part of the morning watching/fast forwarding through all the Biggest Loser episodes available On Demand. As with zombies, I'm equally facinated and repelled. I can see why people find it so inspiring, but I hate the ridiculous focus on dropping huge amounts of weight. It just seems so unrealistic and it gives people at home this inflated expectation of weight loss. Not to mention the fact that if these contestants didn't have the eyes of the nation on them, would they actually be able to keep the weight off when they get back home? I sincerely doubt it. I don't know, I'm torn about it. Anything that can be done to help with obesity is good, but like everything else in this country of ours, it's about instant gratification and putting all the responsibility on the individual. I just don't see it as a receipe for success in the end.

What do you guys think? Any of you huge BL fans?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Crunching The Numbers

One of the bloggers that I'm watching out there is struggling. Seriously struggling. Actually, struggling might not even be the right word because it implies that she's trying to fight back, and even that seems inaccurate. Backsliding might be a better word. Although I do aknowledge that we only see a slice of any given blogger's life, so she may be working like crazy but we just don't get to see it. Anyway, this blogger did it. She made it to goal. And now she's slipping and sliding, and what's truly interesting are her follower's reactions to it. People feel betrayed and angry. They want to feel like people can lose weight and then life is perfect. Calories in, calories out. The math is simple and basic and if you follow it, life gets better - no, life will be perfect.

Sadly, it ISN'T just about the numbers. Yep, the numbers will get you there. No doubt. And there are those out there who can live by the numbers - every day, for years. But there are those who can't. And even when you can, life sneaks up on you. You get arrogant. You get smug. You get happy with the status quo. I know it. I've been there. There's days when I am there. It's not the worst thing. But when it gets out of control - when you lose the balance and start to slide and don't pick yourself up right away - that's when it happens.

When I'm losing weight, it's like I get into a zone. I'm focused and on plan and I have it all figured out. Until the day that I don't. A few too many poor choices, a few skipped workouts, and it sneaks up and bites me.

It's hard to watch others slide. I'm not really afraid for myself. I just feel really sad for her, but I also know that it's a necessary part of her journey. We all have our own path through this, and no one can do it for us.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Owning Up

Yep, that's a gain. It's deserved. So depressing that it would be a gain my second week of weigh in, but there it is. I was thinking today how I'd explain myself, but I'm just not going to bother. It happens and I know exactly what I did and how to undo it.

To be totally honest, thinking today about how to explain myself to you all brought up the "why bother" voice. I think there's probably some of you out there who've heard this same voice, and maybe you're like me where you're really getting close to the goal of your journey. It's the voice that says, "Why bother? You're close enough. You've pretty much got all the things you wanted from weight loss. You don't need to finish and get to goal. You're married, you're happy, your clothes fit. Just think of all the things you're going to have to give up to get there. How much of a hassle it is to go out to eat. And giving up alcohol! You love a martini or two during happy hour. Happy hour! The best thing about a Friday afternoon! Besides, it's not like your husband cares. He loves you no matter what. And if you lose that weight you'll have to go out and get all new clothes. You finally have a closet full of clothes that all fit you, and now they won't. It'll be expensive! And, and, and, AND!"

I started this blog because I need to keep moving forward. I've been really struggling to find those reasons to keep losing weight. They're starting to become more subtle and that's not as motivating as when you feel like you're going to have a heart attack or you realize you can't fit into a single pair of pants that you own or you're sick and tired of being too scared to talk to someone you find attractive for fear that they'll laugh at you. Those reasons feel so much more urgent. Now it's more about feeding my body the best foods I can so that I have a great workout or performance in a race. It just doesn't feel as urgent and I'm frustrated with myself. Without a doubt, I feel so much better physically and mentally, but there's a temptation to just stop. To just say that this is good enough. I struggle with it all the time. I sometimes wonder if I'm just continuing to try to lose weight because it's all I know. It's my comfort zone now that I've been doing it for so long.

So how do those of you out there who are so close to goal or have made goal keep pushing it? What gets you all the way there?

Monday, November 8, 2010


Hopped on the scale this morning and there is some serious weekend sodium bloat. Part of this is related to hormonal stuff, but I can't blame it all on that. This has been something that's happenend to me quite a bit in the past when I'm eating out a lot, but I have to say that I really managed to make better choices this weekend. I did eat out quite a bit while my parents were here, but I stuck with really healthy options. And I'm not doing the DDD Challenge but between listening to you all talk about your water and my personal trainer reminding me about it every week, it kept me paying attention to my intake. And still!

Ah well, I'll be a crazy water drinker at work today. I think the tough part of all this is that when you go out, even if you think you're getting something healthy, they're still loading up the food with too much salt to give it flavor. Just goes to show yet again that eating in is the way to go.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Family Time

My parents are in town this weekend! It's so great to see them. They live a plane ride away, so I only see them a couple of times a year. I'm very lucky - we have an awesome relationship and really get to enjoy spending time together.

The four of us went out to dinner last night. I have to say that I can kind of see why I was so heavy as a kid. And I do worry in particular about my dad. He just eats too much. He's prediabetic, and his dad actually had diabetes as well, so there's that genetic component added to the mix. Which is another reason I'm trying to lose more weight - both of my grandfathers had diabetes. Pretty scary.

Anyway, as a family we've always enjoyed eating, and my dad is Italian. Food has been a big focus his whole life. I just worry because I can tell that he often eats just to eat. Last night at dinner I could tell he was getting past the point of really enjoying his food, but he just continued to eat just to clean his plate. It makes me worry, but trust me, there's nothing I can really do. Any comment that gets made he either ignores, or he'll just keep eating to prove me wrong or something. He's not huge, but he does have a rather big belly. He's tried WW with my mom but nothing sticks. I keep hoping he'll wake up and make some changes, but I don't know what's going to do it. He's already had some health scares and it just doesn't seem to get through to him. He insists that he's very healthy - and he actually is for a 65 year old - but he could be healthier if he just reined in his eating a bit. I just worry, you know?

So those of you who are parents and are doing this for your kids - good for you! It really saves them some worry and heartache in the long run. They want you around as long as possible! Even if it doesn't always seem like it :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

What's Past is Past?

Finally Friday! I'm so glad to be home!

I’ve been working on my post about my weight history and it’s been dredging up some negative old memories that I’d almost forgotten all about. One that really seems to stand out was when I was in the third grade. our gym teacher had taken my class back to our classroom after gym class, and we were waiting for our usual teacher to come back. While we were waiting, our gym teacher asked for a show of hands for who would want to play in the teachers vs students basketball game, a tradition they had every year. I’d been playing quite a bit with some kids in my neighborhood over the summer, so I raised my hand. Our gym teacher seemed a bit surprised and asked if I really knew how to play. I didn’t know all the rules, but I could shoot pretty decently, and I said so. One of the boys in my class turned to me and asked, loudly to be sure everyone heard him, if I was going to dribble the ball with my big fat stomach. Most everyone laughed and I just stood there in shock. I remember looking up at my gym teacher, expecting her to at least tell this boy to knock it off, and she was smirking! Laughing at me right along with everyone else. I was crushed. At that point I was used to hearing that type of thing from kids, but having an adult join in was a new and painful development. Even now just writing this I can feel that visceral sense of utter and total humiliation and shame.

Looking back on this now, I do go over it and wonder if there was some sort of explanation for this, if somehow I’m misremembering. But I know I'm not. I could also see that these things just don’t sound like that huge of a deal to someone who never experienced it, so maybe she just had no idea of the impact of what she did. There’s this magnification of feeling in childhood that we lose appreciation for as adults. It’s shaping who you become and how you view yourself. It’s more intense than you think. You'd certainly think a teacher would understand that. And as a phys ed teacher, don't you think it was her job to encourage someone like me to be more physical? Instead it reinforced my avoidance of activity. That as much as anything else makes what she did pretty shameful.

Anyway, I hope I didn’t drag anyone down with that story. I can imagine some of you can relate to it. It’s certainly not as bad as quite a few of the childhood experiences I’ve read on these blogs, but it’s something that's stuck with me. Most of my childhood was very happy, but sometimes these types of incidents just overshadowed the good stuff, and it feels very cathartic to share. So thanks for listening!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

First Blog Weigh-In

Ta-da! Seriously, I'm so low tech that I'm amazingly proud of anything I add to this blog.

Anyway, first weigh in posted over there on the right! 156.6. Around a year ago I was at 175, and the beginning of October I was around 163, so I'm feeling pretty darn good about this.

I'm actually a bit nervous about putting my weight out there. Makes me feel some pressure for next week. But I guess that's the whole point, right? Accountability. Gotta love it.

Have a lovely Wednesday! Don't eat the leftover Halloween candy!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Grind

I learned a very interesting tidbit at the dentist today. I’ve been a chronic tooth grinder for awhile. My dentist noticed it about 2 or 3 years ago, but I suspect it was going on for awhile before that. I was talking to my dental hygienist at my cleaning this morning, and she said that grinding cases have shot up in the last 30 years. It was very rare in the 80’s, but now its commonplace. It had been attributed to more stressful jobs and work environments, but apparently there have been some recent studies that show that it is also affected by the amount of sugar and starch in people’s diets. All that added sugar and starch raises the acidity level in the blood which affects the ability of the muscles in the body to relax properly. So our muscles are constantly tense, even when we sleep. I’m not a doctor, and I in no way claim to be an expert on any of this, but common sense tells me that any huge shifts in diet like we’ve had in the last 50 or so years are going to affect our bodies in unforeseen ways. I just couldn't get over it. You really are what you eat and it's so important to eat real wholesome foods so you don't get some random health issue like tooth grinding. Who knew?!

On a totally different topic, I'm going to start posting weight this week. I actually weigh in 3 times a week - Monday, Wednesday, Friday - but I'll just share one of them a week. I think I'll go with Wednesday and see how it goes. I'm not a huge fan of focusing on my weight, but for the purpose of a blog it makes sense. You all need to see some tangible evidence that I'm actually doing something, and I'm not completely comfortable posting pictures quite yet.

Here's a very short background of my weight gain (I've been trying to put together a post about my history, but my weight has been an issue my whole life, so I'm trying to condense it down for you. Nice of me, right?). I started really trying to lose weight when I was 22 years old and 205 pounds. I think I was down from a high around 215 or so (I had stopped weighing myself completely). I had put most of it on in college with beer and horrible food, but I managed to get my eating under control when I lived by myself after college ended. I actually lost the vast majority of weight around 6 years ago (50lbs), met a boy, got married, and gained around 20lbs back. I've almost taken that 20lbs off, and from there I would like to lose another 20lbs to be at 135. I seriously can't get over that number, especially now that it seems so close. 20lbs is a ways to go for me. I tend to lose quite slowly with the intention of keeping it off forever, and I've been pretty successful with it. But 135. I can't wrap my head around what I would even look like - I think I was in the 4th or 5th grade when I weighed that much. Maybe.

So I hope you'll all help me out for the last 23-ish pounds (we'll know tomorrow). I think sometimes that getting so close to the end is the hardest part. You can almost taste it (ha, ironic) but it seems to hover just out of reach. I want to get there and I want it to last.