Wednesday, November 18, 2009

19 weeks and a new goal

What is there to say?  The past month was a roller coaster for me with my eating/working out.  I'd be on track for a few days, then off, then on, then off.  Throw in some vacation eating and you've got me feeling all sorts of bad about myself and my progress.  March 31st will be one year and I'd love to be at my goal weight.  I know I can do it, people have lost 100 lbs in a year for goodness sakes!

Weighing in Saturday morning (I wrote this then and forgot about it!), I have 25ish lbs to go (which freakin' sucks because I got down to 21 lbs to go and threw that out the window), and 19 weeks until the end of March.  Obviously, this is totally doable, just over a pound a week and I'll be there.  I CAN DO IT.  Duh, I know I can do it, but will I let myself succeed?  Will I push myself and make the right choices when I'd rather sit on my butt and eat pumpkin pie and wine (ahem, Friday night...)?  Yesterday I flubbed it up again, but I'm human and this is real life, and I made the choices yesterday, even though they were bad ones.  I can and will make the good choices.

I am going to start doing weekly weigh ins, putting it out there for the world to see.  Notice I didn't post on here this last month?  It's because I was gaining weight!  I need to hold myself accountable and put it in writing even though I hate that.

Here's what I'll be doing to reach my goal:

*20-30 min morning walk with the dog every day
*Alternating cardio/strength training in evenings, at least 30 min 5 days/week - combo of elliptical, stationary bike, or 30DS at home, treadmill and stair stepper at gym, and Sparkpeople strength training videos
*Sticking with The Daily Plate daily calorie guide of 1,331, adjusting to eating more if I feel my body needs it if I have an extra long workout
*Tracking with The Daily Plate
*Weigh in weekly and post

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Starting Over. Again.

I may have to go back to tracking, ugh.  Not forever, but to get myself back on track because I've been crazy again with my eating.  Late night snacking, no portion control, candy, you name it.  Why?  I don't really know.  I think maybe it's because I feel good about how I look and I don't have those 'I really need to lose weight' thoughts chasing me.  I think it was easier when I was heavier and had more weight to lose, because I was really, really motivated.  I made it into the healthy BMI range and I think I gave up.  I still have 20+ pounds to go, and I do feel like I'm still carrying around excess weight, so giving up now really isn't an option.  Plus, weight aside, I know how much better I feel when I eat right, and I know how energized I am when I get regular excercise.  I can't let myself get sidetracked again because this is about my health and that is the top priority.  I need to treat my body with respect and give it what it needs, and everything else will come with that.

I left home early this morning to go to the gym (new development, free gym membership through work!) where I powerwalked with a high incline, then did the stairmaster, and back to the tradmill before rushing off to work.  It was great!  I ate my breakfast of oats, dates, PB, and walnuts and now I'm snacking on grapes - delicious!  Why do I even think that crap food will make me feel better?  THIS is what makes me feel good!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Comments and other good stuff

Comments now work, just in case anyone out there in the crazy large world of blogging finds their way over here and wants to say anything :)

I made a decision - I am going to be a weekly weigher!  I weighed myself this morning and that's it until next Thursday.  I'm taking a cue from Syl and hiding the scale, although I don't think I can hold out for a month.  Maybe, we'll see, but I'm taking it one step at a time.  Obviously, I'm stressed out, and I started thinking that maybe weighing myself every day isn't helping that.  I need to focus more on 'me' and how to relate to food in a healthy way rather than thinking of food with a weight loss mindset. 

I've been doing good with not tracking - I eat basically the same amount, but I'm not stressing out at the end of the night about whether or not my calories are on par with the all powerful DailyPlate.  It's working really well so far, I've still been losing weight (although my little candy freakout didn't really help at all), but if it stops working for me (I start gaining weight or something) I will definitely go back to counting and tracking.  I think that the 6 months of almost daily tracking really helped me get an idea of what I'm eating and correct portion sizes and that is what has enabled me to not need to track currently.

Yesterday, I was really healthy with my meals, but I did not exercise.  At lunch I chose to read a book and at night I chose to knit instead of doing some cardio.  That's fine, I can make choices, and that worked for me last night.  This morning however, I was feeling the need to exercise and it started my day off great!  I did some Sparkpeople videos, a mix of cardio and strength training, and I think I'm going to take a long walk during my lunch break. 

I feel a million times better than I did at the beginning of the week and I think a lot of that has to do with some of the stuff that was majorly stressing me out being resolved, but I really think that my negative changes in behavior kept brought me down even more and when I started eating right again that helped bring my spirits back up.  If only I could remember this kind of stuff when I'm headed down the rabbit hole into stressville.  I need to remember to come back here and read this and not give into the temptation to eat my feelings next time stress hits because it just makes me feel worse.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Hmmm, for some reason the comments aren't working.  Heather at HEAB clued me into this a few weeks ago and I thought I fixed it by getting rid of the word verification.  Just tested it and NOPE!  Must figure this out...

Feeling Better

So, I feel a little more normal now, but the majority of that is most likely related to one of the things that was majorly stressing me out being mostly resolved as of this morning.  Why do I have to be one of the 'I eat crap food when I'm stressed people' and not one of the 'I exercise and feel better because of the endorphins' people?  Maybe the exercise people are really the food people who have trained themselves?  Will I always be a food stress person?  Can I overcome that, can I switch over?  I hope so, and I'd really like to.  I wonder if there's a book on that or something...

Bad Days

I feel a little better now, but I've got a massive stomach ache and I'm royally pissed at myself.  Why?  Because for the past three nights I've eaten my sorrows in the form of complete crap, mostly candy, and I hate that I did that.  I've hit a wall with all of the stressors in my life and I just lost it.  Totally and completely lost it.  I know how it happened, I was stressed to the max about things I cannot control and I can control what I eat so I did that.  I didn't control it in a healthy way, of course.  Why do I turn to crap food when I feel bad/stressed?  It doesn't help me with my goals and it doesn't even leave me feeling good.  I went from feeling like I could accomplish anything on Friday to feeling like the weakest person on the planet today.  I know that I need to cowgirl up and dust myself off but right now I almost don't want to.  Today I will eat healthy and get in some exercise tonight, but I don't really feel like it, and that is what I hate.  I want to want to eat healthy and exercise, like I did before, I just don't know how to break out of this funk and stop stressing out.  All I know is that this is not a solution to my problems and it's not helping me out at all.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I did it!

I did something I never thought I'd do.

I did something I joked about never doing my whole life and instead of doing something about it I figured I'd never, ever do it.

I did something that even when I started working toward it seemed unattainable.

I did something that some people (including my husband) may not fully appreciate the amazingness of.


I can't even believe it, and I'm still a little in shock, but most of all I am SO proud of myself!

I have never run a mile.  Ever.  Not in middle school, or high school, or when I played tennis or soccer.  When I was younger, I had a big growth spurt that messed up the growth of my knees so if I ran they would bang together and cause swelling and bruising.  That created a big note for P.E., and combined with pretty bad asthma (that I, again, had a note for) meant that I never had to run the mile.  I enjoyed not running the mile, I loved that I didn't have to do it.  In high school I didn't have to take P.E. because I was on the tennis team and when we had to run before practice I'd totally fake it because we ran around the school and out of sight.  Whenever I had to run, I'd sprint, and I was actually pretty fast, but I couldn't sustain it.

Yesterday, I did it!

The reason I'm so shocked is because I have not been very dedicated to my C25K program and I don't think I've ever tried to run for over a week because of the heat (excuses, excuses).  I went out on my lunch break with the intent to walk around this old track by work. 

I walked 1/2 mile and suddenly had the urge to run, so I did, with no timer or goal or plan.  As I passed 1/4 mile I still felt good, so I kept at it.  I thought to myself, wouldn't it be great to run 1/2 mile?  I couldn't believe it as I was running.  I couldn't believe I was still moving and I didn't feel like dying.  At 3/4 of a mile I could feel myself wearing down a bit, but the fact that I was still running made me feel amazing.  Amazing!

As I passed the mile point I was literally talking to myself, congratulating myself, telling myself how proud I was.  Thankfully no one was around, but really, who cares?  I honestly don't know if I've ever been more proud of myself. 

I know that to a lot of people running a mile is just a warm up, and I hope that someday I will be one of those people, but right now I feel so amazing for accomplishing something I truly never thought I'd be able to.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Would you like some tea with that sugar?

Now, I'm not from the south, but I like my iced tea sweet.  Not sweet tea sweet, but I definitely put a pack (or 2 or 3) of sugar in each glass.  I then moved on to Splenda, not so much for the reduction of calories, but because it mixed in easier.  Hot tea, on the other hand, I can drink plain, no sugar necessary.  Why is that?  That's the question I finally asked myself on Monday night when I decided to not sweeten my iced tea.  It was just fine!  Sure, I still like it sweetened, but that can be a once in a while thing when I really want something sweet, not every time and every glass.  I know there are people out there who think Splenda and other no-calorie sweeteners are evil, and although I'm not one of them, I do recognize that putting artificial ingredients into my body isn't the best thing.

Another thing I started trying to do this week is listen to my body more.  While I haven't been able to stop the mental calorie counting, I haven't been tracking it online and I'm trying to eat what I want, when I want, no more, no less.  With tracking online, I would see that I could still eat a certain number of calories left and I'd either eat something to make the 'quota' even though I wasn't really hungry, or I'd worry that I wasn't eating enough.  On other days, if I knew I ate too much I wouldn't track at all because I didn't want to see the numbers staring back at me and the words "you were over your calorie limit for the day."  I like tracking and I think it's very important to be conscious of what you're eating and how that fits in with your goals, but I think I'm ready to try doing it on my own.  I've done pretty well so far, I think.  Last night I mentally approximated everything and had a few hundred calories left over, but I wasn't hungry, so I didn't eat anything.  I hope this keeps working for me, although I definitely still look up nutritional info before I go somewhere new or eat something that isn't labeled because I feel the need to still have an idea, and I do mentally still tally things up.

This post is brought to you by Jamba Juice for fueling my morning with their delicious oatmeal after Starbucks' Vivanno smoothie was yucky and I didn't have anything to eat breakfast at work.

Monday, September 28, 2009


This past week I've done well with both exercise and nutrition, but I've been feeling a little blah. Don't really know what that's about, but I'm keeping with it and I'm sure my funk will resolve shortly.

Today is my day off of work and I've been sitting on my butt for way too much already today. I almost like days that I work because I always make sure to exercise beforehand and if not I always push myself to move more during the day and then exercise when I get home. On my off days I don't really have any structure and I don't think I move around as much. I like that I can do longer, different, more fun exercise sessions, but I usually stall all morning instead of doing it first thing which would energize me. Must work on that! I'm not sure what the plan is for today, I was thinking about taking the dog for a hike but its still pretty hot here and part of me wants to just stay inside where it is a lot cooler.

My ticker shows a 40lb loss right now which is amazing! It has me thinking a lot lately though because I don't feel like I weigh 40lbs less, or I should say that I don't feel like I ever weighed 40lbs more. I feel really good but I think most of that comes from the increase in exercise vs the weight loss. It seems overwhelming that I have 25 lbs left to lose, but I've broken it down into smaller sections in my head. All I'm concentrating on is the first 5lbs because once I cross that line I'll start having less than 20lbs to go. That seems a lot more reasonable to me. Last week the scale bumped up after my not so awesome few days of eating crap and when it didn't bounce right back I freaked out a little bit. Once the numbers went back to normal I breathed a sigh of relief but then caught myself. This isn't a race. I don't have a date in mind that I want to lose the weight by and I need to realize that the closer I get to my goal the longer it will take for those last pounds to come off. I need to relaaaaax and focus on my overall health and the weight loss will come with it. I'm writing that down so I don't forget!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Me - 1, Movie Theater - 0

Yesterday was my two year wedding anniversary! We went to a cute little coastal town and cashed in a gift certificate we had for a semi fancy Italian restaurant and I didn't count calories. I probably ate way too much carbs, but I decided not to worry about it, but to also not go overboard. I was really full, but not stuffed to the brim and I don't fell like I went overboard at all. We drove home afterward and contemplated going to a movie. By the time we got home and picked a movie time it had been a good 5 1/2 hours since lunch. That will tell you how filling the meal was!

So, I know that going to the movies is a big overeating trigger for me. I know this, and as much as I try to avoid that nagging feeling as I walk into a movie theater that I need to buy/eat something, I usually give in. Even if I just ate dinner, which is totally ridiculous.

Yesterday, I decided, was a different day. No slacking off because I'm celebrating. No overeating because it's a special day. No way, jose.

With an hour to go before the movie I decided to exercise! My husband might have given me the side eye for that one, but I did some strength training and about 20 min of cardio. It felt great!

As I got dressed and ready to go (red face and all), I thought about how I'd feel once I got to the theater. Why do I have the need to eat something while watching a movie? I know it's a bad habit, but the second the previews start I have the urge to stuff my face. I know I can get through two hours without eating, it's not mission impossible. I figured I would have the craving once we got to the theater even though I still wasn't hungry, so I took some time and grabbed a yogurt, some grapes, and, don't kill me, the very last bit of licorice in that massive bag. I also filled up my water bottle so that soda wouldn't be my only option if I was thirty. I ended up making us a few minutes late with all of this advance planning, but we still made the beginning of the movie. It worked! I think just having healthy snacks with me cut down on the urge to head to the snack bar, but I didn't even eat them. I listened to my body and I still wasn't hungry. I drank my whole bottle of water, so I must have been really thirsty, but man am I proud of myself. I will definitely do this again, so that if I do get hungry I can reach for something that won't kill me and not give in to the snacky craving. I just need to plan a bit more in advance so that we can see all of the previews!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


So...I post all about motivation and then totally abandon the blog for 4 days.

I was a little discouraged because I went a little crazy at the drive-in the night before that post (finishing off the rest of that giant bag of licorice) and then even after I jumped back on the healthy train the scale stayed put at a higher #. Usually if I have a bad day/night the next morning the scale is up but then it goes back to normal the second day. Not this time. It really discouraged me, and I got to thinking about how much I rely on the scale. Now it is back to normal as I've been back on track for 4 days, but maybe weighing myself every morning isn't the best. I can't seem to not though. When I was on vacation I didn't weigh myself for almost two weeks and I wasn't freaking out, and I've contemplated doing the once a week thing, but honestly, I like seeing the numbers every morning. I like seeing that when I eat well, drink lots of water and get some exercise the number goes down. When I'm lazy or eat crap the number stays the same or bumps up temporarily. I think it helps keep me on track every day in a way. Maybe I'll try out once a week and see how it goes, because I know everyone is against daily weighing.

Speaking of the scale, I'm almost to the "normal" BMI range, which I know is a BS way to judge health but it's an important milestone, at least in the eyes of Kaiser. It will be so nice to not get a little note at the bottom of any medical printouts that mention that I'm overweight and therefor at serious risk for everything under the sun. The only problem is that I've always said I'm a certain height and now I'm thinking I may be closer to an inch shorter from the last time the Dr. measured me. I'm so uncool, but if I can find a ruler or tape measure I might have my husband check for me. An inch is a big difference in the magical BMI scale, ya know.

In non-weight news, I have been upping my daily exercise and it feels great! In the past few days I have come upon a lot of situations where I am given the opportunity to sit and read a magazine and wait for 20-30 minutes. What have I been doing? Walking instead! Setting an alarm and just walking around and exploring instead of sitting on my butt. I know that it is little changes like this that will help with long term weight maintenance and I'm enjoying it so far. Sure, sometimes I just want to sit on my butt but I do enough of that at night when I'm watching t.v. with my husband. I need to move more and I might as well do it when I have nothing else to do for 20 minutes. Also, I've started watching SparkPeople fitness videos again for cardio/strength training when it has been too hot to exercise outside. My running hasn't really been happening this week. I just can't do it in the heat, so I've been sticking to inside stuff for now.

Friday, September 18, 2009


What motivates you? That was the question Annabel at Feed Me I'm Cranky asked last week. You can read the answers here, here, and here, including mine:

"I have a lot motivating me, but I’d say my #1 motivation is…me! I decided to start getting fit and healthy for myself and I love how much better I feel and how much more energy I have. That’s what really keeps me going, although my dog and being a good role model for my future kids motivates me as well!"

"Me"...does that sound weird? I thought about it a lot, and it's true. I decided to start this journey for no one other than myself. Sure, I was thinking about the family reunion in June where I'd most likely be persuaded into a bathing suit, but last July I went to Mexico for a reunion of sorts and was on a beach in my suit for a week and I didn't even attempt to get fit for that. I did it for me, I wanted to feel better and feel better about myself and I'm the one pushing myself every day, stopping myself when I want to chow down on crap (most days), deciding to go work out on lunch instead of sitting and reading for an hour.

I love my husband, I love him so much and I love that he has never made one comment about my weight. I met him when we were both a lot thinner and when I look at him I don't see him as any bigger than the day we met. Maybe that's what he thinks about me? Maybe he's just really nice? Thankfully he's honest enough to tell me the truth when I ask him if something isn't super flattering or if the pockets on a pair of jeans I like make my butt look enormous. I love him for that, and so I want to believe answer #1, that he sees me the same as when we met. Anyway, he never made me feel any less attractive as I gained the love pounds, the moving in together pounds, the engagement pounds, or the newlywed pounds. As much as I love him for that, it wasn't much of a motivator to get up and lose the weight I needed to lose.

I actually didn't feel bad about my weight 90% of the time. I felt loved and happy and confident, and when I looked in the mirror, I didn't see myself as fat, overweight, obese. I got sick and tired of feeling winded though, of only having a few shirts I'd feel comfortable wearing, of feeling cute and confident but then seeing a photo of myself and realizing I'm so much bigger than what I see in the mirror. I went to the doctor for a checkup and got a talk about needing to lose weight, especially from my thighs. I tried to get a prescription refill for an inhaler and the doctor insisted I was just out of shape, that I didn't have exercise induced asthma. I was outraged, but I didn't make any changes for a while. I think it all built up and I finally reached my breaking point.

My dog keeps me going now too because he's become my exercise partner and he's gotten used to more walks and more exercise. I can't let him down!

My future kids - not even really on the horizon yet, but I want to set a good example. I want to be a fit mom and I want to lead them by example. I want us to have move around and get fun exercise and eat healthy because it is delicious and good for us, not because mommy want to lose weight. I don't want weight to be an issue. I want to teach my kids positive body image and to love themselves. I want my kids to thrive. One of my goals is to be at my goal weight and be able to maintain that for a while before we try to have kids. I want exercise to be a solid part of my daily routine so that I can have a fit, healthy pregnancy and hopefully bounce back faster.

I feel so motivated now just by writing this! I feel so, so, SO much better since I have started this journey and that is the #1 think motivating me right now. Looks aside, I feel like a totally different person. I feel like I can bike 6 miles (like we did on that family reunion) or hike for three hours, or RUN! I can't wait to see where this journey continues to take me, but I know that it will just keep getting better and better.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Jumped off the wagon

I didn't just fall off the wagon last night, I jumped off. It was bad.

I was hungry all day and even though I drank tons of water and ate when I was hungry (healthy snacks with protein and fiber) I was still hungry afterwards. I kept thinking I was bored and I didn't really feel stressed, so I figured it couldn't be emotional hunger.

My husband came home and suggested we head to Chevy's. Now, I know Chevy's is a weakness for me, with the endless chips/salsa, the delicious margaritas, the build your own shrimp fajitas. We used to go there a lot over the past few years until we realized how much $ we were spending on eating out, and what it was doing to our waistlines. It sounded delicious though and I've never left there feeling hungry so I knew it would solve my endless tummy problem.

We get there and I go right for the chips. I let myself, I didn't even try to hold myself back. I order water, but then notice that they have my favorite mango margaritas as their seasonal special so we get one of those to split. I get the shrimp fajita like the good old days and savor every bite. It was goooooood. Calories counting has been out the window from the first salty warm chip. I didn't finish everything on my plate because I felt stuffed. I haven't felt stuffed like that in a long time and really it's not a great feeling at all, although I liked not feeling hungry anymore.

Did I stop there? You'd think, but you'd be wrong.

We had to stop into Target and the candy section pulled me over. Can we get licorice, I asked my husband, part of me hoping he'd say no. They only had a giant bag and he tried to convince me that maybe I wanted to get the tiny bag of red swedish fish instead. No way, I could taste the red vines already, there was no stopping me now. I ripped into the bag in the car and ate away, even though I was full. Now, I recognized that I was emotionally eating, but it didn't stop me. I had some more licorice once we got home and finally put the bag away.

Then it hit, the feeling of being so upset with myself for giving in to emotional eating. Looking back and realizing I have been dealing with it all day and I totally gave in at dinner and with my licorice frenzy. My tummy hurt, I was mad at myself, I was not fun to be around. Why do I do this? It is so frusterating and I feel like I'm sabotaging myself. I am sabotaging myself. I have been so good with not giving in to emotional eating, and I've come so far, but this is not going to help me at all. I keep thinking that I'm under a lot of stress and in the next few months everything will clear up and this will be a lot easier, but I know that this is something I need to overcome for good. I think I'll head to the library to pick up some books on emotional eating so I can work toward kicking this thing to the curb for good.

Today is a new day, I got in a walk with the dog this morning and I did C25K week 2 (most of it at least) and ran up and down some bleachers a few times. I feel good, I just wish every day could be like this, and days like yesterday wouldn't exist. I worry that I feel so much better today because of what happened yesterday, because I got out all of my frustrations and got mad at myself. I don't want to have to go through a big emotional eating blowout every time to feel cleansed and ready for a fresh start. This is definitely something I still need to work on.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Time for some froyo!

So, I have a slight obsession with the new Froyo craze. It's basically what I want for lunch every day and I'd say I have it about once a week. I used to work right next to a Pinkberry so that was my place of choice, but now I've branched out to other places in the area. My current favorite froyo joint is near my work and is a tiny little place called Frutti. Why they're my favorite? I almost always get plain tart yogurt with fruit, usually mango and strawberries, and when I ordered mango here the woman behind the counter realized they were getting low said "I'll go cut up a fresh mango for you" and she did! It was SO delicious and I have yet to have toppings that good since. The actual yogurt was creamy and amazing too.

Today as I was driving around I got that feeling in my tummy, that "I need something to eat and that something is froyo" feeling and of course there are froyo places on every corner so it wasn't hard to satisfy my craving. I'll just get a little, I said to myself as I entered. Once I started using the self serve machines I shifted my thinking and decided this could be part of my dinner. I went all out with original tart, taro, lychee, and green tea yogurt flavors and added strawberries, kiwi, mochi, and red beans. As I walked out I had a mountain of froyo and boy was I excited.
It was not good, at all :( None of the flavors were spectacular and half weren't even edible really. The strawberries and kiwi were good, so I ate that, and the beans and mochi tasted really stale. There is still more than half of it left and the cup is now in the freezer because I didn't want to waste it. Maybe my husband will eat it?

So far I've visited Pinkberry, Frutti, Penguin, Yogurtland, Blush, Froyo?, Fraiche, and now Yogurt Twist which is the only one I wouldn't go back to and unfortunately (or fortunately!) the closest one to my house.

The one thing that bothers me about the froyo thing is that every time I visit a froyo store they are touting it as a miracle food. Helps weight loss/management! Boosts metabolism! Regulates your body! Probiotics! What they're not talking about is the calories or sugar content, or that there is a huge difference between the original tart yogurt and the cookies & cream soft serve nutritionally. I always look up nutritional info online before I go to a new froyo place, or I ask when I get there because it can really add up. I'm fine eating a lot of froyo, but I have to know if its a snack or most of my meal. There were two families there when I went this afternoon and in both the kids were topping their froyo with gummi worms, chocolate sauce, cookie crumbles, and I really hope the parents aren't thinking its a healthy snack just because it says so all over the walls.

My husband actually makes froyo from scratch at home, and it is delicious, but it doesn't have the same smooth consistency. Maybe I'll have to work with him to perfect the recipe, it'll save me some $ and dissapointment!

Gosh, I love froyo.

I'm going mad, mad about pumpkin!

I made a comment to my husband yesterday about realizing I'm going to to gain all of the weight back this fall. My reason: Pumpkin! Pumpkin pie and bars, pumpkin muffins and bread, pumpkin smoothies and lattes!

I love pumpkin and I love fall, and as I see the slow introduction to pumpkin mania starting I am getting excited, although a little hesitant. I know I can hold myself back and not eat every pumpkin flavored thing in sight but do I want to? Of course I want to, I want to continue losing weight and getting healthier, but I also want to stuff my face with pumpkin bread as I consume a pumpkin spice latte (non fat, no whip, of course haha).

So there's my dilemma, and I think the only solution I can come up with is that I'm going to have to improvise at home and make healthier versions of the pumpkin goodness I love. With this solution comes another dilemma though - now, instead of having one slice of pumpkin bread available I will have a loaf. This will be a big test in self control!

So, here are the recipes that I've found so far to make, most of them from GreenLiteBites, an awesome, healthy recipe blog by the wonderful Roni of Roni's Weigh (such a great blog if you haven't checked it out before):

I'm really not a cook, but I do like to bake so once the weather cools down just a little bit more I'll start trying these out and post back with how it goes!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Feelin' Groovy

I got my hair cut today and I feel fantastic! It's not even that different, just a trim (trying to grow it out) and some layers added around my face, but it definitely put a bounce in my step. I need to remember to pamper myself more often, whether it be taking the time to paint my nails, getting a trim or putting together outfit I feel great in. It really gave me a boost, and it's nice to take some me time.

Speaking of feeling good, I need to get more jeans. Since I started losing weight I've given myself a $10 limit for jean purchases because they tend to start getting baggy and I start feeling frumpy. I don't want them to be super tight, but when they're baggy in all the wrong places after a while I start feeling, hate to say it, fat. I hate feeling that way and generally I have pretty good self confidence, even when I weighed 40lbs more, but that always signals that it's time to get some new pants. I've been going to Goodwill and finding cute jeans in great condition but when I went today I didn't find anything :( I'm going to head to another nearby one tomorrow but if I don't find anything I may break my "budget" and head to Target or something. I plan on splurging on some really great, super amazingly flattering jeans and dropping the cash once I reach my goal weight but it doesn't make any sense to me to keep spending $$$ on something I'll outgrow in a month or so.

We went to Costco tonight and stocked up on lots of delicious, healthy goodies. I love going grocery shopping, it always gets me psyched for the week but sometimes I get overwhelmed with all of the choices I suddenly have!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ugh, what a failure

I know I'm not a failure, I know, I know, but calorie wise this day is a total failure and its only 2pm.

How did I let this happen, you ask?

It all started off this morning when I drove 30 miles north before work to help my dad with a project. Afterward I went to my favorite little smoothie joint for breakfast. Calories listed on the wall, score! I made my decision, the 320 cal fruit filled beauty known as the Very-Berry. I debated the bars and breakfast sandwiches and at the last moment added on a scoop of protein powder because I had doubts that the smoothie would keep me full through my morning meetings and into lunch time. I tried to guess how much protein powder would add... 50 cal? 70? I had no idea so I asked and they said they buy the powder at Costco and dump it in a container so they don't have the bag with the nutritional info. Fine, I said, it can't be that bad for me. I mean, it's protein. Protein is always good, right?

I had some time to kill before driving back to work so I walked around the cute downtown area. Go me, getting in some extra exercise! As I walked I past not one, not two, but three donut shops. I don't eat donuts, except for the very rare occasion when I am absolutely craving them (always comes out of nowhere, like today). I love carbs, I love bread, but I don't really love donuts. Today I wanted donuts. My mouth was nearly watering as I peeked in and then kept walking, each donut store creating a bigger pull. Miraculously, I resisted! I got in the car, still enjoying my smoothie, and I felt confident and proud.

Until I got to my meeting. Donuts in a box may have lured me, had there been any. No, my very favorite coworker sat down next to me with an unmarked white bag. "I brought you something," she said with a smile as she pulled the largest donut I've ever seen out. A s'mores donut, no less, topped with marshmallow fluff, graham crackers, and a drizzle of chocolate. I ate it. I didn't shove it down my throat but over the course of the two hour meeting it dissapeared and I am to blame. It was absolutely amazingly delicious and will satisfy my donut craving until next year but here it sits, still in my stomach hours later, my body confused about what to do with so much sugar. That thing probably contained more sugar than I eat in a week. I can tell you this, as much as I enjoyed it in the moment I am not the picture of alertness right now, I am definitely in some sort of food/sugar coma.

So, I look up protein powder - 150 cal/scoop! That brings my smoothie to almost 500 cal, holy moly! I tried to look up nutritional info for the donut shop online, but no dice. I called them (how lame am I?) and the owner will be getting back to me with the nutritional info. So now, I wait, but I'm pretty darn sure that I'm at or over my cals for the day. I looked up Krispie Kreme and found their info, but I really think that this monstrosity was twice the size of one of theirs and piled with way more stuff on top. Ugh.

I'm not falling into one of my old habits though, a habit that I've heard many people have - just because I messed up the beginning of my day does not give me license to give up on the rest of the day. I can't just pig out because "it doesn't matter anyway" or "I'm already over my calories, what does it matter what I eat now?" I'm not hungry for lunch yet (how could I be? I have a pound of donut sitting in my belly!) but when I am I will eat a smaller, healthy lunch with a lot of veggies. When I get home I'll work out, and then have a nice, healthy dinner... and maybe work out some more, haha :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Titling this post made me reminisce about Brad Paisley...

I am medicine and I am poison
I can help you up or make you fall
you had some of the best times
you'll never remember with me

Since I began my weight loss/health journey I have cut way back on my alcohol consumption. That's not to say I drank like a fish before, but I drank socially and had the occasional glass of wine after work with dinner. Once I became more conscious of everything I was putting in my body I realized that alcohol is really just empty calories that I don't need, and I haven't had anything to drink in a while.

Two nights ago, we decided to make a delicious salad and have light brie and artichoke/parmesan dip with the most amazing french bread. Wine seemed like the perfect accompaniment so I had a glass of Riesling with dinner. It was weird not having only water with dinner! After dinner my husband came up with the brilliant idea to make vodka slushies out of Trader Joe's pink lemonade and after trying a sip of his I had one of my own.

Bad idea, no bueno. Sure, it tasted good as I was drinking it, all sugary and with no actual taste of alcohol, but I went to bed with both my head and stomach hating me. The next morning, I still had that icky feeling. Not a hangover, but my body being utterly pissed at me. No more alcohol for me, I declared! My husband tried to reason that the large amounts of bread and cheese we consummed probably were part of the problem but I would never, ever scorn freshly baked amazing bread and creamy brie like that (even though deep down I knew he had to be at least a little right). I'm sure if I stuck with the glass of Riesling and a little less bread/cheese I would have been fine, but that drink just pushed me over the edge.

I couldn't help but think of how my body must have changed over these last few months, and even though I'm a wee bit bummed that the nights of late night partying may now be long gone, feeling great when I wake up in the morning is well worth it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Well that was humbling...

I finally moved into week 2 of C25K! I can definitely feel the difference between running 60 and 90 seconds, and it's not as fun right now but I know once I get used to it I'll like it as much as week 1. I'm hoping, at least!

Since I didn't get on the exercise bike last night (Rags was feeling a little under the weather, most likely due to stress from his adventure, and I just wanted to be lazy with him) I decided I'd take advantage of my hour lunch break today by getting some exercise in. The hour lunch break is one of the many perks with my new job and I need to utilize the time. It's not like it takes an hour to eat lunch and if I don't watch out I may end up shopping for an hour like I did last week.

The only problem = red face. I get really, really flushed when I exercise and now as I sit at my desk I look like a tomato. Not cute. Any solutions? I need to figure something out, but I'm thinking there might not be a cure.

About two long blocks away from where I work is a high school with a gorgeous new track and I couldn't wait to try it out. I've never actually run on a track before that I can recall, so this was all new. Even with the lack of shade there was a nice breeze and I was confident and ready to go. 5 minute warm up done, I got two intervals in when I hear a stampede of adolescents behind me. Apparently P.E. starts at 1:30 and running the track was on today's agenda. Not wanting to get in their way but also not done with my exercise I got off the track and headed to the bleachers to run up and down for a while. While on the bleachers I couldn't help but notice how fast they were running. Even the kids who didn't dress for P.E. and had to run in jeans and chucks were running faster that I had and they made it look effortless! I know it's not a competition, but man, I wish I could run like that.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Dinner Woes

I've been wanting to write about a lot of things lately, and ideas have been swirling through my head throughout the day, but then when I have the time and sit down to write I draw a blank. Ugh.

I've gotten on the stationary bike two nights in a row now and I'm going for #3 tonight. We purchased the bike a few years ago and we use it sporatically. It's not my favorite piece of equipment as I feel like I'm just sitting there and not really doing much, but I love that I can bring my laptop out into the garage and watch a movie while I bike. I just have to watch something that I've either seen before or something mindless because I've noticed that my pace will slow down a lot if I'm trying to follow a storyline.

That combined with really being aware of what I'm putting in my body (not just calories, but grabbing for the whole grains, fruit, veggies, lean meat etc) has really been making a difference on the scale.

My only problem is dinner. Breakfast and lunch I have down, I have a range of choices that I know are good for me and are quick and easy to make, but when it comes to dinner I always feel at a loss. There either isn't anything in the house that I want, everything takes too long, I don't have the right ingredients, or what I'm craving isn't the healthiest.

My husband usually makes dinner (I'm so lucky!) and while he is not as health conscious as I am he generally makes pretty healthy food without even thinking about it. Portions are where we have a problem because he makes big portions and eats a lot. Like last night he made brown rice and his take on chile verde with low fat coconut milk. He got low carb heart healthy tortillas, low fat sour cream, and all natural guacamole to go with it. Delicious! As he piled a burrito high I knew that I couldn't match him bite for bite like I used to when we were dating. I put together a small plate with a little of everything, but no tortilla and I ate it slowly and savored every bite. When he got seconds, I almost got up after him but stopped myself. Was I even hungry still? No. Did I want more? Yes! It was delicious, of course I wanted more! I listened to my body, and even though I didn't love the answer I felt a lot better afterwards as I enjoyed some Rooibos tea and the feeling of being satisfied but not stuffed to the brim.

I'm so close to the 40lbs lost mark, I can smell it!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

So Happy!

Our baby is safe and sound, back at home curled under my feet as I type this! We're still fuzzy on the details of where he was and for how long, but it doesn't even matter. Someone 6 long blocks away had him and called animal control sometime last night for them to pick him up. It looks like he got into a bit of a fight, he has marks above and below his right eye, but nothing major and we feel very, very fortunate that he is okay. I have never been so worried nor so relieved in my life!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Crushed Pt. 2

He wasn't there.

We're going to make signs and plaster them all around the neighborhood, and keep checking in with the shelters in the area.

I really, really, really hope we find him soon.


I don't know where my dog is.

We left our house for an hour and 15 minutes last night and had the dog in the backyard because it was really hot inside and we thought he'd be more comfortable. We double checked the gate in our driveway, made sure the lock was engaged. When we returned someone had pried open the gate, lock and all, and our baby was gone.

We drove all around the neighborhood, and asked our neighbors, but saw nothing. The animal shelter couldn't help us because it was after hours, so I am counting the minutes until they open in an hour and a half. He has to be there, he just has to. He is such a big part of our life, he is our baby, my first dog, my running partner, my snuggle buddy.

I am trying to stay positive, hoping that someone picked him up and brought him into the shelter last night or this morning. I just want him safe, I want him home with us.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Thoughts on maintaining

I have been really good this past week, with the one exception of movie date night on Saturday where I got out of work too late to eat something beforehand and ended up with a dinner of movie theater popcorn and candy. Ugh, it just sat in my stomach all night. What is it about movie theater popcorn, that smell? Even if I go to the movies with a full stomach once I smell that popcorn my stomach starts grumbling for it. We're been really good lately, making sure to eat a full meal before heading to the movies so that we're not tempted (well, we're tempted, but not being truly hungry helps so that we don't give into the temptation). Good for the belly, good for the wallet too!

As I sit at work today there is a Greek salad calling my name from the fridge that my coworker left for me, but I don't have a fork :( So, so sad. I brought my faithful PB&J so I'll survive and bring it home for dinner.

I am on the cusp of entering a new set of 10s with my weight loss. I was getting a little cranky yesterday because I just want to be done. I want to be at my goal weight and only having to worry about maintaining that. I think I'm just in a lazy little mood which is contributing to that, but I know I won't be done when I'm maintaining. I put on this weight way too quickly (for someone who isn't pregnant at least!) and I don't want to make it to my goal weight and just become a lazy bum who eats non stop again. That's why I'm doing C25K and trying to make exercise and being active part of my everyday life, not just for now for my weight loss, but for the rest of my life. It should be interesting to see what it feels like to actually be at my goal weight, I'm really curious. I'm also curious about how my eating habits will change. I really like the foods that I eat and I don't go throughout the day feeling hungry at all, so I wonder how that'll work with adding calories to maintain instead of lose. More food? Higher calorie food? I guess I'll cross that bridge when I get there. Man, I'm excited to get to that bridge!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

On my way to running success

I tried doing C25K with the dog again this morning and it went a lot better! I tried to walk him through the little park by our house but people were playing tennis and he loves tennis balls so we scratched that and just went down random streets near our house.

It wasn't perfect and we're still on week 1 (to be completely honest, I'm a bit scared to move on and start running longer than 60 seconds at a time) but we're doing it! That's all that matters, right?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Exercise fail and success

I don't like being sweaty. Maybe that is one of my exercise barriers, but I hate it. I also get crazy red faced and it doesn't go away for a while.

Doesn't matter though because I've gotta exercise and if I'm not sweating I'm obviously not working hard enough.

I knew I had to exercise today because it's my day off and that means more sitting around the house and general laziness compared to walking around and being pretty active at work.

I tried to walk/run with the dog, but in an attempt to get out of the routine of our neighborhood and walk in an area with more shade we ended up at a really nice park/trail by our house that had one major flaw - gophers. We were only at the park for about 20 minutes because walking a straight line was just not happening and I kept getting a stitch in my side. Exercise fail.

When I say run with the dog I should really put it in parenthesis. I am attempting the Couch to 5K program because I've never run a mile in my life and accomplishing that would be huge for me. Running is also something I will be able to do anywhere, anytime for exercise once I get good at it. I'm still on week one because I haven't been very consistent, but I'm trying and I enjoy it so far.

After dinner I decided to try again, this time on the elliptical. Exercise success! 30 minutes and I got nice and sweaty so I know I accomplished something.

In other news, this morning I weighed in at my pre-vacation weight! I kicked that water weight and week and a half worth of eating whatever I wanted to the curb. I'll remember this for the future though, it doesn't feel great to be setback like that and next vacation I'll try to be more conscious of that. Just because I'm on vacation doesn't make it a buffet free for all, but man it's just so tempting sometimes.

An amazing day of food!

Yesterday invigorated me. I love food. I don't need to have a love/hate relationship with something I truly love. I just need to remember that eating good, healthy food in moderation is the best thing for me, and the days that I have every now and then where I don't worry about calories should be filled with the most amazing food ever. Why waste it on something I could eat everyday or something that really isn't that great?

My day yesterday was filled with some of the most delicious food I have ever encountered. Thank you, San Francisco, you are truly a food lover's paradise.

Our day started off at Zazie's with the La Mer Benedict and Miracle Pancake. We split both and while the La Mer was fabulous (give me the combo of crab and avocado and I'm easy to please), the Miracle Pancake stole the show. The miracle must be that these lemon ricotta pancakes with lemon curd and raspberry sauce don't weigh you down like regular pancakes at all. Almost crepe like, we savored every bite and knew that we started our day off right.

Later on we ended up at Rosamunde Sausage Grill. Oh. My. God. Best sausage I've ever had, ever ever ever. I am not a huge meat eater, and I've gone through periods of being vegetarian. When I do eat meat, I don't generally go for sausage. For some reason, yesterday it sounded delicious so we went in. We ordered the Beer Sausage with grilled onions and sweet peppers and a little bit of sauerkraut. It is a tiiiiiny little place so people order and pay for their sausage here and then take it next door to the Toronado Pub. Beer + Beer Sausage = Yum! The Beer Sausage was a bit spicy and full of delicious flavor. I even purchased two (they sell half cooked ones that you can bring home to grill yourself) for dinner tonight!

Just before we headed out of the city we stopped at a place I've been wanting to try out for a while, Humphry Slocombe. Say what? Delicious, delicious ice cream, the best I've ever had in my life. We tried the Cinnamon Brittle, Tahitian Vanilla, and Secret Breakfast (which they said was bourbon + cornflakes...). All three were SO good! I even tried to make sense of bringing some home but I figured it would melt and I don't really want to have it readily available for immediate consumption every time I open my freezer.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Buca Birthday

So, I survived the birthday dinner at Buca di Beppo. I'm sure I could have done better, but I'm pretty proud of myself. I had a little of everything, and thoroughly enjoyed it, but I made sure to pay close attention to my hunger level and while I left full, I didn't leave feeling stuffed or gross. I did have some cake both at the restaurant and then celebrating at home afterwards that I didn't really need but in the grand scheme of things I still did really well.

We were stuck with the leftovers of both Buca and cake (lesson learned for the future - don't take the leftovers!) and we brought the pasta for lunch today. Probably not the healthiest lunch, but I brought steamed veggies with it and portioned it out to a reasonable amount.

The cake... well, I had a bit of that tonight too. It was delicious though! No guilt here though because I had room in my stomach and room in my daily calorie range, so I thoroughly enjoyed it.

This isn't a diet, this is a lifestyle change, and there will always be someone's birthday, or wedding, or a holiday where food will abound and it won't be easy to make the healthy choice so I'm learning with each challenge like last night. No more leftovers though, I'll try harder to pass them off to someone else next time!

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Good (Re)Start

Yesterday went fabulously on the eating healthy/not giving in to emotional eating front. I woke up early to make a veggie sandwich (with homemade hummus my husband made the night before) so that I would have a healthy and yummy lunch. I arrived at work to find not only a BBQ with all the fixins but also a make your own sundae bar, complete with gummi bears and other candy. Oh how I love gummi bears, especially in ice cream. It was calling to me. Crap.

My coworkers decide to eat in the BBQ/ice cream room and being fairly new to the company, I joined them. They offered me burgers, they offered me potato salad, but I resisted. Having made the sandwich myself and putting the time and effort into it really helped me say no. Would I like a bag of chips with my sandwich or a soda, they asked. No, no, no.

I ate my sandwich while they ate their plates of burgers, slaw, beans, and potato salad. I really enjoyed my sandwich and I definitely was conscious that this was a lesson in resisting temptation.

There was one thing I couldn't resist though and that was the sliced watermelon at the very end of the table. I enjoyed two small pieces with my sandwich, and then two more once everyone started eating their sundaes. It was SO good, and I left lunch feeling really proud of myself. More than that, I felt better throughout the day and I know that if I had filled myself with burgers and greasy potato salad I would have been dragging.

I woke up this morning feeling energized and made myself a blueberry smoothie (blueberries, vanilla non fat yogurt and a splash of non fat milk, best combo ever). I'm starting the day off on the right foot, but I'm trying to decide what to make for lunch as I'll be having a birthday dinner out and while I will make the best decisions possible there I know that it will end up being a higher calorie day so I'd rather have a lighter lunch.

Lesson I have been learning throughout this process: I love, love, love the foods that are good for me. Fruits, veggies, lean protein, low fat milk products, etc. I don't know why it's a struggle. I don't know why I even get tempted by the stuff that will make me feel like crap afterwards, but I do. After feeling so great yesterday with my food choices I know that will help me tonight in deciding what to have at dinner. I don't want to come home or wake up tomorrow with a tummy ache, and I won't because I am in control of what I eat.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Emotional eating

I don't want to say that losing weight is easy, but for me it seems to be more of a mind struggle than body struggle.

When I eat right, keep my calories in a healthy range and work in some exercise, I have been successful at losing weight. I know it works. I just have to be disciplined and stick with it.

So what's the problem? I have a very big emotional eating issue. When I'm stressed, I crave high calorie, low nutrition foods. I crave salty and sweet, sugary and savory, all at once. If I give in, I stuff my face until my stomach hurts and I get a momentary high that fades away quickly and I'm left feeling like crap. I have also used food as a reward, and of course I celebrate with food. Food, food, food.

The first 3 1/2 months I did really, really well keeping my emotional eating under control. Any time I was hungry I would ask myself if I was really hungry and if I was, I would eat. If I wanted to eat because I was stressed/bored/etc I would drink water and try to occupy my mind with something else. It worked! I thought I was cured... boy, was I wrong.

In the past month I have given in to my emotional eating and let it take control of me. As I was stuffing stuff in my mouth I would remark to my husband that I was emotional eating and didn't give a crap. Bad, bad, bad, so bad. I was eating with abandon once again, not paying any attention to serving sizes or the amount of calories I was mindlessly consuming.

I was dealing with a lot of work related stress and change, in addition to worries about money, the future, everything and I was eating my feelings. Most of the stuff that was really stressing me out has been resolved and I am happier and optimistic now. Problem solved, right? Wrong.

I'm most upset with myself because I was consciously doing it most of the time and just didn't care. That's how I became my big, lazy, unhealthy self in the first place and it's what I have been working so hard to move away from. So why did I do it? Momentary weakness? Self sabotage? I only know that I am regaining today the motivation and self control that I started this process with. I also now have the realization that I may never fully overcome emotional eating, and if I do it will not happen in the span of 3 1/2 months.

I want to lose weight. I want to get healthy. The only thing stopping me is me and I won't let that happen anymore.

I CAN lose weight, I will lose weight, and I WILL become the healthier person that I want to be.

Why hello there!

Hello my glorious, non-existent readers, welcome!

Some info about me: I am, according to my lovely BMI, currently overweight. A few months ago I was classified as obese (ugh) and I am working toward the wonderful 'normal' range.

I started my journey on March 31st, 2009 with my first weigh in. Amazingly, I weighed 10lbs less than the last time I was recorded at the Drs (although not quite sure when that was). Don't know where those 10lbs went, but it was nice to be off to a quick start! In the 4 1/2 months since that day I have lost 23 pounds as of today's weigh in. At this time last month I had lost 26 pounds, but I reverted back to some very bad stress and vacation habits that did not help the scale move in the right direction.

I am working toward an exercise appreciation, rather than avoidance, in addition to the weight loss. I know I can be a skinny minnie (more on that in a later post), but aside from the effects of playing soccer/tennis as a kid, I have never been in shape or an "active" person. I want exercise to become a part of my life so that I can be as healthy as possible and set a good example for those around me and my future children.

It's not about getting thin, it's about getting healthy!

Day One

Well, if my calculations are correct this is actually day 134, but since I seem to have fallen off of the healthy wagon the last few weeks lets just say that this is a fresh start, shall we?

I don't know if I should track on here by BMI, inches (truth be told, I haven't been measuring/recording this at all, which I know I should), or actual weight/pounds. Not sure yet, but I'm sure I'll figure something out soon.

I don't know how well this day is going so far - it's 11AM and I have done absolutely nothing except eat breakfast and fool around on my computer. I'm off for lunch soon with a friend (Thai, yum!) where I will do my absolute best to not place myself in a curry coma and after that I WILL be active for the rest of the day - no more sitting on my butt!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Story

Growing up, I was pretty healthy and active. I was never skinny, but I wasn't overweight either, and I played soccer. When I hit middle school the soccer stopped and I wasn't as active. I gained a little weight but I was still a very normal sized pre-teen. The only body issue I remember dealing with was my chest, or lack thereof. I remember feeling very insecure about my barely there breasts, but never about my weight .

In eighth grade I got really sick and was home from school for three months. During that time I only had enough energy to lie on the couch, for the entire day. When I'd leave the house it would be to go to doctor appointments so I was nearly completely sedentary. Even though I was eating a pretty simple and bland diet (extremely, extremely bad acid reflux was part of this fun time in my life), I packed on the pounds. The bucket loads of sugar I put in the hot tea I drank for comfort every day probably didn't help, nor did the fact that I got my period and started puberty during this time as well.

Once I was better and started venturing out in the world my confidence plummeted. I was about to start high school, I was covered in stretch marks, I was overweight and completely out of shape, I was a completely different person. I remember staring in the mirror at Old Navy praying to God to take away my stretch marks, that I'd lose the weight and if he'd only take away the stretch marks I'd be my old self again. I started my freshman year of high school, made a few friends but my confidence was still pretty low.

A few months in I was watching a Suzanne Somers infomercial, I think it was for some sort of juicer, and she was talking about making changes and being healthy and how YOU CAN DO IT (all with the help of her product, of course). I decided right then and there that I was going to change.

I started walking more, making an effort to move more, slowly but surely. That helped, but I didn't see the change I really wanted. So I started watching my food. Very, very closely, whittling down my daily intake to practically nothing. I developed a very unhealthy relationship with food but I liked the results I was getting so I kept with it. As I lost weight the compliments kept pouring in. My confidence soared as the pounds came off and I began eating less and less every day. I would trick my body by eating only a bite of something and found that it worked. All I had to do was give myself a little bite and the growling would stop. I stopped being hungry. I also stopped getting my period, and it's no surprise my boobs never got any bigger. I discovered BMI and decided that I would need to be at the very lowest of the normal range to be perfect. I found pro-ana sites and was not disgusted - I saw girls losing weight by whatever means necessary, like I was. I felt proud of the control I had over food. One week I survived on 30 calories a day - 3 sugar free jello cups, one for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I hid this behavior from everyone and I don't know if anyone suspected. I don't know if they were concerned, all I know is that everyone kept telling me how great I looked. I made my goal, and even surpassed it, finding myself slightly in the 'underweight' BMI category. I was ecstatic, I was confident, I was skinny, I was perfect, except for those stretch marks, of course. A boy at school told me that he liked me, but I was 'too skinny' for him. I wasn't offended, I was really, really happy. If I was too skinny that meant I wasn't fat.

I didn't feel the need to lose anymore weight, and I don't think I could have. After I lost the weight, my social calendar filled up and it became more and more difficult to hide my food habits. I also joined the tennis team and started playing nearly every day and I knew I couldn't function with the amount I was eating. I don't remember when exactly I decided I would start eating again, but it was very difficult at first because my stomach couldn't handle normal amounts of food. Now that I know what I must have done to my metabolism I'm shocked that I didn't gain a lot of the weight back right away. I laughed at articles that said that if you lost weight in an unhealthy way it would come back, and then some. I was cocky, and as I started eating more, and started drinking, I really didn't gain much weight. It was very gradual. I know that Sophomore year of high school I was at my lowest weight and when I met my husband three years later as I was starting college I was only 10-12 pounds heavier.

Once I was off at college and falling in love I started gaining weight. I was so happy and I felt free. I found someone who loved me for me, who I didn't feel the need to impress, and who didn't care one bit about my stretch marks (he even had some himself!). We went out to dinner a lot and when we didn't we ate a lot of crap that wasn't very good for us. Add in good ol' college drinking and revelry plus a lack of exercise and you have weight gain. He gained weight, I gained weight, but I didn't stress out about it because he still made me feel sexy and wanted and loved. We moved in together, gained some more weight. Got engaged and had a long engagement, gained some more weight.

It was when we set a date for the wedding that I seriously thought about trying to lose some weight. My reasoning was that I wasn't at my ideal weight and if I lost weight after the wedding I would look back at our pictures and think I'm fat. That was my reasoning, no concern for my health at all. I don't even think I made an effort. I talked about it, but I never did anything. I was scared. Scared because I knew that I could lose weight by not eating but I didn't know any other ways to do it. I didn't want to give up the food I loved and I was lazy. I didn't know that there could be a balance, and even though I thought I was so strong when I was controlling every bite of food before now I thought of it as weak. Even though I was unhealthy now, I realized finally how unhealthy I was before and I didn't want to go down that road again.

My dress, which I purchased the day after I got engaged (a total fluke, didn't plan for that one), was now too small. I ended up letting it out before the wedding. How was I not completely embarrassed by that? How did that not give me a huge wake up call? I don't know. In September 2007 I felt beautiful and confident at our wedding and I didn't see myself as very overweight. The whole time I'm gaining weight I don't really acknowledge it. I noticed that I was buying larger sizes, but it was gradual. When I looked in the mirror, with the exception of those moments every now and then when nothing fits right and I got frustrated, I thought I looked good. Most photos with my husband and friends are face shots and even though my face is a bit rounder I don't see all of the excess weight.

In July 2008 we go to Mexico with family friends and as I'm trying to find shorts for the trip I realize how fat my legs have gotten. I ended up choosing a pair of shorts that went almost to my knees and I still didn't feel comfortable. I brought them out once during the trip and felt miserable the entire time I was wearing them. When we looked at pictures once we got home, I saw it. I saw all of the excess weight, in both the face shots and the full body shots that I hadn't seen in a long time and it really upset me.

Didn't kick me into gear though, because I didn't want to change my habits. I liked going out to dinner with friends, I liked sitting and watching TV every night, I didn't like to sweat, I didn't want to make an effort. I've never been one for New Years resolutions so 2009 started uneventfully.

It wasn't until March 31st 2009 that I felt ready to make a change. I wish I knew what changed. All I know is that I was tired of wanting change but not doing anything about it. I finally had enough and decided I could do this - I could lose weight without being extreme. I had been on Spark People previously and set up an account, but I didn't do anything about it until then. I figured I would start calorie counting because that was part of what worked before, but I would keep it within the healthy range that the site recommended. The weight started coming off right away, and I started moving more - parking in the far corner of parking lots, walking during my lunch break. After about a month or two, I decided to start incorporating exercise, a little at a time. I eventually moved to The Daily Plate because I read reviews online that the daily calorie requirement was more accurate, but I kept my Spark People account because I liked all of the short workout videos and articles. I have steadily increased the amount of exercise I do a week, but I am not an exercise fiend. I still don't love being sweaty, but I find that if I exercise 5-6 times a week I keep the habit up and I feel so much better.

So there you are and here I am, 40 pounds gone, 25 to go, learning more about myself every day. I want to be healthy, including being at a healthy weight, and I want to be able to sustain this loss for the rest of my life. That's where the hard part comes in, the learning about myself and my habits, finding a healthy relationship with food (I don't want to have to count calories for the rest of my life), learning to listen to my stomach and not my head and making exercise a part of my every day routine.