Saturday, November 29, 2014

Small Victories


My curiosity got the better of me and I pulled out the outfit from my "before" picture and tried it on. GINORMOUS! And I swear they got longer too.

Spent Thanksgiving with my family, stayed at my sister's house.  When I first got there on Wednesday, my sister was folding some laundry. She had a couple of camis in her pile that came from the same store I bought my most recent camis at. WE WERE WEARING THE SAME SIZE! Now, she's still 30-40 pounds less than me, so they fit us a little differently…and her jeans are 2 sizes smaller than what I'm currently wearing, so I don't fool myself into thinking that we're actually the same size… but it's so cool to know that we are close enough that I might be able to borrow a shirt from her if say I spilled something on mine. I'm pretty sure I was in elementary school the last time I could borrow clothes from her… she would have been in high school.

I think I told you about the pajama shorts that literally fell off of me a couple of weeks ago? Well, I was needing to replace them. I found a pair at Walmart while I was there with my sisters on Black Friday. They looked a little small to me, so I wasn't sure if I could fit them and I really didn't want to take the time to head the fitting room and all that jazz for a lousy pair of basketball style shorts. I simply held them up to me and asked my sister if she thought I could squeeze into them. She wasn't sure but said that even if I couldn't, I would probably be able to in a month, and since they were only 3 bucks, it might be worth it to buy them now. Later that night as I was getting ready for bed, I finally tried them on. Yeah, they fit. They were far from loose, but they didn't feel like I squeezed into them either. They are a 1x. The pants from my "before" picture? 4x. And they were a little snug.

Also, I have a collarbone! You can see it! I had always heard of those… but I never thought I had one! Same with the ribs I can feel when I'm laying down. While down with my family for Thanksgiving, my sister commented that she could see the muscles move in my neck when I talk and the muscles in my arms move when I dealt the cards for the game we were playing.

Also--- for interests sake… I asked my sisters (who are all older than me) when was the last time I was at a healthy weight for my age and height. They asked how much I weighed when I was born and discussed it for a few minutes and they came to the consensus of 4 months old (I think they may have meant 4 years). Either way… YIKES! I know I'm still not there… but what that means to me is that when I get to my goal… I will actually be smaller, relatively speaking, than I was in Kindergarten. Oh, yeah… we're keeping this going!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Why Behind the Blog

So, I posted a "success story" in MFP yesterday, sharing my 101 pound loss. And my MFP account exploded with friend requests.

Which is fine. I get it. I didn't request very many of my friends on MFP… but the ones that I did request  are ones that I saw in the forums as having lost a significant amount of weight. I wanted to follow people that had been where I am… and are now living where I hope to be! I wanted to know what kind of calorie goal they were on. I wanted to know what they ate and how they exercised. I wanted to know what kind of struggles they still had and what successes they had that I could look forward to. So, I can understand all the friend requests although it's still a little weird to me to think that perhaps people want to follow me for the same reason I wanted to follow those few that I requested. Who would have guessed that someday I would be a success story? Who would have guessed that someday people would look to me for inspiration and motivation? Especially when it comes to weight loss!?

Maybe it's the curse of having been overweight my entire life… but things like this are surreal to me. Like it's some dream I'll wake up from. This can't be real. This can't actually be happening to me. Maybe someday my brain will catch up to reality. Maybe then I will be able to look in the mirror and see what others see instead of what I'm used to seeing. Maybe then it won't seem so strange to me that people look to me for inspiration and motivation.

So… for anybody from MFP reading this for the first time… welcome. I started my attempt to lose weight before I joined MFP and that's when I started this blog. So, I choose to use this rather than creating one at MFP. Plus it seems more user friendly to me. I'm not getting any benefit (financial or otherwise) from this blog, so I hope posting links to this blog on occasion on my news feed won't freak out the tender sensibilities of the mods over there. I hope you will come back often and check in. I post on here fairly regularly… which to me means, once a month or more. Some months will be busier than others in terms of number of posts. And for heavens sake… if you have questions or there is something you wish I would talk about… drop me a comment in any of my posts or message me at MFP. I'm sure I can respond to them within 72 hours… usually more quickly if it's during the week.

I'm not here to "toot my own horn" so to speak. It's not that I think I have answers or that there is something special about me. But I love hearing about what others have gone through. I've looked for weight loss blogs to follow myself. The first trouble I have is finding ones that are still active. It seems they go for a while and then dwindle off to nothing. The next trouble I have is finding ones that are just real people talking about their journey. It seems like the ones I find are usually professional ones… which comes with a ton of ads… and a ton of sponsored posts for various products… most of which don't have anything to do with weight loss. So, that's part of what I'm aiming for in this blog is to create the blog I wish I could find! Thus, I repeat the invitation… if there is something you would like to know or want me to write about … drop me a line.

I created this blog for two main reasons… One: For me. My weight is something I don't talk about. I never have. I've never been happy with it… but I just learned over the years that I don't let something like that determine… well, anything. I've never felt "held back" because of my weight. I've never felt depressed or unworthy or anything because of my weight. I knew I was fat. I didn't like it. But it was part of who I was. So, I didn't talk about it. And because of all the misconceptions that abound about overweight people and weight loss… I didn't care to go public (meaning open) about it to my friends on FB or even in real life. I am open with my sisters. They all know what I'm doing. I am extremely tight with my sisters. They are my everything… my world. The very earth I stand on. My extended family (nieces and nephews) knows what I'm doing to the point that it's kinda hard to hide the fact you are losing weight when you've lost 100 pounds. And to the point that my siblings may share it with them. My co-workers know what I'm doing in the same way my extended family does… that it's kinda hard to hide it. My co-workers and I form a pretty tight knit little team. And they will ask on occasion how I'm doing or what I'm doing. And especially since they are among the few I hoped to prove wrong… I'll be open with them when they ask. Other than that, I have two old friends (dating back to my high school days) that are even semi-aware of what I'm doing. But because I don't care to share my journey with most people, I created this blog as a space for me to write and to talk about what I'm going through. Both the successes and the struggles.

But the second reason I created this blog was in case my experience could help someone else. I decided a long time ago that I wasn't that unique. Meaning… if there was something I struggled with… there was probably someone else who struggled with the same thing. If there was something that I found helpful… there is probably someone who will find the same thing helpful.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

That's Halfway, Baby!

Okay, it's official…tonights' weigh in put me at 101 pounds lost. That's halfway, baby!

The bags on my shoulders are 25 pounds each.
Then the bag of sugar is 50 pounds.
I wanted a visual representation of how much I've lost.
I also wanted to feel how it felt to carry that much around.

So, I got home from the gym and told my sister to load me up. I wanted to feel what 100 pounds felt like. Yeah, I didn't do much "carrying around."Just in the time it took to load me up and take the picture, I told my sister "No wonder my back was always sore!" (Not to mention my hips!)

I texted this picture to another sister as well. She responded back with "Do you wonder how you ever were even able to move?!!!" YES! Feeling that… ugh! No wonder I was always tired. No wonder it hurt to stand longer than about 2 minutes. No wonder it hurt to walk for very long. Honestly… though, it'll probably be the last time I'm able to do pics like this! I can't imagine adding another bag of sugar to that load in another 50 pounds! If we could find some more compact ways to do it… then maybe it might be possible… but such as it is? Maybe I'll have to try giving a piggy back ride to my 29 year old niece! HA! That'd be a picture! :-)

Anyway. At the gym tonight, I had just finished my warm up when the trainer approached me. He wasn't working… he was just there to workout. But we chatted for a few minutes and he asked me how much I'd lost. This was prior to my weighing in. I told him 98 pounds, but that I was weighing again tonight and that might put me at a 100. I loved his response. "Are you sh**ing me?" He then apologized for swearing, "but, oh my gosh! You've really lost 100 pounds? You're kicking @$$ girl!"

You know how I mentioned the "Biggest Loser" contest they were having at the gym? He asked me if I had signed up for that. I told him no, I hadn't. He said he would make sure I got a prize anyway. He said he'd talk to Brooke and make it happen. Which is very kind of him. I had thought about signing up. I would have been able to set my own goals… but when I thought about it… and what I really wanted to accomplish by the end of the year… my goal was simply to lose 100 pounds. But I was so close to it as it was and I was sure I would be able to do it without the added incentive of the contest… I didn't feel like I needed to sign up for something just to get a prize. Plus, I would have felt pressure to set a goal for something a little higher. And I didn't want to do that. I prefer to set my mini-goals as extremely conservative. That way, they aren't really goals so much as milestones that I look forward to… and that way, if I don't quite make it… there is no sense of failure… just that I get to look forward to it a little longer.

Since I've now hit the 100 pound/halfway milestone… the next one is to get below 275. At that point, my BMI will be out of the "morbidly obese" range. I would love to leave "morbid obesity" behind me in 2014. So my hoped for timeline for that is by December 31. Pretty sure I'll get there way before then… but like I said… I prefer to go extremely conservative on those.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Virgin Territory with New (and Old) Clothing

Okay… I was going to wait until I hit an even 100 pounds lost before I went shopping again… but as I walked out of the dentists office the other day, I literally watched my pants slide further down with each step I took. I couldn't stand it anymore. I high-tailed it to the nearest store that I thought might have something my size. Went straight there from the dentists office actually.

It's a chain store that has several locations… one of which is in my hometown… and that I've never been able to shop at because I was too big for even their plus sizes. But with fingers crossed, that is where I went. I could have gone to the Walmart that was just across the street… but Walmart sucks my very will to live out of me…. so I avoid it unless there is no other option. But either way… Maurice's is where I went. First of all… I have to send out a huge kudos to the salesgirl. She was extremely helpful to me and even went in the back to find some additional clothes that were on a higher clearance that I might like.

Yeah, I went into the dressing room with like 8 different items. So much for only going for jeans! But as I tried on a size 24 pair of jeans, I literally… no joke… did a little dance in the fitting room as I was able to button them up! I did another little dance with each shirt I tried on. There was even Christmas music playing on the loudspeaker and I still danced! (For those who know me… you know I'm morally opposed to Christmas before Thanksgiving) Sometime, once I've truly hit the 100 pound mark (should be by the end of this week), I will have my sister take a picture of me wearing one of my new outfits so you can see what they look like.

We are officially in "virgin territory." I honestly do not remember the last time I wore this size. It may have been high school… but it would have been early on. And like I said… I really don't remember.

When I went up to pay for my purchases… I asked the salesgirl (the same one who'd been helping me) if there was any way I could wear a pair of those jeans out… because the ones I was wearing kept falling down. She said yes and rang them up and took off all the tags for me and sent me back into the fitting room. When I got home, I decided I was just DONE with all those clothes that were too big. So, I kept the one outfit from my "before" picture just for future photo ops… but everything else… if it was anything larger than a 3X I dumped 'em. Including all the ones I was holding onto out of sentimental purposes. In fact there were even a few shirts that I had affectionately named my "skinny shirts" that I had been hanging onto because I really liked them and they were still in good shape, but I had outgrown them a long time ago. And now they hang on me. A couple of them I could still make work for a little longer… but one I had to toss because it was way too big… and it was one of my "skinny shirts!"

In destashing my closet… I came across a t-shirt that I had gotten from a friend several years ago. I knew when I got it that it wouldn't fit. But I got it because of what it represented. I treated it as a souvenir or a novelty item. I never expected to be able to wear it. But neither would I toss it because of what it represented. But I checked out the size on it and thought… just maybe. Yeah, it fit… easily, but not too big. Shanon just got a new workout shirt. Which is nice, because I needed one!

And finally… the other day I went to put on a pair of pajama shorts. I had previously had to pin them, and when I went to put them on… they still hung a little low even with the pin. So, I went to tighten the pin. Yeah… that wasn't going to happen. Too much fabric. I felt like I was folding them in half! Out of curiosity, I took the pin out completely to see how they fit. Yeah… they didn't. At all. They completely fell off of me! This wasn't a "hang loosely on the hips" thing… they literally fell off of me. That was a first. Elastic waistbands are pretty forgiving and so my old pants never got to that point. They just got baggy to the point where I looked better without clothes than I did wearing them! But because these were just pajama shorts… the bagginess never bugged me. So, I took the classic picture of me wearing these shorts and holding out the waistband like the "after" photos you see. And here you go… this is not stretching the elastic. But just so you know… the legs are supposed to be very loose and flow-y. That is not part of the "after" shot of this photo.

The look you see on my face is trauma
at the realization that I used to
actually fit those! 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Weigh In Results and Future Shopping

Last weeks weigh in was 2 pounds down. Which is perfectly respectable, but not consistent with my calorie deficit. I chalked it up to water weight and a couple of misc. other factors. So… for this week… dang it! I watched those other factors like crazy. I was really careful with my sodium and made sure I was getting adequate water. And took care of anything I could prior to the weigh in that might affect the outcome.

And it paid off! 7 pounds! Which is consistent with my calorie deficit this week and make sense with last weeks calorie deficit. So that puts my current weight at 287. That's 94 pounds! I'm hoping to hit the halfway mark (100.5 pounds) by the end of the year… and that should be no problem at this point! I may even hit it before Thanksgiving.

Just for the record… Two pounds lost in a week is perfectly acceptable to me. It just didn't match with my calorie deficit according to my logging, so I wanted to make sure that I accounted for those other factors that can affect weight on the scale, so I knew what the problem was. Was I not logging accurately… or was it really just water weight, etc. This weeks weigh in makes sense with this weeks calorie deficit and the remainder of what would have been last weeks. Which is good for me to see how  sodium affects me and good for me to know that my logging is accurate.

But I'll be honest… I really want to hit that 100 pounds lost mark. My sports bras are too big, as are four of my five workout shirts. And my jeans are starting to fit like an "after" picture. And that's in the waist… which proportionally… is the biggest part of me. By the time I cinch up my belt tight enough that my pants don't fall down, the fabric bunches. But I'm kinda wanting to wait until that halfway mark before I buy new clothes. I'm trying not to buy until I need to… because it can get expensive especially since I'm only going to shrink out of them anyway.

My shirts are still okay for now and while I may allow myself to buy one more shirt at 100 pounds… I'm gonna hang on to them for as long as I can. When they start looking bad… then it'll be time to move on. But I purposely bought shirts that I thought would be able to last for me for several more pounds.

With exception of shoes and socks… I've had to buy a completely new wardrobe in the last 6 months. And with the need for these new clothes… I'm wondering how long it will be before I have to do it again. That's kinda why I'm hanging in there until I get to the halfway point. I'm hoping I'll only have to do it once more (with maybe a few additional pieces here and there) before I get to my goal. But I really don't know if that'll work. I think pounds and inches become more pronounced as you get smaller. And if you're wearing a size too big… You notice it!

But… it sure is a great problem to have! :-)