Slowly But Surely

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Well, this was a less than stellar weight loss week…

I’ve been really religious about certain things since spring and it’s amazing how a little leniency for only a few days can completely sabotage your weight loss.

Traveling…ugh. Makes me even more stressed about Thanksgiving since I know I’ll be stuffing my face will all the gluten-free goodness I can get my hands on.  I tend to get flustered when I’m outside my normal element…i.e. when I’m not at home.

Nonetheless…here are this week’s successes and failures…

The Oops Side…

1)   I Drank My Damn Calories – For the last 6 months or so, I’ve been incredibly religious about not drinking my calories. I am TERRIBLE about downing 4 gallons of liquid at any given meal. Waiters hate me…HATE me. No sooner than they’ve refilled my glass and I’ve inhaled what was in it. I’m not sure if it was the carbonation that was making me feel like crap or the sheer amount I was sipping, but I decided to only drink water or unsweetened tea months ago and I think just this alone has made a world of difference in my weight and how I’m feeling. (I absolutely swore off diet drinks anyway because I’m super afraid of what aspartame does and that definitely wasn’t an option.) I seriously think I’ve been saving myself 3000 calories a meal. And even if it was only one Coke…it was one restaurant sized Coke which is the equivalent of about 4.5 cans of Coke and frankly, I’d much rather be able to eat those French fry calories than drink ‘em.

But this week…we were home. And the Carolinas means one thing…Cherry Lemon Sundrop. My kryptonite. I was introduced to it in college and I’ve been hooked ever since.  We bought a case and I’ve been downing them ever since.  If you’ve never tried the stuff, you’re seriously missing out. With that sweet cherry-citrusy goodness also came some calories I’d like to return.

2)   Sweet Tooth – With Halloween having been a few weeks ago, we still have candy left over. We bought a bag but had no costumed munchkins at the door so it’s left for us to consume. I’m guessing it was either the M&M’s or the pound of pralines I bought in Charleston. OMG…Pralines. I think I just got cold chills typing that. I truly think that eating a straight tablespoon of Crisco is better for you than a praline but who cares. They are so freaking delicious. In my book, people that don’t like Pralines are in the same category as people that don’t like babies or puppies. How can you not like butter and sugar and pecans melted together in a glorious heap? Well…apparently the scale didn’t like them…Heathen.

3)   On The Road Again – Being in the car for what felt like days at a time meant that cooking my own meals wasn’t really an option. So while traveling up or down some boring stretch of highway I was left with the only truly safe gluten-free options I knew of…Chick-Fil-A and uh, yeah that’s all. (Unless you count grabbing a bag of chips at a gas station.) Convenient, car worthy food is unfortunately not the healthiest. Maybe it was the 4 packets of Chick-Fil-A sauce? Best sauce EVER. (Damn sauce and its calories…ugh! I’m such a saucy girl. Ok…not saucy like that…dippin’ saucy girl.)

4)   Pre-meal – Allen and I have gotten a lot better….strike that. Hannah has gotten a lot better about not feeling like I HAVE to have an appetizer before every meal. I’m often so hungry that I feel like I might implode before the food can get there so almost always insist on some type of pre-meal snack since we can’t indulge in the bread and butter. (Side note…why do waitresses always look so offended when you say “No Bread!”?)

Cutting back on the appetizers has not only cut the calories, but the cost too. I mean seriously…what is the profit on spinach dip if it’s sold at a restaurant for $9.00?!

This past weekend however, I think we appetizered at every meal….except breakfast. Between the chips and spring rolls and pimento cheese with Bugles (you have to try it! Bugles are the unsung hero of the dip world), I over-indulged a bit. (Just to clarify…we did not have all of those things at one meal.)

But aside from a few hiccups…the week was not without a number of successes.

The Ohhh Yeah List…

1)   These Boots Were Made For Walking – Went to buy new boots today and was able to fit into non-elasticy, non-extended width boots. Yay!!! This should make my shoe fetish a bit more expensive. 🙂  I’ve had a tough time the last few years finding some that were wide enough and didn’t feel like a calf tourniquet. Three cheers for cute shoes!!

2)   Little Black Dress – At the beginning of all of this, there was a dress in my closet (I actually think it belonged to my sister in HS) that was my goal to fit in. Very late 90’s looking. Strapless. Stupid slits and the most horrid material. I never planned on wearing it out anywhere, but always set a goal that I wanted to be able to fit in that dress. I was probably close to 200 lbs when I was actually able to fit the dress for the Get In The Black Dress Mission over my hips. Zipping was out of the question. There was a good 4-5 inches before that thing was coming close to closed.

Well…I forgot about that dress. And for some reason, a few weeks ago, the thought of that dress randomly popped in my mind and I ventured to try it on. Well…goal dress is now what we would call too big. Hah! Fancy that…I am ripping the seams before and now it’s loose. Hashtag Awesome!

3)   Closet Clean Up – I finally got rid of all of my bigger girl clothes. There were a number of pieces that I held on to. Not sure why…not sure if it was to give myself a psychological pass to gain weight again. Not sure if it was my cheapo brain that didn’t want to throw anything away that I’d paid for.  I would wear a few things every once in a while thinking I was getting away with a slightly looser shirt or pair of pants. Not so much. I looked like a hobo, which I decided is not an appropriate look for job interviews. So…to prevent frumpy in the future, all clothing that is not my current size is now in the hands of Goodwill. Organization and a tax write off!

4)   Photo Op – We took a trip to NC for a fantastic photo session. It’s the first time my sisters and I have been together since my sister’s wedding. Not only was the session a million times less daunting because I wasn’t as stressed about how many chins were showing, but I got to see my amazingly adorable niece and that was worth every minute in the car!

5)   And last but not least…The Scale – I’m in the 150’s for the first time…ummm ever?! I think I was born weighing 160. This also means that my BMI has dropped from a 42.6 to a 27.3…craziness!

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Hoping for less ‘oopsies’ next week and a better loss result. I’ve got my sights set on that 100-pound mark!

“I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs but how high he bounces when he hits bottom.” ~ George S. Patton

What Not to Wear

Peek into any woman’s closet, and buried underneath all the clothes is something that almost every woman hangs onto. She strives to wear it again someday, no matter how unrealistic or out of style it may be. What is it?…”Skinny” jeans!

Whether yours take the form of pants, swimwear or even an old suit or dress, women and men alike keep these too-small clothes for years. Some are even brand new, tags attached, bought as inspiration to lose weight so that garment would fit.

I must confess that up until last week, I, too, had my own little accumulation of one-day-I-will-fit-into-these-again outfits. So in an effort to save my own sanity, I decided to do a little closet cleansing.  I did get rid of a few things that have become too big (yay!!) and also had to come to grips that it would be best to get rid of some of my extremely skinny clothes for right now too.  While my original thought was that seeing those reminder-of-a-skinnier-me items would motivate me to get back into them, I’ve found that for the most part it’s having the opposite effect….Why? Well keep reading and I’ll tell you…

They have become a constant reminder that I am not at my “ideal” size. While it may have seemed initially motivating, seeing those beautiful little garments of demin have begun to lead me down a destructive path to lower self-esteem and self-worth.  It’s almost as if they are mocking me with their stupid single-digit size. “Haha you can’t wear me! Look who’s too chubby now!”  Seeing them hanging there is a reminder of what used to be, what I let go, what I fight like hell to get to again. Granted I know I’ll be in that size again, I just don’t need to be mocked daily by Mr. Levi on my way there.

Keeping clothes from yesterday is a symptom of living in the past. Only after I let go of the past can I learn to accept myself in the present with self-confidence and a sense of empowerment. (And besides, it was about time to ditch the fraternity mixer shirt from 2001…as comfy as it might have become, I’m not quite the 19 year old sorority girl anymore.)

Your skinny clothes may not be in style anyway.  As much as I hate to admit it, among the piles of clothes that were packed up and delivered to Goodwill – were a pair of…wait for it…wait for it…Tapered, pleated pants – aka the mom jeans. Ahhhhhhh! I know…just the thought of it frightens me as well! Aside from mullets, stirrup pants, and side ponytails there was never a more horrid crime to fashion than the tapered leg pant. You give me one person that looked good in them and I’ll give you $100. Heidi Klum would even look like Rosie O’Donnell in these things.  Moral of this story: Getting back in those skinny pants would have been an offense of humanity and fashion.

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When your skinny jeans don’t fit, you can feel like a failure, even when you’re making real progress. I’d occasionally try them on…just to see if they were a little less tight. And if I still got that stuck-around-my-thighs-cutting-off-my-circulation result then I’d convince myself that I wasn’t getting any smaller. Blasphemy! I’ve lost 34 pounds…I’m in a smaller size. I will not let a restrictive pair of pants keep making me feel like a failure.

And yes…I am now officially at 34 pounds lost!

 

 

I will not allow the size of my clothes to determine my self-worth and neither should you!  Clothing size is just a number…and whatever that number is will not define me.

Today, I encourage you to open your closets and drawers. Gather everything that doesn’t fit you TODAY, especially clothes that are too small. Free yourself from the past and the silent criticism of your skinny jeans once and for all!

 

“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”  ~Mary Engelbreit

Say Yes To A Dress!

What a week!

Still hobbling around on an injured foot..I have transformed into a redhead..and the skin of on my limbs is coming off like a molting animal following a fun experience with 2nd degree sunburn following my trip to the beach.

I finally stopped being a slacker of a sister/maid of honor and made it to Charlotte to assist my sister in bridesmaid dress selection and to see her wedding gown.  All I can say is wow.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen her so beautiful, and I know it is only a fraction of the beauty she’ll have on her wedding day as she walks down aisle toward her sweet, sweet fiancé.  (Absolutely adore him and adore how happy he makes her.)

The bridesmaid dress selection was interesting…there was a beautiful array of dresses and I would have enjoyed the entire process much, much more if I was able to comfortably get into one of the samples.  I’m not sure why ‘sample dresses’ aren’t made created for an average size.  It’s significantly easier to clamp a size 12 onto a size 6 woman than to have a size 12 woman squeeze into a size 6 to attempt to get an idea of the perfect dress. It’s tough to find that perfect dress when you can’t breathe, the dress is hugging onto every inch of bulge you might have, and your back fat is gaping out of the zipper in the back. Well – that was my experience anyway.

I want to go to a store eventually and slip everything on like it was made for me. This I-think-I-can-fit-it-over-my-hips-slowly-without-ripping-the-fabric thing has got to go!  I even got stuck in one of the dresses. Thanks to my mom and the sales girl for freeing me from certain suffocation.

Speaking of the sales girl – I feel so sorry for her! In trying to get a better idea of the ‘fit’ of the dresses we liked the most, she offered to clamp the dress to my bra so I could at least see what it would look like (or try to see) without holding it up. Little did she know I would be shedding skin from my sunburn like I had the worst case of body dandruff ever, or that she’d be trying to figure out how to clamp the dress to my Aaaah Bra (afterall – my itty bitties don’t need underwire).  She claimed not to mind – but I wouldn’t be surprised if she requested to move to the tuxedo section as soon as I left.

After finding the dress I of course gave the store the answer that I’m sure many women give a dress shop when needing to be measured: “I’m planning on losing weight so when is the absolute latest date I can come in here to get measured?”

How many times have I made this promise to myself? I’ll lose weight before Thanksgiving 2008…didn’t happen.  I’ll lose weight before my 10-year reunion…didn’t happen. I’ll lose weight before summer 2009…and 2010…and 2011…didn’t happen.  I always come out of the gate with such gusto only to lose sight of my goal somewhere along the line…and what I had been striving to achieve doesn’t happen.

How do you stay on track when you’ve got a goal in sight? Whether it is weight loss related, or academically related or anything…I’d love for you to comment on how you keep your eyes on the prize.

Glad to say that I’m finally going the right direction…

 

My focus of late has been on reminding myself that I don’t want to be the embarrassment of my sister’s wedding photos. I don’t want to look through all of them and only like one of 200 because the rest show me from a horrendous angle. I’ve got to transform myself physically before May.  I adore my baby sister and want to do everything in my power to make every single aspect of that day perfect for her. I know she would never tell me I needed to drop a few, nor would she tell me I looked bad in a picture, but I owe it to her to match her beauty.  Or at least try…she’s stunning so I’ve got a lot to live up to!  I’m tired of standing out because I poke out.  Time to keep taking the bull by the horns and say I made it happen this time and my goal is complete.

“Sisters is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.”  ~Margaret Mead

Confucius Has A Credo…

Confucius Say…

…person who eat too much over the holiday need to quit cold turkey.

…person who employ low-carb diet is going against the grain.

…person who drinks too much coffee has a latte problems.

…person who succeeds in diet employs mind over platter.

…person who lives life as couch potato will likely raise tater tots.

…person who eats too many donuts dozen have a good diet plan.

…person who are butter lovers generally are not better lovers.

…person who eat too many French fries find weight ketchup to them.

…person who drinks too many fancy coffee drinks may get brewed awakening on scale.

…person who eats too much at Japanese restaurant might have sake weigh-in.

…person who doesn’t like bread overcooked might be black-toast intolerant.

… person who has successful weight-loss journey find it takes breadth away.

Breadth is still going away!

So after the mini-weight loss…here’s what have I learned this week…

Lesson # 1: – Eat at Five Guys Burgers.  Surprisingly enough, Five Guys has been a great gluten-free ally for me! I know…sounds backwards since it’s a burger place, but they are so accommodating when it comes to dietary restrictions. They don’t skip a beat at all when I let them know of my gluten aversion, and are so good about changing their gloves to avoid cross-contamination. Might have to eat the burger wrapped in a piece of iceberg lettuce, but hell, I’ll take it! Fries aren’t too bad either!

Sorry – I know this is a blog centered around losing weight, but it has been so long since I’ve been able to eat French fries (they’re often fried in oil with forbidden things), so I certainly enjoyed the opportunity this weekend! This would probably be a good time to remind myself why my weight loss might have been so mini…damn, bovine deliciousness!

Lesson # 2: Dinner parties/family get-togethers are not so stressful afterall! Have made it thru 2 successfully in recent weeks…one that I had semi-prepared for, and one that, thanks to my amazing aunt, I didn’t have to worry about at all. Entire menu was gluten-free and it was delicious! I had forgotten what it was like to go somewhere without overanalyzing everything that was going on around me. Such a relaxing feeling…finally!  Heather, your hospitality was divine…and the rosemary cashews…Mmmm! I’ll eat burnt nuts any day!  (Haha…that sounds so wrong out of context.)

Lesson # 3: Apparently a blind person creates the sizing standards for women’s clothing. I decided to give myself a little retail therapy this weekend. What I want to know is who in the world sets the standards for these things?! How is it that an 18W is smaller, yes I said smaller, than a regular size 16?! And I don’t mean just a little more snug…I’m talking about so-tight-I-can’t-fit-it-over-my-left-butt-cheek tight. Yes, I know it’s different across brands…but THAT different?! Oh look…today at Target I’m a smaller size! Oh damn! Now at Macy’s I’m banished to the muumuus! Yay! Now at Dillard’s I can shop in the Junior department! No wonder my self-esteem is like a roller coaster when I go shopping! Prozac please!

I think it’s time for legislation! I think it’s time to write our state representatives and demand some consistency! Maybe it will give Anthony Weiner something to do in “rehab”….ah, nevermind…pants are obviously not his specialty!

Final Lesson (yes that’s right…I only learned 4 things all week!)  I am so blessed….blessed with an amazing support system…blessed to have such an amazing and supportive group who read this blog every week…A group that encourages me and motivates me more than they probably realize. I may not have all the answers right now…I may not have everything figured out all the time…I might have been thrown a curve ball or two along the way – but I’m still standing. It’s not about how many times I’ve failed at this before – it’s about picking myself up one more time than I’ve fallen down.

When the world says, “Give up,”
Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.”

~Author Unknown

Good. Gooder. Bestest.

Those of you that read last week’s blog know I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease…If you didn’t know, or didn’t read the blog – SHAME ON YOU!! (Click here for the rundown.) In honor of the fact that I’m feeling much better, and to play off of my post from a few weeks ago – this week’s topic explores the GOOD…the GOODER (yes – I know this is not actually a word)…and the BESTEST (despite what I originally thought – bestest is a word in the dictionary. Learn something new every day!) facets of weight loss.

GOOD: You want to lose weight.

GOODER: You look for guidance and motivation to keep you going on your journey.

BESTEST: You check out my blog every week to know that there is someone else out there fighting the same battle.

 

GOOD: You walked a mile on the treadmill.

GOODER: You ran a 5K on the treadmill.

BESTEST: You made it to the end of the treadmill.

 

GOOD: A co-worker commented on your weight loss.

GOODER: A friend you haven’t seen in a while is shocked at how great you look.

BESTEST: Your mother makes you show her some ID.

 

GOOD: You buy lots of produce at the grocery store.

GOODER: You buy organic produce at the grocery store.

BESTEST: You grow your own vegetables…in your bathtub.

 

GOOD: Salad for lunch.

GOODER: Salad for dinner.

BESTEST: Salad for breakfast.

 

GOOD: You’re taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

GOODER: You’re biking to work instead of driving.

BESTEST: You’ve decided to swim to your European vacation.

 

GOOD: You do 50 sit-ups every day.

GOODER: You do 50 sit-ups every hour.

BESTEST: You never stop doing sit-ups.

 

GOOD: You do Yoga, Pilates or Zumba.

GOODER: You do Yoga, Pilates and Zumba.

BESTEST: You do Yoga, Pilates and Zumba, all at the same time.

 

GOOD: You achieved your goal rate on your heart rate monitor.

GOODER: You exceeded your goal rate on your heart rate monitor.

BESTEST: Your activity level melted your heart rate monitor.

 

GOOD: You have to cut back on cupcakes because of Gluten-free restrictions.

GOODER: You find a Gluten-Free bakery in town.

BESTEST: Your incredible sister bakes you a batch of the most delicious GF cupcakes with a dark chocolate ganache frosting so you won’t be left out when dessert is served.

 

 

GOOD: You watch what you eat.

GOODER: You don’t think twice about making a healthier choice when eating out.

BESTEST: You’ve lost the bad habits that got you in trouble in the first place. (Thank you, Celiac Disease!)

 

GOOD: Your clothes are a bit looser.

GOODER: You have to make a new hole for your belt buckle.

BESTEST: You have to buy suspenders to keep from mooning innocent bystanders.

 

GOOD: Eating healthier has opened the door to trying new vegetables.

GOODER: Your day consists of compiling a list 101 ways to cook a rutabaga.

BESTEST: You can now name every vegetable in the cruciferous family and accurately describe every aspect of their taxonomy.

 

GOOD: You feel comfortable being in public in a swimsuit.

GOODER: You feel comfortable being in public in a bikini.

BESTEST: Hello, nude beach!

 

GOOD: You drink 8 glasses of water a day.

GOODER: You drink your body weight in ounces of water daily.

BESTEST: Your city has just re-instated drought level water restrictions as the result of your daily intake.

 

GOOD: You’ve lost 10 pounds.

GOODER: You’ve lost 20 pounds.

BESTEST: You’ve lost 10% of your starting weight!!!

Not having any trouble with cooking at home, but I’m desperately missing the convenience I once had in terms of finding something to eat. Gone are the days of blindly going out to eat without doing research ahead of time…gone are the quick last minute trips through a drive thru to grab lunch on the go…gone are the days of recovering from a hangover with a chicken biscuit and a regular coke. (I know that accounts for about a zillion calories, but sometimes you’ve just got to grease it up to get yourself back to normal!)

I am now forced to be acutely aware of everything and everyone that might have touched my food. I have to guard my food to prevent someone from sticking their contaminated fork in my potato to have a bite. (Sorry dad – had to call you out on this one!)

I have to trust where I’m going to eat…have to trust that the person preparing my food doesn’t say “Gluten what?” and then proceed to grab my food immediately after touching a hamburger bun. I know that there’s probably a pretty good chance that everything will be ok…but right now, I’m not willing to take the risk. I’m not willing to undo what I’ve already done.

Why am I so OCD about it? Well…I cannot even begin to describe how amazing I have felt for the last week. Sticking to a very strict GF diet has done wonders for my digestive system, my energy level, and my skin, believe it or not. Do I miss bread, fried chicken, Campbell’s soup and licking envelopes? (Yep…the envelope lick-y part could contain trace amounts of gluten.) No I do not. Don’t miss the pasta, don’t miss crackers, don’t miss gravy…To go from feeling as awful as I felt for the last decade, and especially the last 6 months to feeling absolutely incredible – I don’t miss any of it…not for one second!

In honor of my digestive rebirth – I will leave you with this:

GOOD: You finally found out what’s been plaguing you health wise.

GOODER: You start to feel better after “treatment”.

BESTEST: You feel better than you have in 15 years!

 “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” ~ Sir Winston Churchill