Hibernation Is Officially Over!

Testing…testing…is this thing on?

Any of you still with me?

Wouldn’t be surprised if you weren’t…it’s been over a year since I’ve posted anything here and in the blogging world that’s an inexcusable sin.

I want to start this thing up again…but not sure what direction to take it. I really do suck at talking about myself, as I have discovered from putting my resume together lately. (Which I will gladly forward to all willing to receive…this chick needs a J-O-B.) Finding something profound to discuss got harder and harder as the weeks went on…I felt like I was supposed to have a major epiphany every 7 days and when I didn’t I found I was just writing to write.

Blogging was such an incredible outlet for me when I did have a lot on the brain and I guess I just put myself under entirely too much pressure to have something amazing to report to you all once a week.

I’d love any input as to what you might like to see, or where you think I should go, or if I should continue. Maybe it will just be weight…maybe it will be recipes or could be a ‘Dear Abby’ type of thing…I dunno. (Help me here!)

What I do know is this…I fell off the wagon for a bit…like 20 pounds off the wagon…So far off the wagon that I justified going to buy bigger clothes to not be miserably suffocated in my own denim. I was angry about it. I was angry when the number started ticking back up….I was angry that so much of my hard work seemingly went to waste. When I stepped on the scale as it approached and then tipped over the 180-lb mark I got really scared. Seeing 180 might as well have been 199…In my head I was so close to 200 again that I thought I might have a panic attack on the spot.

So as I stood on that scale 5 months ago with 186.0 staring back at me, a little voice in the back of my head said “That’s it…I’m done. I’ve ruined every bit of effort I put forth before. All the hard work and struggle is for nothing and I am officially a total failure.” Mind you I was still down 60+ pounds but my poor brain didn’t see it that way.

But as I’m all up for trying new things these days…I decided to take the opposite approach. I decided to put my big girl (though not quite as big as they used to be) panties on and refocus. I hadn’t made it this far for nothing and I sure as hell wasn’t going to ever step foot in plus size store again. Given the option to keep eating like a barbarian and injure innocent bystanders because I was wearing jeans 4 sizes too small because of my promise to never put one foot in a size with a ‘W’ at the end, or suck it up, scrape the dirt off my knees and get my ass back in gear…well, for the FIRST time in my life, I got back up.  And boy am I glad I did!

Photo on the left was taken at the end of May...photo on the right was taken on Halloween.

Photo on the left was taken at the end of May…photo on the right was taken on Halloween.

I’ve now lost that boomerang weight plus some and am in the smallest size I’ve seen in my adult life. Sure I’ve weighed 161 before but I think I was 11 or 12 years old.

Ok not really, but I do honestly think I skipped from toddler size to an XL junior size to plus size without stopping.

So why come back now? Why come out of hibernation after a year to rant and rave about my weekly issues or triumphs?

Well…not really sure I have the answer to that yet except for the fact that I woke up this morning with a strong desire to bring this blog back from the dead.

I want to continue to encourage and help and inspire those that need it as so many of you have done for me on this journey.

And when I hit my goal, I want to share it with all of you. You’re the reason I started this blog to begin with…to hold me accountable…reprimand me when I’m bad and encourage me when I’ve done well.  I’m sorry I’ve put that accountability by the wayside.

I’ll start with the weight again next Friday. Whether or not you want to see it, it’s definitely something that helps hold me accountable (and requires me to keep my toes pedicured). If I know I’ve got to post a big photo of what the scale says for the world (or tens of readers) to see, then I’m a lot more likely to choose salad over a (gluten-free) cheeseburger.

As for full on blog posts…well, I’ll commit to at least one a week. Some may be short and sweet…some may be long. Some weeks I might have nothing to say, some weeks I might post daily. Who knows…I’ll just let it flow on its own.

As I mentioned earlier, if there are things you’d like me to discuss or questions you feel like I need to answer (i.e. Q: How many French fries does it take to gain 20 lbs back? A: Not that many), then by all means comment or shoot me an email or a text or something.

So here’s to reaching my goal and once and for all giving my pudge the pink slip!!

“Sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you’ve ever been, to stand up taller than you ever were.” ~ Unknown

Celebra-She-On!!!

By all accounts I should consider this a really crappy week….

1)      For starters, my beloved Dallas Cowboys lost in the most horrendous, stupid, ridiculous fashion yesterday. Dumb. Just dumb…”Let’s employ really poor time management skills and instead we’ll kick a field goal from here to the South Pole, and after we miss it, we’ll let our defensive guys completely lay down on the field and not do their job. How does that sound, guys?!”

2)      As if the Cowboys loss wasn’t bad enough yesterday – it’s only a blip on the radar compared to my UNC loss the day before. There is no love like the love I have for my Tarheels.  There was a lot of yelling at the TV…even managed to cuss out a poor sweet soul who innocently called me before the game was over. Again…just dumb.

3)      To mimic the inabilities of both my favorite teams – my fantasy football team also sucked ass yesterday.  For those that don’t know how competitive I am, watch out if you’re ever matched up against me. I am mean. I am a smack talker. I am brutal when it comes to winning…and even more so if there’s a monetary prize on the line.  My relaxing Sundays filled with NFL games have now turned into Sundays of high blood pressure and 4-letter tirades. I LOVE it when I’m winning…but when I’m losing…I will warn you now: earmuffs

4)      To top all of this off with sprinkles and a cherry – I found out Friday that my position at work is being eliminated. So, after 2.5 years there, I will be unemployed as of December 11th. I had a sneaking suspicion that the restructure was coming…just didn’t know when and was certainly hoping it wouldn’t be before Christmas. Merry Christmas to me!

And I hear it’s a fabulous job market…not. I don’t know a lot about one thing, but I do know a little about a lot of things – and that’s tough to convey on my resume unfortunately. I’d love suggestions on what my next career path should be: private chef, teacher, nurse, clown?

So given my week of losing and termination, I really should be down in the dumps…I should be sad and dejected…I should be angry at the world. But I’m not. “Why?” might you ask?

Well look who picked a fabulous week to cross a milestone she hasn’t hit in over 9 years?!!!

2-4-6-8 – who’s the chick that’s losing weight? It’s me!!

Oh yeah that’s right! Under 200!!! Woot woot!

I want to thank you all again for your continued support. Whether via a text message or email or comment or in person…the encouragement you all have given me the last 10 months is priceless. Thank you for continuing to remind me that I’m not doing all of this just to entertain myself at a later date.

I came across a picture of myself from Thanksgiving last year. Decided to put it next to a picture from Thanksgiving this year.  It’s amazing how much less swollen I look. Haven’t done any before and after pics…well here’s your first installment…what a difference a year makes:

Here is Thanksgiving 2010 vs. Thanksgiving 2011 – the Royal version. (My sweet cousin, Mary Kate, crowns me the queen of every family holiday…yes, that’s right. I’m kind of a big deal.)

I know there are still more pounds to go, but I can’t help but be proud of myself in this moment. Can’t help but look at how far I’ve come and how baggy my “starter” clothes are.  I didn’t let the stupid humdrum crap happening around me get me down. I let what I have done build me up.  Who am I right now?! I’ve never been that way! I feel like I could take on the world.

I continue to be shocked by my own personal growth every day.  For the first time in my ENTIRE life (no lie…entire life), I looked in the mirror and actually liked what I saw. I had to stand there for a second and take it all in. It’s as if I was seeing myself for the first time…understanding myself for the first time. I liked the girl I saw staring back at me.  I couldn’t look away.  I actually think this girl is pretty cute…and pretty awesome…and has another pretty amazing milestone to cross next week!  Stay tuned….

“I’m not the greatest; I’m the double greatest. Not only do I knock ’em out, I pick the round.”  – Muhammad Ali

It’s Time for Some Turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving Week!  So much to be thankful for this year…so much that I’m not going to let a little (ok, so a lot of weight gain) get me down…

 

Damn you alcoholic beverages. Your empty calories sure know how to ruin a trip to the scale!

 

I’m not even going to pretend that it will be way lower next week. I’m not saying I’m going to stuff my face beyond the point of maximum gastric expansion, but I am saying that I plan to enjoy a fantastic meal. Well…fantastic meals. Having multiple families also means having multiple Thanksgivings.

At least I can safely steer clear of the dessert table this year – there will be no pumpkin pie or pecan pie being ingested for this girl! It’s all good…dessert is never my favorite part anyway. I’d rather have 4 helpings of brussell sprouts than a piece of pie any day.

We must avoid the food coma!!!

Need some additional tips for getting through the beaucoups of food this Thanksgiving…I’ve got you covered….Here are some phrases to help you say no to too much:

  • “Sorry, my tapeworm won’t allow me to eat pumpkin pie.”
  • “My religion forbids cranberry sauce.”
  • “No thanks. I happen to know that Cousin Marc licked all the rolls before dinner.”
  • “My doctor informed me that even one slice of pecan pie will make my spleen explode.”
  • “No thanks. I see dead people in gravy.”
  • “That stuffing looks delicious but it brings back hurtful memories of that sorority hazing incident that’s too painful for me to talk about…”
  • “I’m allergic to second helpings.”
  • “I don’t think so. Dad always buys his turkeys from some dude who sells them out of the trunk of his Grand Am along with bootleg DVDs…”
  • “I yam not gonna have any of those marshmallowy sweet potatoes, thank you very much.”
  • “I would have more, but you’re a terrible cook…”
  • “Do you have any diet wine?”
  • “No thanks… I had giblets for breakfast this morning.”
  • “No green bean casserole for me this year; I’m showing my support for the plight of Chilean green bean farmers.”
  • “No thanks. I saw Grandma spit into the mashed potatoes while she was making them.”
  • “I think that has gluten in it. Sorry, none for me!”

 

I’m going to just say no to over stuffing myself…but sure am thankful for how far I’ve come, how many of you have been here to support me, and how amazing I feel.

 

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

 

“Thanksgiving: Not a good day to be my pants.” ~ Kevin James

Happy NCAD!

Happy National Celiac Awareness Day!  (It’s officially tomorrow, but I want to get a head start!)

The U.S. Senate has passed a resolution designating Sept. 13 as National Celiac Disease Awareness Day. The “Day” is intended to honor those affected by celiac disease, and to also commemorate the birth of Dr. Samuel Gee, a pioneer in celiac disease research.

In honor of NCAD – here are some fun tidbits about Celiac Disease:

  1. 1 in 133 people in the US has Celiac Disease.

     

  2. 1 in 22 people with a first degree relative (parent, child, sibling) with Celiac Disease are also afflicted.

     

  3. 21% of patients with a positive Celiac antibody test could not receive a biopsy due to the refusal of their physician to perform the procedure or the insurance company to pay for it.  – I am so blessed to have had such an amazing doctor…finally!

     

  4. The number of people with Celiac Disease in the U.S. would fill 4,400 Boeing 747 airplanes.

     

  5. The exact cause of celiac disease is still a mystery. Research indicates that celic disease can be triggered by a stressful event such as pregnancy, surgery, childbirth or even a bout of gastroenteritis.

     

  6.  The only treatment for celiac disease is a 100% gluten-free diet. – While it does somewhat pain me to know that there are certain things I’ll never have again, it does give me some satisfaction to know that my treatment is 100% in my control.

     

  7. If Left Untreated, Celiac Disease Can Have Serious Consequences…think seizures (due to inadequate absorption of folic acid which causes calcifications in the brain), a leaky gut, or certain types of bowel cancer.

     

  8. GF foods are, on average, 242% more expensive than their non-GF counterparts.

     

  9. People with CD dine out 80% less than they used to before diagnosis and believe less than 10% of eating establishments have a ‘very good’ or ‘good’ understanding of GF diets. – I would absolutely agree!

     

  10. CD affects more people in the US than Crohn’s Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease combined.

     

  11. 2.5 babies are born every minute in the USA with the genetic makeup to have CD – A little worried about that half baby though 🙂

     

  12. 610,000 women in the US experience unexplained fertility: 6% (36,000) might never learn that the reason for their infertility is Celiac Disease.

     

  13. Americans with celiac could fill Soldier Field (home of the Chicago Bears)– THIRTY SEVEN TIMES!

     

  14. Eating gluten-free is not a weight loss diet. Many gluten-free breads and other baked goods are not only expensive, but high in fat and calories. Many people with celiac disease gain weight on a gluten-free diet as the body heals and begins properly absorbing nutrients. Not this week!!!!

 

The fact that I’ve hardly eaten in 2 days probably helped that number a little. These stupid accidental glutenings are really starting to get on my nerves! Crazy how the side effects get worse the longer I’ve gone without gluten in my life. They may have been bad before but I was already so sick that I didn’t know the difference.

 

I’m not sure what got to me this time, I have a sneaking suspicion that it was a new brand of corn tortillas that I tried and the end result was BAD. It’s like the flu without the fever. And good gracious am I ever a bitch when I’ve been glutened…It tends to bring out my snippy, Cruella De Vil side! (Minus the affinity for skinning puppies for the sake of my fashion habits.)

 

 

Aside from being sick to my stomach, it was like night of the living dead in the house – I think I slept 35 hours this past weekend. And when I’m up, everything is in slow motion. Is this what I used to be like all the time?! It’s crazy to think that I might have been in that weird Zombie-like state for the last 12 years and I’m just now finding some type of semblance of feeling ‘normal.’ Makes me want to have a mulligan on some things I wish I’d put a little more effort into before like college or attempting losing weight the other 100 times. I might have been a little more focused and driven if my energy wasn’t literally going in one end and out the other since nothing was essentially being absorbed. (Sorry for the bad visual.)

Wow what a difference the last 4 months have made!

So how are you going to celebrate tomorrow’s ‘holiday’? Why don’t you bake something gluten-free, sign 1in133.org’s letter to the FDA regarding GF labeling, review the Celiac Symptoms Checklist if you think you or someone you know might be affected, or tell your doctor ‘Sorry’ isn’t good enough and end the cycle of misdiagnosis once and for all!

I’m going to spend the day enjoying how good it feels to be free of gluten and full of life!

 

Happy National Celiac Awareness Day to the world!

 

“You must begin to think of yourself as becoming the person you want to be.”  ~ David Viscott

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