Monday, December 31, 2012

Resolutions Shmesholutions

Owly Images
Happy New Year from the most awesome self-rescuing Princess of all time (and space!), Princess Leia! I just love this hoodie. My best friend gave it to me for Christmas and it's my personal version of a "power suit." It puts a little "kick ass" in my mindset and a bounce in my step. Also, it's a size down from what I was wearing before, so BONUS!

Today marks the end of the New Year. It was a big weigh-in day for me. On November 1st, I was 200 lbs and today, I'm 177.8 lbs. 22.2 lbs down in two months! I'm pretty happy about it considering my rampant neurosis about facing the holidays with a healthy mindset for the first time ever. I won't say it was easy, but I will say for the first time, that it was successful! All I wanted to do was show a loss in the end and stay on track, and it looks like I managed to do that!

Tonight, a lot of people around the world will be making resolutions to lose weight in the New Year. Last year I was one of those people. Though it took me months to make good on my New Year's promise to myself, I finally did and here I am... 72.2 lbs lighter (or as a my friends like to point out, a fourth grader thinner!). For years I've been making that resolution and then ignoring it in the harsh light of day- the scalding reality when it came to facing the year+ of work it would take to lose the weight and the following lifetime of dedication to maintenance. I was completely lost and starting Nutrisystem allowed me to learn, bite by bite and work-out by work-out, what it takes to get the job done. I've learned so much about portions and balanced eating, let alone what I'm capable of. I'm really grateful for the opportunity that this program has given me to reclaim my life, but mostly, to make me feel like anything is possible with perseverance and an open mind. 

So this year, I'm not resolving to "lose weight," I'm resolving to meet my GOAL weight. I'm already more than half way there and I know it's not an unrealistic goal. I can't believe that it finally feels like it's IN SIGHT. It's always been a distant pipe dream for me. 

So that's my wish for all of us this year- The knowledge that we are completely capable of reaching our goals. It is possible and it will be worth all of the challenges that rise to meet us.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Shopping in My Closet!

My parents mailed me all my old "thin" clothes. I don't know if you're like me, but as I got heavier, I sorta kept some things around because I hoped one day I'd fit into them again. Whenever I saw them, they depressed the hell out of me so I left them at home when I finally moved out to NYC for good after college. Yet, whenever my parents tried to get rid of them, I'd put up a fight. I guess in my subconscious I really wanted to get healthy. My body and my will just had to catch up!

Well they all arrived yesterday and with very few exceptions, everything fit! I was pretty amazed since I think I always have a sort of distorted view of my own weightloss. It really put everything in perspective when I fit into things I have seen pictures of myself wearing and thought, "If only I could at least fit into that again, I could be a little less FILLED WITH SHAME, DESPAIR, AND SELF LOATHING." Haha! Well, folks! Time to puff out my chest and accept my own AWESOMENESS. Victory lap. Sadly a lot of the stuff is more for summer, but that just means it will fit even better by then! Heehee!

One big thing I noticed is that when I'm thinner, I wear SOOOO MUCH MORE COLOR. 


RAINBOW DASH COSTUME UPDATE! My pink contacts came yesterday as well as my shorts. I bought two sizes based on the measurements on the site. I wasn't sure I could fit into the smaller shorts, but it turns out I can! They'll look even better by the end of march, but I'm pretty confident in them looking good. Sidebar: I hope I don't FREEZE TO DEATH IN THIS SKIMPY COSTUME! I have finally assembled enough of the base pieces to line everything up and see how the whole costume is shaping up, so I thought I'd snap a pic and share it here with all of you!

I still need to style the rainbow wig, sew on rainbow details for the shirt and shorts, make the cutie mark design on the shirt, and get rainbow shoelaces! Oh... and make my boyfriend's costume. LOL! I've been working out a ton to prepare for the wearing of this costume, but I'm still thinking of wearing opaque tights or leggings with the shorts (for warmth and also because I don't want my legs to look crappy and ugly!)... but if I did, I'm not sure what color they should be. Anyone have any thoughts based on the palette here? Hopefully I live up to my own expectations! <3

Healthy Holiday Greetings

By Maria Clapsis
I've been spending the last week in recovery from my gallbladder surgery and it's been going pretty well. I spent each day slowly working my strength back up to what it was at the gym. I started just walking outside for half an hour at a time, then moved on to doing that on the treadmill so I could monitor heart rate and speed. Then I kept ramping that up in time, incline, and intensity every day until yesterday I finally was able get on the elliptical and do a 45 minute cardio session. After I see the doctor for my follow-up on the 27th, I'll probably get the ok to do high intensity interval training again. 

I've been eating 100% healthy this week since I've been stuck at the apartment which has been really nice. Not a lot of temptation out there- what luck for the holidays! I am headed to Connecticut to spend time with family for the next two days and I've heard that our Christmas Eve dinner promises to be pretty healthy. Filet mignon, spinach, and sweet potatoes. I'm bringing some Nutrisystem food to supplement throughout the holiday, but for the most part I'm giving myself a pass to splurge a little since I've been so good the entire season. I figure if there's ever a day to splurge, its the REAL CHRISTMAS DAY! 

It's weird. I think this is the first holiday season that I've successfully been able to lose weight. Oddly, it's not as hard as I feared- just takes some planning and a bit of will. It's easier to hold off on the little temptations when I know I'm going to have a treat looming on the horizon. :)

Well, I'm off to the gym! Not sure when my parents are arriving so I want to make sure I get in one last good workout before we head to Connecticut. Happy HEALTHY Holidays everyone!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Post Operation Weigh-In

I had my first post surgery weigh-in today. I wasn't really sure what to expect. I figured my greatest loss would have been in the hospital where they didn't let me eat for about 6 days, but that didn't seem to be the case. I guess it wasn't until after my return home that my body finally decided to react to all the stress. I've been able to get my appetite back and stick to the program over the last few days and I'm pretty sure that jumpstarted my metabolism or something. Whatever it did, it gave my body what it needed and I dropped 4.8 lbs this week! I was all:

I know it's sort of not real and that I'll probably fluctuate or not lose at all this week, but my main focus is to just get back to normal physically. I want to stick to the program, since my appetite really hasn't been what it once was, and I want to work up to getting on the treadmill at the gym.

I've been trying to stay busy at home. I create little to-do lists for each day so I don't go crazy. I have to call to make some follow up appointments at the hospital today and check in with my health insurance to make sure everything gets pre-certified for the follow-ups. Luckily, once all that is done, I'll be able to spend some time playing Skyrim on my new gaming desktop. But first! It looks like the rain has let up so I'm going to go for a nice little recovery walk whilst the weather holds.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Road to Recovery

Well I got back from the hospital on Thursday afternoon after having surgery to remove my gallbladder on Wednesday morning. I can happily say that all went well aside from the doctor having to work around some scar tissue that had accrued from letting this go on so long.

Luckily my dad arrived on Tuesday night. I'm so lucky to have him. I was getting really tired of being too drugged to make informed decisions or being unable to fight for things that I needed because I was connected to an IV and weak from 6 days of no food and all the morphine being pumped into my system. I did have some wonderful nurses who I appreciated a great deal, but going through hospitalization all alone was a little scary and lonely and I was filled with relief when Dad got there. 

The only thing that made me super angry happened right before surgery started. They had the IV in my hand and were starting to prep me/put me out. The drugs going into my veins started to REALLY hurt and my heart-rate started rising and I begged someone to help me because it hurt so bad. They just kept telling me I was fine and going about their business- and when they got tired of listening to me, they smashed an oxygen mask onto my face. The next thing I knew, I was screaming in pain after surgery and crying my eyes out. I was so mad because I was helpless in that situation and even though I was in pain, they just shut me up till I was knocked out and they wouldn't have to listen to me. Not cool.

After surgery, I spent some time in recovery where they injected me with all sorts of pain killers and soon enough they took me to my room to sleep it off. Later in the evening I decided to try and walk a little bit, since that's one of the things they say helps with recovery the most. It was hard, but I did a few laps around my floor and soon enough I was able to move around unassisted at a reasonable speed. Of course, I was pretty full of drugs for the pain, but I felt good about my progress and my Uncle Jack came to visit me as well.

Best of all, they finally let me eat and drink. This was my reaction:

First, they gave me water and apple juice, and I swear it was like MANA FROM THE HEAVENS. I drank sooooo much water. My thirst could not be slaked by any amount of it. Later they brought me some fish, green beans and soup. They brought me a ton of other junk too, but I tried to eat light so that I could take it easy on my body. After all, without a gallbladder, my liver will be taking over some responsibilities. 

I had some trouble sleeping that first night, but I ended up just going for walks whenever I couldn't sleep. The next morning the doctors signed off on my discharge which I was ecstatic about going home. My dad made sure I got there alright and then stayed with me for a few days to help nurse me back to health and make sure I had everything I needed to stock my house for recovery. We went on a few walks and he helped me do some chores that needed doing around the house. My boyfriend came to stay as well, which was interesting since they had never met before. It was sort of adorably domestic watching both of them take care of me. I felt very loved and well looked after. I'm very lucky to have them. We all made an outing to see The Hobbit on Friday since I was disappointed that I had to miss the midnight release viewing plans that I had with my friends on Thursday night. We had a lot of fun, though of course the movie had its flaws. I had a little trouble concentrating because of the painkillers so I'll probably want to go see it again.

Funnily, the biggest struggle with recovery was... ::drumroll please:: Pooping. I know, I know, TMI, but HEAR ME OUT!The painkillers they give you make it hard to go and I hadn't been in over a week. Of course they give you medication to help, but it takes a while to kick in. It became PAINFUL because there was no room for more food (even though I was justifiably hungry after days and days of not eating), and because my organs had been jostled about quite a bit and they didn't take kindly to being shoved out of the way in favor of my body's refuse. Hahahahah! Sometimes I imagined that all of my organs were brawling over who deserved to annex who's apartment most in the new space in my abdomen, only to be thwarted by my intestines at the last moment. Anyways... I found it amusing, though it could be the oxycodone. For that reason, I've been trying to limit my doses of painkillers to times when I REALLY need them and that's seemed to do the trick. Yesterday I only took one dose after getting a coughing attack (which obviously really hurt) and today I've been pill free so hopefully I can pull through without them. 

My goal is to be back in the gym on Wednesday (a week after surgery), just walking on the treadmill to get my heart-rate up for a half hour. I've been building up bit by bit by taking a few easy 20 minute walks a day and hopefully I can stay on track that way. I don't want to let this episode distract me. I've been right back to my Nutrisystem diet as well now that I'm home, so at least I know I'm eating right even if if I'm not as active as I'd like to be. It's a little frustrating because this feels like a set back, but I'm trying focus on the positives like how much harder the surgery would have been to perform if I were still at my starting weight (not to mention a harder recovery), how willing I am to jump back into being active as soon as possible, and how positive my doctors were about my recovery process whilst I was still in the hospital. They all seemed surprised to see me up and about as much as I was. So, I have to be careful not to push myself too hard, but I also need to stay on track.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Adventures in the ER

I ran from my health issues for as long as I could, but they finally caught up to me.

I finally gave in and checked myself into the ER for severe abdominal pain after 3 months of intermittent suffering. After a Friday and Saturday of the most monumental pain I've ever experienced and not being able to keep meals down, I cracked and took a cab to the hospital. It's a good thing I did because it turns out I have gallstones and I need to get my gallbladder removed. The pain was being caused by stones being released and then getting stuck resulting in bile building up pressure behind them, which caused intense pain that lasted anywhere from 15 minutes to 15 hours. 

How did this happen? Well, my friends; extreme weightloss. My doctor told me weight gain or loss can cause this and when I told them about my success with my diet and exercise, they said, "Congratulations! ...But yes. Your weightloss definitely triggered this."

Why is my body betraying me after all the work I've done for it!? Curse it and its sudden but inevitable betrayal! Well at least it's not because of weight GAIN. They did a mini operation yesterday to clear out all the stones that were stuck in the tubes, but the big operation should be tomorrow. I'm shakin' in my boots because I've never had surgery before.

I have to say that the worst part is not being allowed to eat for the past five days. They said they might allow me liquids yesterday, but not till the doctor OKs it and with the operation this morning, I doubt they'll let me eat any solids. That will be almost a week without food and water if I can't eat till Thursday. Obviously I have an IV but there's a rock of hunger building in my stomach and its constantly growling. Meh!

Anyways. That's what's up over here! May your gallbladders remain stoneless and the odds be ever in your favor!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Sick and Irritated

Well I spent the entire night writhing in agony like Luke on the Death Star with severe abdominal cramps or pain or something. I don't know. I've gotten this "illness" about once a month for the last three months and these "pain sessions" usually strike every three hours for 24 hours and each session lasts about 30 minutes (and no, not during "that time"). This thing is so intense, I can't even put it into words. I'm not religious, but I'm reduced to just sitting there and praying to every higher power I can think of with tears running down my face. It's like an iron vice wraps around the center of my rib cage and slowly starts cinching in more and more until I'm seeing stars. If I move to try to relieve the pain, it sends the pain up or down my back and shoulders so there's no escape.

Well last night this pain gave me NO respite. Normally this comes in those half hour waves but nothing would get rid of them this time around...until I finally jammed some muscle relaxers down my throat this morning in desperation (this is pain so incredible that I can think of or do nothing else whilst it is happening), annnnnd promptly vomited until there was nothing left to give. Pro? The pain immediately subsided. None of the other times have caused that to happen, so I'm not sure what that's about. I ate perfectly on plan. None of this started happening till I started my diet, but I really can't believe one has anything to do with the other. Needless to say, I'm confused and I don't know what to do. Well, technically, I should go to the doctor... Ha. I hate hospitals. I'm worried about my health coverage being able to take care of whatever this is. 

Seeing a doctor could BANKRUPT me if my insurance doesn't cover whatever this is because I'm one of those starving artist types. So... awesome. I get to suffer- literally-for my art. Not sure what I should do about eating today so I'm just gonna wait till I feel some appetite coming back and then keep it simple with meals. I'm giving it an hour and if I still feel fine, then I'll head to the gym.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It's My Birthday!

Yesterday was my birthday and my weigh in day! I can proudly say that not only am I 27, but I've FINALLY broken into the 180s! Over 60 lbs down and so many aches, pains, and swollen feet eliminated. Needless to say there was much celebration on all accounts. I was surrounded by friends I love and we laughed the night away playing on the WiiU and carousing till the wee hours of the night. I can't believe how far I've come in such a short time and to top it off, I'm nearly halfway to my goal weight! Just gotta keep putting one foot in front of the other :)

Owly Images

As far as eating for the day, I pretty much had breakfast, my coffee with skim milk and Splenda and then had low sodium ramen for dinner and the fattest most delicious cake known to man. My best friend made me a Mint chocolate Icecream cake. People. This cake. Holy frak. So good, but here's why I fasted for the day: This cake= two layers chocolate cake, a middle layer of mint chip Oreo fudge swirl ice cream, and thin mint/dark chocolate icing. It was my birthday, so I can hardly be faulted for the indulgence, but clearly I didn't want to derail my progress completely- hence the fasting. WORTH IT. Heehee! I weighed myself this morning out of curiosity and I'm down half a pound so that worked out nicely! Now it's back to the plan and full steam ahead. No cheating till Christmas!

Lately I've been down on myself about this plateau I've been trying to push myself over and at the recommendation of friends both on Nutrisystem AND in my everyday life, I've been doing my best to find other ways to measure my achievements in weightloss besides the scale. I really think it's one of the healthiest things I've done in this whole program. I got out my measuring tape as so many of your comments suggested, I really tried to challenge myself at the gym to see how far my fitness level has come, and of course I kept track of comments made by friends and coworkers. Sometimes when we don't believe in ourselves, someone else comes along who does.

I work at Radio City Music Hall, and let me just say, when a Rockette doesn't recognize you at first and then says, "OH MY GOD Anne! You look incredible!" while dripping with 3,000 Swarovski crystals and glowing with glamor for the Christmas Spectacular, it feels pretty damn good! Someone else at work mistook me for a skinny co-worker and then was surprised to find it was me. I've also received a bunch of Facebook messages and Tweets from people who have been inspired to make a commitment to their own fitness and health because of what I'm doing- many congratulatory, but some calling me an inspiration! That seems so nuts to me, but it feels really good to know that what I'm doing for myself is helping other people face the same struggle we're all dealing with. It's always nice to know that you're having a positive effect on people and I'm grateful for that.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Officially Frustrated

I'm one of those people who weighs every day. I do it to get a sense of how my eating affects my fluctuations and to get myself used to seeing fluctuations rather than being surprised by them. 

That being said, I've eaten and exercised PERFECTLY every day this week except for Thanksgiving day and I only lost .8 lbs. The scale has been STUCK at 192.2 for 3 days and I don't get it. It's not going up or down and I've been really active. I just don't see how I can't have lost any weight at all since Thursday and it's really grinding my gears. Today is weigh-in day and I have almost nothing to show for it even though I ate pretty responsibly at Thanksgiving and stuck 100% to plan on the other days. 

I know I just need to keep working and that plateaus do happen but "MEH" I say. "MEH" indeed. I am most disappointed at this turn of events.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving: One Short Day of Indulgence

Now I can finally say I've made it through a Thanksgiving while on a diet. Did I make every healthy choice? No. But I totally exhibited self control while enjoying delicious food for ONE SPECIAL DAY of indulgence. I started the day with a Nutrisystem breakfast bar and a fast paced cardio workout on the elliptical. I got off the subway a few stops early and walked to work. I had two slices of dried mango at work and shared a small pumpkin cupcake with a friend at work to keep me going and then I used the rest of my calories for the day on dinner. I had a slice of turkey, two spoons of sweet potato casserole, green beans, spinach, a spoon full of mac & cheese, a cup of apple cider and a piece of pumpkin crumb cake. After dinner, we all did salsa dancing in the living room since I was celebrating with a bunch of dancers and choreographers. It was pretty wild and not what I'm used to when celebrating with my own family, but certainly a lot of fun! In the end I only put on .2 lbs after the whole active day and today I hopped right back on my diet plan. The important thing is to keep your eyes on the prize and to not fall of the wagon. Hope everyone enjoyed the day and is back on track today!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks

Knowing that Thanksgiving was coming around the corner, I've been working out every day after work. My work is really exhausting. I give tours all day and walk roughly 5 miles up and down 4 flights of stairs every day. So by the time I get home, I'm ready to sit down and relax.

Well not this week! :) I've been keeping my nose to the grindstone and putting in the work.

This morning topped it off though! I had been planning to rest on Thanksgiving and just enjoy everything in moderation, especially since I'm scheduled to work during the day. Well this morning I woke up around 5:30AM for no reason and couldn't get back to sleep. Then, I realized my first tour wasn't going to start until 11:30AM. 

I could have stayed in bed as I'd planned and given myself a break, but I didn't. Before I could even think about it, I hopped out of bed, threw on my gym clothes and began schlepping myself the 6 blocks to the gym. After I was done sweating out a cardio workout, I headed back to my apartment to shower. During the walk I was thinking about all the things that have changed since I started this whole healthy mission.. quest... thing! Sorry, I can never resist quoting Lord of the Rings. ANYWAYS! 

  • I've lost almost 60 lbs, sure. But that's just on the surface! 
  • 5 months ago, I would not going to the gym because I had extra time to kill. 
  • I wasn't as self assured as I am now because I was never brave enough to ask for what I wanted or demand what I deserve. I didn't think I was worth it. Now I know I am!
  • I didn't have a boyfriend who is proud of my journey and my determination to succeed rather than the results that succeeding will yield.
  • I had NO self control. 
  • I didn't know how to forgive myself for mistakes. 
  • I didn't know how to indulge without derailing myself.
  • I didn't have awesome cheerleaders and peers who teach me about what it takes for us to reach our goals EVERY DAY!
All that said, I don't think I've ever had a Thanksgiving where I was thankful for MYSELF, which seems really selfish I guess, but there you have it. I'm thankful for a lot of things this year, but most of all I'm thankful for the changes in me and I hope you're all thankful for yourselves too!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanksgiving Diet Plans

Today I weighed in at an even 57 lbs lost. I lost 3.6 pounds this week, which makes me very happy since it makes up for my puny -1.5 lbs lost weigh ins from the past two weeks. Of course any loss is nothing to sniff at but I like to aim for two pounds lost every week. Plus I'm always happy to see my weight go DOWN during the holidays.

This weekend my boyfriend and I decided to challenge ourselves to make beef stew so we could eat it whilst enjoying "Game of Thrones." My goal was to make it in the healthiest way possible. I used low sodium broth, cut away the fattiest bits of the meat, and loaded it with more veggies than called for. Maybe this would be weird, but next time, I'd consider using sweet potatoes instead of the regular kind. I think the sweet/savory mix would probably be delicious and of course healthier. It turned out really yummy, I got a guilt-free break from the Nutrisystem program AND I learned something new!

I'm curious about what everyone is planning to do for Thanksgiving this week. I'm planning on skipping my afternoon snack and having a little white turkey, a couple spoonfuls of sweet potatoes and a small serving of desert while staying strictly on plan for the rest of the week/exercising after work every day. I feel like that will be a fine planned indulgence for the holiday. I think the important thing will be to have a plan and not just fly blind. Good luck everyone and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Surviving My First Vacation on a Diet

This weekend was a true test for me. I went to Annapolis to sing at a friend's wedding being held at The Naval Academy. My goal was to have lost 50 lbs by then. I'm proud to say I passed that test with flying colors- and with a few pounds to spare! I even bought a new dress and some jewelry to match for the occasion. Size 14 and my first time out of the plus size section in quite a while! What do you think? :)

The wedding weekend was a test in itself. It was my first vacation while on this diet and I don't think I did too badly. I still lost a pound and a half this week overall (though I know I put on a pound and a half over the four days I was gone which is kind of sad :( ). Mostly I tried to give myself free rein to eat whatever I wanted within reason. I had my breakfast bar every morning and a cup of coffee with skim milk and splenda. After that I veered off program. I would just take tastes of the things offered that interested me (mostly crab of all kinds since it was Maryland after all!). When it came to deserts I just had a little bit of cake or whatever, but not the whole thing. It wasn't a perfect system but I held myself pretty accountable most of the time. My biggest downfall was drinking a few too many cocktails over the course of the celebrations, but I was surrounded by naval officers who were ferrying me from bar to bar and I didn't want to be antisocial. I know that's terrible excuse, though. I did manage to go to the hotel's gym on Sunday to work out for an hour. I walked everywhere because I don't drive. Plus, at the reception we danced like crazy! At least I can say I remained active!

Even though I didn't make the two pounds lost mark for the week, I think I exhibited a fair amount of self control in a tough situation. The result was that I got to indulge a little bit without gaining any weight overall this week. Huzzah! This morning, I hopped back on the plan and now I'm recommitting my energy to weight loss.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Calorie Count Signs in NYC

I have to say I'm LOOOVING that Mayor Bloomberg has insisted that all stores post calorie counts on their menus in NYC. Not only is it enlightening, but it makes flexing my Nutrisystem plan super easy. I'm able to assess what fits our guidelines way more accurately and when I treat myself to something, I can be sure I'm making the best possible choice. It also makes it easier to resist temptation when I see what some of the stuff I used to gorge myself on is worth. Yikes. Knowledge is power!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Shopping with Harley Quinn!

Well, not Harley Quinn, but my best friend Emily, who was the Harley Quinn to my Poison Ivy during Halloween 2011. You can see my costume in my "Before Photos." When we were joking about the hilarious Batman episode where Bruce Wayne take them shopping, I never thought I'd end up in one of Gotham's premiere shopping locales just over one year later shopping for a dress to wear to a friend's wedding. I certainly didn't think I'd have lost over 50 lbs. The bride (oddly ALSO named Emily) asked me to sing at the ceremony so I wanted to make sure I looked the part! Her colors are eggplant, sage green, and silver, so I'm really excited that I found this pretty eggplant colored dress so that I won't clash with the wedding party.

We learned many things at Macy's today. Here is a list of lessons from my shopathon and a preview of THE DRESS that I hope will amuse you all. Don't worry, I'll take better pictures at the wedding when I'm completely styled. :)

  1. For two geeky gals who hate shopping, we sure are good at it when we're together. We get in, get the job done, get out, and level up. Then on to the next item on the agenda. 
  2. If something looks bad, do a silly booty shaking jig until both parties convulse with giggles.
  3. If a dress looks like bacon, put it on IMMEDIATELY. You'll hate it, but you'll laugh REALLY hard.
  4. If a dress looks like a delicate purple butterfly, put it on IMMEDIATELY. Cause who doesn't want to be a butterfly?
  5. If a dress is... um. Purple AT ALL. PUT IT ON IMMEDIATELY. CAUSE PURPLE IS FLATTERING ON ME. However, not all dresses that are purple are flattering on me.
  6. Ok, but for realz, now. Apparently I am TOO THIN for the plus size section! Today, after trying on a ton of dresses there, we just could not find anything I wasn't swimming in. Suck it, fat! VICTORY. I am a size 14 for the first time in a really LONG time. Last time I checked my size I was a size 20.
  7. The plus size department is like the neglected dreary attic of any department store. Most people have only heard of it in legend. When you arrive, it's practically abandoned. It's dark, unorganized, and no one wants to help you or look at you. The very air tastes like shame and smells of self loathing. All the dresses have giant weird oversized floral prints and strategically placed swathes of sparkles or beading that are supposed to imply that "there's nothing to see here" when really it just creates a beacon that tells the viewer you're desperate for them to be looking ANYWHERE ELSE THAN AT YOUR FLAWS. Weirdly, you don't realize how awful that department is until you are finally able to escape to the normal section- WHICH WE DID! Victory lap, bitches!
  8. My best friend will tell you she's bad at shopping but she has great taste and always makes me feel like the best possible version of me! So many of my friends have been supportive of my progress, but she's has been there every step of the way to pick me up when its hard and remind me of my accomplishments along the way. Of course, she was there for me BEFORE I started to lose the weight as well. She is my rock and I love her. ♥
Today was also my weigh-in day! I've lost 52 lbs total so I'm feeling pretty good about that. Hopefully I'll be able to to stay on track during the nuptial celebrations next weekend!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Alice in Onederland

I'm no wilting little girl Alice, folks. I'm warrior Alice. Ok, I grant you the Tim Burton movie was terribad, but seeing as I've finally dipped below 200 lbs, I'm happy to be in Onederland at long last!

I've been struggling to get to this point for what feels like a million years. 

I never want to go back. I have to savor this moment as a victory, but keep it as a reminder of how hard it was to reach. I remember the last time I was doing a weightloss program and I dipped below 200 lbs. I said the same thing. "Never Again." Clearly I turned that promise to myself into a lie...

Obviously I stumbled and fell that time, but I was desperate and I was ill. I was suffering from anorexia and depression and I was completely unhealthy. I believed that if I couldn't control my actions with a vice-like grip, it wasn't worth trying at all. When I finally broke under the pressure, I gained over 100 lbs in 3 years. I'm so ashamed when I think about that and of course saddened by what I put my body through, let alone what I did to destroy my self image. 

This time I feel like I'm really making life changes in my behavior and even in the way I think about food and staying active. I'm not afraid of saying "Never Again" now because I really mean it. Also, I will "never again" view Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.

Owly Images

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hurricanes and Halloween

Owly Images
Well the last few days have been very unexpected. I live in NYC and we've been weathering Sandy and trying to get back on our feet in the wake of the storm. I've been extremely lucky because the area where I live has been pretty much unaffected. We never lost power or had any flooding at all. Our stores and restaurants were open as early as yesterday. Compared to whats going on in other areas, I am counting my blessings. 

The last week has been very slow as far as trips to the gym. I had been sick and unable to go to work but I definitely used exhaustion from Halloween activities as an excuse to avoid working out on Sunday. 

I did end up doing a cool costume for Sindel from Mortal Kombat and all of my friends who saw it commented on my weightloss and were very encouraging. It definitely built my confidence. Thanks so much to my friend Agatha who made it. We took a bunch of pictures of our whole Mortal Kombat group. I'll share one when I get access to them!

My boyfriend and I battened down at my apartment to weather the storm and I don't think either of us thought it would go on as long as it has. His grad school classes have been canceled and my work has been shut down as well. We've spent the time playing video games, watching Game of Thrones, and finding ways go "get some exercise" (::wink, giggle:: Sorry, TMI... heeeheeeheee). I think we've both been tempted to snack on comfort food, but despite a few Oreos, a few mouthfuls of his icecream, and a small hot chocolate, I still managed to lose 3 lbs since Saturday. Today I got up and hit the gym with the goal to get back 100% on program. It just goes to show you that if you fall off the wagon, you can always hop right back on and get back on track without torturing yourself or making it even worse. Today my boyfriend tried to go home, but ended up giving up because traffic between Queens and the city is out of control. We'll both have to make the trek tomorrow, so hopefully things will be a little smoother by then.

My heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by the hurricane. I really was blessed to have faired as well as I did considering what's going on in Lower Manhattan. I hope this city can remain resilient and that things will get back to normal over the next week.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


I know I'm usually so upbeat and positive, even in the midst of challenges... but I can feel my willpower starting to waver and it's really scary.

I've been experiencing severe abdominal pain that comes and goes over the last few days and I've totally stayed on plan, but after enduring this pain, all I want is something delicious and warm and comforting like a hamburger and french fries. This whole thing is coinciding with the scale just not moving at all. I'm 3 lbs from having lost 50 AND finally dipping below 200 lbs, so I know I should just stick it out... but I am really starting to feel deprived of comfort. I don't know if I'm slipping off the plan and going into starvation mode... but my body is just holding on to EVERYTHING. 

I've been doing Halloween stuff with friends for the last three nights and I've avoided any candy and only had one half glass of wine. I just don't know what to do. I'm completely wiped out and I just want a giant hunk of delicious meat wrapped in carbs and ketchup. 

Ugh. I just read that sentence and just thinking about it makes me feel gross and guilty... but I can't help it! Waaaagh! I really hope an alien isn't trying burst out of me!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Black Widow, Eat Your Heart Out!

I bought faux leather leggings for my Mortal Combat Halloween costume (that I hoped I'd get more mileage out of afterwards), but I was SUPER nervous they wouldn't fit. See, when you go around the city looking for leather leggings or shiny leggings, you can't really find plus size versions. Any place that sells that kind of thing "in the real world" is going to make them for "twigs" only. So I had to turn to "the other world," aka: THE INTERWEBS, in order to hunt down a pair I could only HOPE would fit. And dear readers, hope is all you have when you order clothes online. That always makes me really nervous and it's why I don't shop online for clothes pretty much EVER. I also didn't want to order too early and have them be too big for me when they got here. 

To make matters worse, they just weren't coming and the days were ticking down until my Halloween costume fitting and the party my friends always throw. So last night, I was at my wit's end and I checked my mail box in desperation. Lo and behold, there they were. So I ran upstairs and pulled them on, thinking the whole time, "Surely, these won't fit. There's no way." 


Owly Images

WABAM. I know it's a dark picture, but THEY FIT! I may not be a twig, but I'm gonna rock my rear off in these pants.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Overeating vs. Gym Defeating

Well today is weigh-in day and i'm down 3.6 lbs from last week, which is very significant to me because it's been a rough week emotionally speaking. I won't get into the details but I've been having problems in my relationship and it's really been dragging me down. I have barely slept this past week and my energy level has been really low.

I'm an overthinker. I try to think of every possible scenario for a problem to play out so that I'll be prepared for whatever pain or struggle I'll have to endure. Normally, this "thinking" and nerve-wracking heartache is accompanied by chocolate, ice-cream, and all sorts of other delicious, comforting yum-yums. In the past I would have binged on that stuff without a second thought. It would have been so second nature that I wouldn't have even considered the abuse I was putting my body through at the time.

Yet, as hard as the last week has been, I haven't done that. There have definitely been times when I wished for a bowl of icecream or a bag of Halloween candy that's on sale at the corner store, but I haven't taken the bait. 

In fact, I think I might be becoming one of those people who takes out their frustrations at the gym, which frankly has shocked the hell out of me. I've done a lot of that over thinking on the elliptical machine instead of on the couch with candy. It's even given me a chance to pump myself up for confrontations and take out my aggression about things that have hurt me in a way that doesn't hurt other people. It boils down to working out giving me a sense of self confidence. The gym is the only place that is completely about me- me being selfish about what I need and what I want for my life and my future. Because of that headspace, I've been able to get in touch with my more selfish emotions and desires without feeling the need to apologize for them. It's not a perfect system, but I am noticing that my coping mechanisms are changing.

I'm not in a place where I can definitively say that one of these coping mechanisms works better than the other, but I can at least say that I've made the healthier choice and stayed on track with my journey rather than letting myself get derailed. So as difficult as things are right now, I can be proud of that. 

Personally, I'm hoping I'll get into the 100s this week or next. One-derland is CALLING ME! Hopefully I can continue to keep my nose to the grindstone and get it done despite whatever else is happening in my life.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Behold Them!

Pinup Art - Felicia Day as the Naughty Fairy from The Legend of Neil - Close Up

Well, not so much "them" as me!

Yesterday I had one of those surreal days where everyone I saw remarked on my weightloss.

At work, I have to wear an ugly maroon tuxedo, so it's sort of hard for my co-workers to see the difference cause at this point I've lost 45 lbs and I'm still swimming in the same uniform because I'm waiting to replace it till I absolutely have to. Well I got in today and everyone was hanging out in their street clothes and I had my hair back and everyone's jaws dropped cause I guess my face is more defined and I was wearing more form fitting clothing. It was the talk of the town all day. It felt really good to get encouragement from my co-workers and to have them comment on how far I've come in my journey since I really have been sticking with it. 

I've also noticed that when I finish giving a tour, I get tips almost every time. I used to get tipped once every few days and now it's almost every single tour with the exception of school groups. My tour hasn't changed-just my body. I'm the same person giving the same tour, just 45 lbs thinner. I know I'm reaping the benefits now, but there's an aspect of this that makes me a bit mad at the way society works. Does anyone else think about this stuff? I'm really bothered by it. I hated the way I looked before but I still loved MYSELF/was proud of the work that I did and I think it's really sad that this kind of thing can make such a drastic difference in the way people see you/respect you professionally. 

Anyways, I went over to one of my best friend's houses to play video games and hang out last night and we happened to be riding the same train on the way there from our separate workplaces. He said he did a double take when he saw me (even though he's seen me steadily throughout this process). He said that the difference was very marked in my face and of course the rest of me as well. He has been really supportive of me this whole time, so I was shocked that I surprised him since he always sees me. 

The point of this blog is to express how awesome it feels to have people take notice of your progress, especially when you feel like things are slowing down or when you feel yucky about yourself despite your progress. I know that most of these people loved and respected me before the weightloss, but I also wanted to ask all of you about whether "weight" profiling still bothers or frustrates any of you? It makes me very uncomfortable and I know it's something that I cannot control, so I should just let it go... but it makes me so sad. Being fat doesn't mean you're dumb or worthless, or that you're any worse at your job than anyone else (unless you physically can't perform what's asked of you). Anyone have thoughts or ways you've been able to get over this aspect of accepting the changes in your body?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Yip Yip! It's My First Cosplay!

Well I had my weigh-in yesterday and I was pleased to see that I wasn't derailed by my weekend at New York Comic Con with my friends. I really did my best to stay on track. I packed a bunch of meals and looked at the menus for the restaurants we normally go to in order to prepare myself for what I might face. I did end up losing 2.8 lbs this week which is great. I was prepared for the scale not to move at all. Even though I brought Nutrisystem food with me every day for lunch and my afternoon snack, I was in costume, so I had to hunt down my friends in order to retrieve it since I didn't have a bag with me. The only day that went south was Saturday because a friend I was with got really sick and she had to stop walking around. I didn't want to leave her alone so I had to get a hot dog for lunch because that was all there was in the vicinity. It was one of those situations where I did my best to do the least damage possible with just a dollop of ketchup for flavor, but I felt kind of cornered and guilty about it afterwards. I ended up skipping my afternoon snack because of the hot dog and had a salad with grilled chicken, low-fat balsamic vinaigrette, and avocado when we went out for dinner. I guess I was just trying to minimize the damage while trying to enjoy a "special occasion" night out with my friends. 

All in all, it was a successful, healthy week and I still met my goal of at least 2 lbs lost per week WHILE having a ton of fun at the convention. 

I've always been afraid to cosplay because of my weight. I just didn't think I'd be able to become a character that would be recognizable. Most of our heroes and heroines in fandom are quite svelt and the idea of fitting my pudginess into that mold seemed like a lost cause. Plus the internet can be a cruel place where people lampoon photos of "bad cosplayers" or "fat versions" of characters and mock them mercilessly. I was really afraid of becoming a target for that. 

However, when I started this journey, I really wanted to plan a cosplay as a motivation because it's something connects my personality and my geekdom with my health (two things that have been in opposition or just not related at all for most of my life). I chose to create an anthropomorphic version of Appa, a flying bison, and one of my favorite characters from Nickelodeon's animated show Avatar: The Last Airbender. With help, encouragement, and advice from friends (as well as learning how to hand sew on youtube!), I think I was able to pull off a pretty great look. I wanted to share it with you all here! Some of my best friends agreed to reprise their Toph and Man-Toph costumes so that we could all go around as a group and enjoy the convention together. I really appreciated their support and show of solidarity. <3

Yip yip! Appa takes to the skies!

Owly Images

This was the first Aang that I came across at the convention. For those who don't know, Appa is Aang's spirit animal companion and the creature that carries Aang and his friends around the world on the show. I made it my goal to get pictures with every Aang I could find (one of whom was 6 years old and ADORABLE), but this one turned out the best. Although, it sort of looks like "Appa and Aang go to the prom." Ha!

Owly Images

Here's a view of the back of the costume. Appa has a very distinct look and people wouldn't necessarily recognize me from the front immediately, but as soon as I passed by, they would shout "Appa!" It was really funny. 

Owly Images

Moreso than anything else I learned from this experience, I found that cosplay brings people together. We met so many other fans of the show we love, some were even dressed up as other characters. When we all posed for pictures together it stopped traffic. People swarmed us like paparazzi. We all got to talk about why we loved the show and how we made our costumes. Everyday as I passed through the crowd I just heard a continues melodic strain of "Oh my god! It's Appa! Appa, look! Wow! Look at that Appa! Dude! Amazing, it's Appa!" It was just such a rush to feel people's support for all my hard work and of course to get to share our common love of the show in the process. One artist in artist's alley told me a story about how Avatar brought him and his girlfriend together and how Appa was their favorite. He was telling me this like I WAS Appa and I was personally responsible for his joyous relationship- which was hilarious and touching at the same time. The whole time I was nervous that cosplaying with be a degrading experience, but now that the convention is over, I can not only say that we made a great impression (as evidenced by all the pictures I've found of us that are now floating and garnering positive feedback around the internet! Haha), but I can also say that my experience was completely positive and even empowering. After the con was over, my boyfriend and I started planning a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic cosplay for PAX East in March. Now I have another goal to achieve and the best part is that he's going to participate in it with me so we can share our love of the show with other fans. :) 

Owly Images

And for those of you who know what "Gangnam Style" is, here's a "Heeeeey Sexy Appa" pic. You're welcome. This happened because my friend yelled at the other cosplayer, "Hey man! Hey! I need you to come yell at my friend's butt." To which he responded, "Sure!"

Owly Images

Monday, October 8, 2012

Plateau! In the Name of the Moon, I Punish You!

So I'd been sorta stuck in a weight loss plateau for the last few weeks. I'd been losing 1 to 1.5 lbs a week and it just seemed like everything was fluctuating a ton more than usual from day to day. I'm pretty sure it had to do with me starting on "The Pill" for the first time and my body was just adjusting. Considering many people report weight gain, I suppose I should count myself lucky that my body was capitulating to weight loss at all. I was sort of afraid I wouldn't make my goal for the "Hot by Halloween" challenge on the Nutrisystem community forums if it kept up. Needless to say, I was sort of stressed out about losing weight the entire week and I was nervous I was losing my edge.

Well, today was weigh-in day and I lost 6.4 lbs this week. That's BANANAS! I stuck 100% to my food plan and worked out 4 days with some physical activity on the others. I've heard of downward "swooshes" after a plateau, but damn! This was pretty swooshified. Normally I would have given up at a plateau, but this time, I persevered. I just kept telling myself,

"If you've done everything you can to be healthy with your diet and your fitness routine and the scale isn't moving, then just let it go! Science says that what you're doing will cause you to lose weight so stop being so dramatic and stick to the plan."
I also think, "When I'm sad, I stop being sad and start being awesome," but I digress. Science says it, guys. Science. The whole weight loss thing can be as much of a mental battle as a physical one and it's important to take stock of what you're doing and troubleshoot, but sometimes plateaus happen. Just stick to your guns. Maybe switch some dinners for lunches, adjust the times you eat, or try some new workout stuff to keep your body guessing, but at the end of the day, your body will only go as fast as it can and impatience will only drive you crazy. 1-2 lbs a week is a healthy rate. Sometimes you'll lose more, sometimes less. Just go with it. 

Yesterday I posted a quick celebration of some sports bras fitting that hadn't when I first ordered them, but what I didn't say was that I also tried on some T-shirts I had bought that hadn't fit before. It's been one of my mini-goals to be able to fit into these and I'd succeeded with two of the four so far. So I decided to try on the other two yesterday and BAM! They fit! The one below was especially exciting because there was a lot of shame attached to it not fitting before. You see, a group of friends and I all ordered the same shirts from (a site that releases a new design each day). The image matched the symbol for our guild in World of Warcraft (The Unicorn Alliance) and we decided we all just had to have them to wear en masse to conventions and events. Well I ordered the biggest size available thinking it would be fine, but when it came, barely even fit over my boobs, let alone my belly. I tried to laugh it off by making jokes about being the token fat-ass, but inside I was really hurting and every time they all wore them together, I felt really bad about not being able to join in. So yes, it meant the world when I pulled this on yesterday and found that finally it fit. I shared it on Facebook and everyone was super supportive and awesome. I was filled with warm fuzzies because my friends and guildies have been my rocks throughout this whole journey so far.

Owly Images

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Lok'tar Ogar! Boobies!

That's Victory or Death, in orcish- the war cry of the Horde in World of Warcraft and my personal battlecry when it comes to weightloss! Well, not the boobies part, but that's just applicable today in particular.

How's this for a victory? When I first started my diet, I ordered three new sportsbras and I'm definitely... ahem. "Stacked"... As they say, so it's always expensive and never easy to find good ones that offer support, are comfortable, and still fit.

Anyways, I ordered them when I started the program and when they came, ONLY ONE fit. I was really mad at the time, because I had ordered the largest available sizes in all of them and I had spent about $80 bucks total.

BUT BEHOLD (well not literally... hehe)! I just decided to try one on to see how far I had to go. AND IT FITS! IT FITS IT FITS IT FITS. Ahem. It. Fits.

So yes. I'm wearing my new Under Armor bra to the gym today. Suck it, fitness! BAM.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Throw Down the Gauntlet!

Did Daenerys Targaryen become of the Mother of Dragons by slacking off and letting her environment define her? 

Clearly not. 

I've been recommitting myself to the gym over the last few days. I realized that in order to keep improving, I needed to turn up the heat in terms of the difficulty. I've been doing the same thing on the elliptical for over a month and it has become easy. I increased the elliptical's incline and the resistance in my interval and weight loss program and was rewarded by a higher calorie burn than I've ever had before as well as keeping my heart rate in the right zone for more of the time. I felt like I was going to die the first time, but I think that's a good thing. I'm challenging myself again and it's good to know I can depend on myself to throw down the gauntlet for the first time in my life.

Are you doing everything you can to challenge yourself? If you're not, try something new today or do what you've been doing, only make it harder. This whole process is only going to be as intense and successful as you make it!


The Mother of Dragons

Monday, October 1, 2012

Cosplay Progress and Halloween Hullabaloo

Owly Images
My Appa cosplay for New York Comic Con is coming along pretty well and I've also started preparing for Halloween too. Lot's of sewing, which I didn't know how to do before so hooray for learning how to do new things. Just need to attach the false arms to the bracers and run an invisible line between them so they'll move along with my regular arms, remake the horns a lot smaller, and then maybe sew an elbow joint into the arms to make them move more naturally. Lots of work but it will all be worth it! As far as Halloween goes, I'm lucky enough to be relying on the immeasurable skills of my friend Agatha who makes our group of friends themed costumes every year. This year's theme: Mortal Kombat. I wish I could say that I'm super into it. I love video games, but I'm not really a huge fighting game fan. I'm going to be Sindel, the banshee! She wears purple, which is my favorite color, so I was willing to capitulate to the overall desire of the group to do that theme. I know Agatha will alter the more naked aspects of my costume that make me nervous so that I'll be comfortable. It's not that I don't like nakedness. There are just still parts of my body that I'm really uncomfortable with exposing to the world! This is mostly about having fun with everyone and taking awesome pictures and I didn't want to be the thorn in anyone's side just because I was afraid of not looking like the character and not being able to show enough skin to do her justice. When we're all dressed up, I know we're going to look amazing. Agatha always makes sure of that! 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

You Slimy-Double-Crossing-No-Good-Swindler!

Well. Last night was the first time that I ACTIVELY cheated on my diet since starting Nutrisystem. I didn't go off the deep end or anything but when my boyfriend showed up to the sushi restaurant, he said that he'd rather go somewhere he hadn't gone before so I quickly had to change my plans and got thrown for a bit of a loop. We ended up going to Veselka, a Polish restaurant down the street, which is really good, but everything on the menu was pretty starchy. I probably should have gone with a simple salad, but it had been a really long day giving tours and the rain had been abysmal and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Plus they didn't have any lowfat dressings and the additions to the salads seemed really out of control. Long and short was: I wanted some comfort food. So I got a vegetarian platter with mushroom stuffed cabbage and perogies that came with a salad and matzah ball soup. I ate the whole garden salad without dressing. I had the soup part of the matzah ball soup and just a few bites of the ball in the center and then two of the four cheese perogies and half of the cabbage, which was COVERED in mushroom gravy which I scraped most of off. 

In any case I exhibited some self control and portion sense in how I went about enjoying the delicious meal that arrived at the table... but after dinner, Brandon really wanted desert. Well across the street, was MUD coffee. We went in, found a quiet table and we decided to share a brownie and he ordered some hot chocolate as well. I knew I could only have a few bites because it would be so rich, but after the day that I'd had... I REALLY wanted some. Ugh. So I did end up having four or five bites and a sip of his hot chocolate. But that combined with a dinner that I felt really pushed it in terms of flexing on the plan, really made me feel guilty. 

Anyways, I've been weighing myself every day (just to keep myself honest), and I couldn't resist stepping on the scale this morning to see the damage I'd done. I felt like I owed it to my progress to face up to my cheating in the light of day. Turns out I lost .2 lbs yesterday. 


I suppose I shouldn't feel too bad because I didn't gain anything, but given the fact that I've been sort of struggling through a plateau, I felt like today was not the time to cheat. Anyways. It's nose to the grindstone today. I'm not going to let this get to me because it's a new day and I can always make better choices, but I felt like I should chronicle the experience and hold myself accountable for it instead of sweeping it under the rug. So there you have it. I'm a cheater now. :( I know it's a milestone that we all face at some point, but I suppose what I wanted to say is:

"Just because you make a poor choice one day, doesn't mean you can't do better the next."

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Still Flying

I didn't want to post last weigh-in because I hadn't lost any weight. Not one pound. It really got to me. I mean I've been working my ass off, packing my food, and forgoing all temptations during social engagements and it just made me really frustrated that I hadn't dropped anything. I just kept telling myself that for the past three weeks, I've been losing 3-4 lbs every weigh-in and that my body was probably just trying to catch up, not to mention the positive side which is that I didn't GAIN anything. Meh. Anyways. I was sad, OK? Sue me. :)

Today I was thinking about how this is a life change and not just a means to an end. When I really think about what I've accomplished so far, I can be proud of that, and I shouldn't beat myself up because I didn't go backwards. I'm physical every day of my life now, which I definitely wasn't before. On days when I work, I don't necessarily make it to the gym because of my commute, but at work I give tours that require me to walk at least 3 miles a day. On other days, I go to the gym and I push myself. On Sunday, the guy I'm dating took me to Central Park and taught me how to longboard. I would NEVER have gone on a date that required me to do physical activity before because I was so embarrassed. Plus, it was really fun (even though I took a few spills due to my abundance of clumsiness! Ha!). Also. Rewind. I'm dating someone? WHAT?! That's crazy! And he's awesome, intelligent, and treats me well. Let's just focus on that for a second. Usually I let myself get bullied by the guys I've dated but I don't ever worry about that with him. ::grins like a loon:: Progress made, if you ask me!

I've been so focused on the scale and the plan and entering all of this info into my calorie tracker app and the Nutrisystem website, that I haven't opened my eyes to the real changes that are happening in my life and the support of everyone around me. So I decided for this week, I'd let myself weigh in every day despite the frustrations of fluctuations (cause I feel like it keeps me from doing tempting things because "I'll just work it off by weigh-in"), but I wouldn't enter any of the food info into my tracker app on my phone. I would just do the plan as I've been doing it for the past 3.5 months. I know what to do and what I need. Sidebar: I wouldn't recommend that to someone just starting the program, but with where I'm at, I feel confident in that decision since it's just a week long exercise before I'll get back to my old way of doing things. Anyways! We'll see how it goes. As a result, the scale did nudge down .8 pounds today so yippity skippity! And! My dad said if I lose 10 more lbs, he'd get me a longboard, since I enjoyed it so much the other day. So huzzah! Thinking positively about myself from here on out. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Never Give Up. Never Surrender

Another week, another 4 lbs GONE! Just 1.2 lbs from my 30 lbs lost weightloss goal for New York Comic Con (which is just a little over a month away). I'm not one to count chickens before they hatch, but it looks like I'll be CRUSHING that goal, which is exciting. 

I've been sick this week, but I still went to the gym. There is nothing worse than exercising whilst you're sick. I've only been able to muscle in a half hour on the elliptical for the last few days. It was definitely a struggle for me and I really felt unable to go at it the way that I normally do. At least I did SOMETHING instead of throwing in the towel. Hopefully I can lick this cold and get back in fighting shape. It's slow season for work so I'm only scheduled a few days this week. I'll be buckling down at the gym and pushing myself to get back to where I was before the storm of sick hit me.

I also realized when I weighed myself that I was due to put in measurements for the month. Last month, I sort of winged it, but I wanted to make sure I was doing it right so I looked up how to do it on YouTube and found I was measuring the waist wrong and that I was supposed to include the love handles and cross over the belly button, as opposed to the thinnest part of my torso which is just a few inches below my bust. So sadly, that added 7 inches to my waist measurement, BUT I lost about 7.5 inches from all the other areas combined. I'm sure, had I measured the waist correctly, then I would have lost there too instead of gained. Measurements are so important because sometimes when the scale won't move, they will. I can be a really great motivator in the midst of a plateau.

Anywho! Nose the grindstone! I'm off to the gym.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

25 lbs Lost: The Suck-It-Corset-Saga

I already wrote about last weekend's trip, but I wanted to post again because as of yesterday, my corset laced all the way up this week! How bananas is that?! I'm actually sort of nervous it won't fit next year since I fully intend on seeing this journey all the way to the end. Anyways! I just wanted to share this "yippee" moment. Only 5 more lbs till my next goal of 30 lbs lost for New York Comic Con in October. I'm gonna kill it! :)

Owly Images

My newest skill set is eating responsibly when I'm straying from the Nutrisystem plan during outings. I definitely spend time preparing myself for the choices I'll have to make. Planning everything ahead of time is really key to being responsible. It means that I make everything from a healthy frame of mind rather than being easily swayed by temptation in the moment.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Motivational Thinking: I Have Many Skills

There are things I've started to tell myself to stay on track when things get hard or food gets tempting. In the past, being a stickler about having to do the same thing every day has caused me to lose large amounts of weight in the beginning, but resulted in a failure later on when I'm not able to continue measuring up to my own incredibly high standards. After all, no two days are the same, so if you limit yourself to certain behaviors performed in an exact order every day, there's only so long you can carry on before you start to feel trapped by the process. The key difference here is that I've been educating myself on how to be more active and how to supplement the Nutrisystem program so that if I do have to adjust, I have more options for strategies and solutions at my finger tips. This time around, I'm allowing myself to be more flexible and adopting a "slow and steady wins the race" mentality so that I can focus on lasting life-style changes rather than yo-yoing down so fast that I fail to maintain the weightloss and shoot up higher than I was in the first place. It's the difference between Jedi and Sith training.

So without further ado, here are some of my go-to motivational mantras:
  • You can sleep in, but then you have to go to the gym after work and work twice as hard.
  • You never regret going to the gym, but you do regret not going.
  • If you want to eat off of your specific diet plan, then PLAN how you're going to do it so that you're not undoing the hard work you've done. On these "indulgence" days, you MUST go to the gym. 
  • If you're dreading your typical boring workout, you don't have to do it. BUT! You do have to go to the gym and take a class.
  • If you have a setback, let it go and move forward. You're not going to undo a mistake by harping on the past. The only thing that will undo a setback is what you DO in the present and plan to do in the future. 
  • What do we say to the god of giving up?
Buy this print on Society Six

Those are just a few of the sentiments I've been using to push myself through rough spots. If you have more that you use to keep your motivation up, please feel free to post them in the comments!

Monday, August 27, 2012

NY Ren Faire Boss: Defeated!

This past week has been extremely fun, stressful, and awesome.

This was the countdown to my first mini goal: 20 lbs lost by the time I went to the Renaissance Faire so I could enjoy my new garb and feel like I looked better than I did last year in all the pictures. For a while there, I was losing only 2 lbs a week and I wasn't sure if I would make it, but I did see the differences taking effect in my body so I knew I could be proud of that if I didn't make it. This past week was also the first time I ate off the plan because I've sorta started dating someone and it's hard to do that when you have all your meals on Nutrisystem. I've really done my best to stay on track, but rather than go to the gym every day, I went 5 days and did a ton of walking on the others.

P.S. The guy is awesome and totally supportive of my journey. Tall, handsome, intelligent, funny as hell, loves musicals- WHERE DID HE COME FROM? ANNE PLANET? We had SO much fun on our first date walking around Greenwich Village, going to Forbidden Planet, the Halloween store, and eating sushi. YUM. Who knows? This one could be a keeper, methinks. ;) I digress.

On the stressful side of the spectrum, I had some emotional issues to deal with concerning a huge fall-out with the artistic director of the theater company I have been supporting and working for over the last two years. I won't use any names to protect the integrity of those involved and the future of the company, but I will say that I was ultimately was fired from the company for things I didn't do. There was a huge embarrassing confrontation started by the director in front of the entire cast and the audience at our last performance. I was very hurt and upset by the unjust accusations made by his loose cannon behavior. He's a manic depressive who doesn't take his medication because he feels it stifles his creativity and he just decided to turn on me for absolutely no reason at all and spread slanderous remarks about me as a person and a professional. I'm sure you can understand why I'd be so hurt given the circumstances of my dismissal from the company. Normally, I would have turned to food for some comfort but I just told myself that I'd only be more upset if I undid all of the hard work I've put in. You can't control what other people do or how they treat you. You can only control your own behavior and reactions. As hard as it was, I did conquer the urge to "carb it up" for comfort.

Even so, I've been far less stringent this week and while I've been proud of the choices I've made, I was really concerned that I would see negative results on the scale come weigh in day.

So, you can imagine how surprised I was when I weighed in Saturday morning and discovered that I'd lost 4 lbs this week! I surpassed my 20-lbs-lost goal by one pound which was really exciting and I proved to myself that even when life throws in some curve balls, I can still make good choices. 

With all this in mind, I recommitted to losing 10 more pounds before New York Comic Con in October and I stood by that new goal while attending the Ren Faire, even though it would have been easier to celebrate with a cheat day. Those of you who have been to a faire before know that it's filled with delicious turkey legs, chocolate dipped cheese cake, and all matter of tempting distractions. This year, they also had my greatest weakness, pulled pork sandwiches (/swoon). Two of my friends got them and I was so envious, but I stuck to my guns at got the cheese, veggie, and fruit plate with crackers. I was actually pretty shocked to see the portions of everything that was served in general, even my dish. I've been so used to having everything "perfectly portioned for weight loss." All around me, people were eating gargantuan meals large enough for two or even three people and thinking nothing of it. That being said, I really enjoyed my grapes and cheese and carrots. I skipped on the crackers and handed off half of the cheese to a friend who was still hungry. Later I treated myself to about a half cup of lemon ice, which was delicious and refreshing in the intense heat, and again passed off the remainder to friends once I felt I'd gotten the good of it. This whole "passing off to friends" thing is working wonders when it comes to eating off  of the Nutrisystem plan because I just get food out of my face when I know I'll be tempted to snack on it after I've already filled up. The whole day was really fun and I spent money I'd normally spend on food on accessories for my Ren Faire outfit.
Owly Images

After we got in the car, we were going over pictures from the day and everyone wanted to see the "before" photo from last year's fair and match it up with this year's picture. It was really cool to see the differences, even the subtle ones, so I compiled the two photos together so you can see them side by side. Sadly they're not the same size, but then again, neither am I! 

Let me know how you like my improved costume! :)