Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday: 8/28/13 Taking a Breather Edition

Last Week's Weight:                                           220.2
Current Week's Weight:                                      221.8

Current Weight Gain:                                             1.6

Total Weight Lost:                                              88.2

So, after last week's realization that I needed to take a break from the Diet Bets, I decided that it was time for me to take a breather and my body is thanking me for it.  I'm watching what I eat for the most part, but I'm not going overboard.  I've exercised a bit, but not as much as I had been the rest of this summer.  Basically, I'm hitting the reset button.

I've done this several times through my process.  Whenever I get exhausted by everything (both mentally and physically!) I've taken a step back.  I don't go to any sort of extreme, I just kind of stop letting it rule my life.  I stop thinking about every single thing that goes into my mouth.  I stop counting every single calorie.  I stop exercising ALL THE TIME.  Whenever I take these breathers, I come back even stronger and am able to lose even more weight than if I had plowed through.

I'm actually happy that I only gained a pound and a half, because I really think I ate enough calories to warrant a larger gain.  It tells me that my body is comfortable with kind of staying at this weigh if need be.  I'm debating how long I want to take this break.  Maybe I'll just take a week, maybe I'll take a couple more.  Maybe I'll come back from the holiday weekend and hit the ground running (literally!).  We shall see.

In other news, I'm back at work now.  No more carefree summer days!  I'm back to the real world of preplanning meals and scheduling time for my workouts.  No more flying by the seat of my pants.  I'm still in NYC and will be for a couple more weeks and then I head off to the mystical land of York, PA with the show.  

All I gotta say is... Working is hard y'all! :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday: 8/21/12 - The Epiphany Edition

Last Week's Weight:                                       222.7
Current Week's Weight:                                  220.2

Current Weight Lost:                                         2.5

Total Weight Lost:                                           89.8

I'm glad to be back at 220.  It's a good place for me right now, and it's a place I feel comfortable sitting at when I go back out on the road.  My clothes fit me well (even a tad on the loose side) and I just feel good in my skin.  It's a place I think I can maintain if it comes to that.

Here's why I'm talking about maintaining weight at the moment, rather that losing it: I had an epiphany this week with regards to Diet Bets and how they pertain to me.  I realized that in order for me to win them, I was going completely against my philosophy that I had developed about weight loss and the ability to maintain it.  Over the course of the past three years I've realized that the only way for me to lose weight and keep it off is to not deprive myself.  If I wanted to splurge on french fries, then I splurge!  But, I don't go overboard with it.  I get a small fry and move on.  If I wanted a slice of pizza, I got a slice of pizza!  I did this because I knew that if I didn't I would be depriving myself which would result in me going overboard to compensate. Tame the beast!  It's all about BALANCE! (see how it always comes back to balance?)

In order for me to win these Diet Bets I've been super strict with my eating, not allowing myself even the slightest indulgence and it worked in order to achieve the large weight loss numbers you need in order to win.  But, then as soon as the bet was over, I was going overboard with "rewards."  Ice cream, fast food, you name it!  I wanted it because they weren't even options when I was on the bet.  Even stuff that I never crave, I craved once that bet was over and that is why my weight ballooned back up to 228!  I binged, and I have never been a binge eater.  The small amount of money that I was winning on these bets weren't worth the deprivation and mental toll it was wreaking on me.

I realized that with me being as close to my goal weight as I am right now, my body just doesn't need to be losing 10 pounds a month.  I only have 20 more pounds to lose!  I need to go back to losing weight my way, because that is the way that I've managed to keep it off for three years.  It could take me three months, or it could take me a year!  I have no clue when I will finally see the magical 200 on the scale.  But, I know that I will eventually see it and that's the only thing that's important.

Also, I'm in New York City for just another three and a half weeks.  I'm going to want to go out with my friends to dinner and brunch and drinks.  I don't want to not enjoy what this city has to offer, because I honestly don't know when I will be back.

So, basically... I think Diet Bets are a good idea.  I think they are great for people who need motivation to start losing weight, or who need a kick in the pants because their weight loss has stalled.  I think it's a very supportive environment (at least the bets I've joined have been) and I really liked that you can talk with other people and make friends with people who struggle with the same things you are struggling with.  Unfortunately, Diet Bets just aren't what I need right now.  I don't need the pressure to lose a certain amount of weight by a certain amount of time.

In other news, I've moved to my new sublet about a block from Central Park and I couldn't be happier.  I've gone on three runs and have taken numerous walks just around the neighborhood and in the park as well.  I love it.  I love having such easy access to something as wonderful as Central Park.  It's made me realize that when I eventually move back to NYC on a more permanent basis that I will be doing everything in my power to make sure that I am able to move back to this neighborhood.  I miss it.

Well, that's all from me this week!  Next Monday I start back to work, so it should be interesting!!

Monday, August 19, 2013


Yesterday, a friend and I decided to both try our very first Zumba class together.  For those who don't know (and if you don't, I think you might have been living under a rock) Zumba is a fitness class that combines latin and hip hop type dance moves for a big calories burn.

I've heard lots of people rave about how much fun it is, and how effective its been in their weight loss.  It was something that I always wanted to try, but just never really got around to finding a studio in whatever city I was in.  Well, being in NYC for a while it just made sense for me to take advantage!

My friend said that she had attempted to take a class at the Alvin Ailey Extension but it had filled up, so we decided to give it another try.

They offer two Zumba classes back to back on Sunday mornings, so we decided to go ahead and try for the early class in the hopes that if we couldn't get in the first one, we could take the second class.  There was a substitute instructor, so it wasn't as packed as it normally is.  We had no problem getting into the first class.  I bought an introductory 2 class package for $25 since it was my first time at the studio.  I think they are normally around $20/class (although you can buy multi class packages and it makes it cheaper).

I wore my heart rate monitor during the class and I'm so glad I did!  Holy.  Crap.  I BURNED SOME CALORIES!  The class was about an hour with a 5-10 minute cool down.  In the hour class, I burned almost 800 calories!  My heart rate hit levels that it only ever hits when I'm running!  I got my ass handed to me!  I dripped in sweat (tip: bright a hand towel to wipe down quickly between songs.  I sweated so much it stung my eyes.) I can safely say, it's a great work out!

The instructor was pretty good, but I can see how if you got a not-so-great instructor, how it wouldn't be a good experience.  Our instructor had a few combinations that were a bit overly complicated, and she didn't ever really say what she was doing.  Those are my only two complaints.  But, I think that she did a good job of trying to walk the room and correct people if they weren't doing particular moves correctly (so that the right muscles were being worked).  But, it's a great judgment free zone.  If you aren't a great dancer?  So what!  Not a skinny minny?  So what!  You can still get a great workout.  Also, it's for people of all ages.  We were probably the same age of the vast majority of the people in there, but there were quite a few people significantly old.

I am definitely going to try Zumba again! (I have that second class I have to use before I leave NYC!)  I think I might try and do it whenever I can on the road.  It might be a good addition to my running.  It will change up my routine, give me a great workout, and it definitely worked some muscles that I don't use all the time.

I personally loved going with a friend.  It was fun to be able to look over at someone I knew and be able to laugh when I felt silly, mostly because I couldn't get a particular combination correct.

If you are looking for a great workout and to have some fun, you should definitely find a Zumba class near you!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday: 8/14/13 - Injury edition

Last Official Weigh In:                        220.0
Current Weigh In:                               222.7

Current Weight Gained:                           2.7
Weight Gained since DietBet:                   3.3

Total Weight Lost:                                87.3

As you can see, I did a little bit of celebrating after I won my Diet bet last week.  As I already wrote, I ate McDonald's, but then for the next few days I kept splurging and allowing myself some treats here and there.  I also didn't really exercise.  Eating more plus no exercise = weight gain!  Shocker!

I'm sorry to admit that my weight got all the way back up to 228, so I'm actually QUITE happy to see 222 on the scale this morning.    I did start a new diet bet this week which will probably be my last for a long time since I don't think I will be able to do it on the road.  When I weighed in for this bet, I was 225.3, so my goal to win this one is 216.3.  This time I have to say I don't think I'm going to win and I'm okay with that.  I'm dealing with some injuries right now and I would rather be healthy and lose whatever weight I can, rather than almost kill myself to get to a specific number on the scale.  I think that's actually why I have these current injuries.  I was supposed to have rested the final day of the last bet, and instead I went out and ran and did a Jillian Michaels' video.  My muscles and joints are now getting back at me.  My right knee is sore and popping occasionally (I believe it's runner's knee so I've been icing, etc.) and now my left ankle is a bit wonky.  I'm not really sure what's going on there, but again I'm resting and we'll see what comes of it.

While I rest these injuries, it's forcing me to get back on track with my eating, which is always a good thing.  I've always believed that losing weight is 80% about the calories and food that go into your body and 20% about the exercise.  Do I think you should lose weight without ever doing an ounce of exercise?  No, absolutely not.  But, could you do it?  Yes, I think that you could.

So, my goal for the month or so that I have left in NYC is to just continue to keep balanced in my life and lose as much weight as I can in as healthy a way as possible.  I had hoped that by my 3 year Fativersary (Labor Day) I would hit the 100 pounds lost mark, but I know that's not going to happen.  I'm disappointed, but I have to keep my health as the number one goal.

I have to share something that might be a bit TMI, but it's an exciting Non-scale victory.  I've been noticing for quite a while that my bras were all a bit big.  I'm a big chested girl and so if my boobs were shrinking, that was making me a happy girl.  They get in the damn way!  So, I went to a higher end store and got fitted.  I not only went down in the band size, but I went down TWO cup sizes!  That's insane!  The woman at the store was in shock, because she said that whenever she's fitted people who have lost weight, they've always lost in the band, but rarely in the cups.  I'm an overachiever I guess.  :)  It does suck though, because I can't afford to buy all new bras!  I just have to keep wearing the old ones until I can slowly replace them with more properly fitted ones.  That sucks, but it's good to know where I stand!

Also, a little side note...  I bought a bikini, but I returned it.  Could I have worn it?  Yes, but I'm just not comfortable enough with that yet.  We'll see if I get there eventually.

Today I move to a new sublet in Manhattan that's about a block from Central Park and I couldn't be more excited.  Even though I don't know if I should run for a couple more days, I am excited to just go and walk around the city.  I only have a few more weeks here and I want to enjoy as much as possible before I head back out on the road and into middle America.

Until next week!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Non Weigh In Wednesday - Winner Edition

You may have noticed that I didn't post a weigh in this morning... Well, that's because I WON my second Diet Bet yesterday and I celebrated last night with McDonald's and a Crumbs cupcake.  With all of that sodium and extra calories for the day, I knew that my weigh in would be a bit off, and so therefore I'm not posting it.

I will say what my official ending weight for the Diet Bet was, and that was 219.4.  Although, I must admit that's not entirely accurate either.  Unfortunately, I timed this Diet Bet poorly.  It's a certain week of the month when water retention is inevitable and no matter what I did, I couldn't seem to shake the last half pound.  So yesterday I woke up and even though my eating had been completely on point the day before, had drank plenty of water and walked about 3.5 miles my weight had actually gone UP and was reading at 220.2.  I needed to lose .6 pounds and FAST.  So, I put on my work out gear and did level 2 of Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred and then went outside for a 20 minute jog.  Luckily, when I came back the scale cooperated and I logged my weight.  So, did I cheat a little?  Um, yeah... BUT that doesn't negate the fact that I did actually lose 9 pounds in a month.  Just meant that I was a little bit short and fudged it a little to win the money.  I don't know how much the winnings are yet, they are still finalizing everything, but it will probably end up being another $20 or so.  

I'm definitely going to do another bet immediately after this.  I have less than a month until my 3 year anniversary of this whole she-bang and I have a VERY important goal that I want to hit by that time.  I'm going to wait a week though and join then so that the timing isn't as unfortunate as this last bet was.

The interesting thing about my cheat meal last night...  I did not feel good after having eaten it.  It's weird because during the past three years I've had plenty of cheat meals and I never really felt any differently after having eaten that as opposed to the healthy stuff.  I always heard of people's body's have negative reactions to unhealthy foods after they had changed their habits to more healthy ones, but I never really did.  Maybe it was because I stuffed myself until I was uncomfortably full.  Maybe it was packing a week's worth of sodium and sugar into one meal.  Maybe it was the entire day's worth of calories in one sitting.  I don't really know which of the factors that it was, but I do know that it reminded me that I'm not the person that I once was.  I felt gross afterwards, and that made me feel bad about myself.  Did I deserve a reward after my hard work?  Sure, but did I need to eat all that I had?  No.  Will I know this and use this information for the next time?  Yes.  And that's the most important part:  Learning and growing.  Take the knowledge from your mistakes and grow from them.

I like knowing that I'm still learning new things about myself.  I like that I can still surprise myself.

For now though, I'm taking a complete day of rest, meaning no exercise at all.  My muscles are SCREAMING at me because yesterday I was supposed to have rested but instead exercised to get that last bit of weight off for the weigh in.  So, I'm looking forward to using my muscles as little as possible today.  I think they will thank me for it, considering how much they hate me at the moment.

That's about all I have to say, so I guess I will just see how this recovery week goes.  

Until next week!

Monday, August 5, 2013

I'm Average - And Proud Of It!!

When I first started this journey (almost three years ago!!) I had a couple of non-scale victories that I hoped to accomplish.  The top of that list though was to fit into (and then buy!) a Burberry trench coat.

I know this makes me sound like a label whore, but in terms of high end clothing, this is really the only true thing I've strived for.  It's a classic item that won't go out of style with age.  Anyway... the largest size that they carry is a size 14 (for the most part anyway... you can find an occasion 16 of a trench at a department store, but the retail stores only go to 14) and so for someone who hasn't been a size 14 since 8th grade, it was definitely long term goal...

In the fall of 2011, I wandered into a Burberry store in Charlotte, NC and decided to try on a coat and see how far (or close) I was from fitting.  It was tight everywhere and I couldn't close it.  I was pretty solidly a size 16 at the time, but on a rare occasion could find a 14 that fit.  I had been hoping that this was one of those occasions!  Um, I was beyond wrong in my optimism.  I weighed probably 240-245 at the time and was pretty solidly stalled at that weight.  I got a bit defeated.  I hadn't lost any real weight since that summer and I didn't see that changing anytime soon.  Would I ever actually achieve these goals that I had set out for myself?  Or would I be doomed to (in my head) failure?

As you well know I did break through that plateau and am well on my way to a huge milestone, but I hadn't really ventured back to a store to retry my Burberry experiment.  Well... today was that day!!

I was trying to walk as much as I could today before my final weigh in for my diet bet tomorrow (I ran yesterday and my legs were utterly exhausted, so walking would have to do!) and walked by Bloomingdale's.  Honestly, the only reason I went in was because I had to pee and figured I could browse afterwards.  I was wandering around when I happened upon their Burberry store and it stopped me in my tracks.  I moseyed over there and started perusing.  Dare I try?  Would I be disappointed?  I wasn't sure how I would react if the coat still didn't fit even though I was 20-25 pounds lighter than the last time I had tried.  I decided to risk it and pulled the coat off the hanger.

One by one those buttons closed, and didn't pull tight either.  Before I knew it, the coat was on and fastened.  My jaw dropped open and I can't lie... I almost cried.  Granted, I won't be buying one of these coats anytime soon, because 1.) it would be silly to travel on tour with a $1000 coat and 2.) I ain't got that kind of money to spend on a coat!!  And rest assured, when I do eventually buy myself a coat, it will be from the outlet store, because maybe I won't burn a hole clean through my checking account at that store.

So, I did it.  I had achieved one of my goals!  To be honest, it made me feel normal.  I still hadn't been sure if I was a size 14 or a 16.  This size 14 fit me perfectly.  So ladies and gentlemen, it's official!

I'm a size 14!

The average woman in America is a size 14.  I know this is going to be a bit weird to say, but I've never been more proud to be average.

My next goal clothing wise is to fit into a size 12.  This might take a while, but I hope to eventually get there!  I don't really see myself getting much smaller than a 12, but I would feel good at a 12.  I feel like if I were to wear a 12, I could easily walk into any store and be able to buy something (probably not pants, but that problem is never going to go away!).  A size 12 is the largest size that a lot of boutique stores, especially in NYC, will carry.  I've walked into many a store only to be disappointed when I held up a top that looked like it could fit a prepubescent girl.  I have never wanted to be "thin" or "skinny" - I have always said that I wanted to be healthy.  A size 12 is probably the smallest my body could really comfortably go.  I'm a curvy girl.  I always will be, and I'm actually happy with that.  But, I've wanted to be "average" for a while and I'm very happy to say I've made it.

I'm average y'all!