Feeling Good…

It has been about six months since I began my weight loss journey, and I have seen many positive improvements already.

  • I walk faster than I did.
  • I can walk up a few flights of stairs without stopping or feeling winded.
  • I look in the mirror and smile instead of quickly turning away while mentally making note to change.
  • I sleep much better and through the night….I don’t wake up 6 times a night.
  • I’m more confident, and I believe in myself.
  • I can buy clothes at more than a couple of places.
Last night, I was out shopping (big surprise there. hehe) And I walked into Old Navy. I’ve been thinking of going in to see if there was anything that might fit me since the weekend when both of my pretty girlfriends were wearing tops from there that I loved.
While I was browsing, I picked up a few pieces that I wanted to try on then calmly walked to the fitting room. On my way, I tried to look casual, but all I could think about was that, to everyone else, shopping for clothes in this store must just feel normal.
For me, shopping for clothes means going to Avenue and Lane Bryant — skipping over outfits that definitely will not fit me while looking for something flattering enough to consider buying. Many thanks to stores like Lane Bryant and Avenue for being there. I’ll still be shopping at these places for a while. But as I lose weight, new stores are offering new possibilities.
And last night, I was able to buy my first shirt at Old Navy. They sell up to 2x inside the store and up to 4x online. I am still fairly far from wearing a 2x comfortably in every single piece, but there were several options in 2x that worked for me. Even the jacket (that is not available in a bigger size online) zipped. It was just too tight to be flattering. It’s sad because I loved it, but I’m also thrilled because 6 months ago it would not have come close.
My weight loss journey is a long one, but I’m making serious progress. And trips to stores like Old Navy and Kohls are just the beginning. I’m looking forward to the day that I can walk into Armani to buy new jeans or Nordstrom to buy the perfect cashmere sweater. That day is coming my friends, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

Extreme Makeover: Me Edition

I enjoy EM:ME because it makes me focus on the good things I’m doing for myself and the good things I should be doing for myself. And this week, Amber is talking about obstacles. If you want to join some lovely and supportive ladies, just go to Amber’s blog for details.

{ae filkins}

This week’s question is:

What is your biggest obstacle right now? How are you making plans to overcome/push forward? 

My biggest obstacle is losing weight. It doesn’t seem as easy today as it did 5 weeks ago or 5 months ago. I had been totally satisfied with my progress until earlier this month when I experienced my first gain. I did lose again the following week, but I’ve been out of town so I couldn’t track my progress at last week’s meeting.

I weigh in tomorrow, and I’m nervous. I exercised a little while I was there, but I did not do as much as I know I should have done. I also said no to myself many, many times when I craved snacks opting, instead, to keep myself busy.

My trip was fantastic, and I know that whatever happens on the scale tomorrow I’ll start from there. Today is always the first day of the rest of my weight loss journey. And I will do my best to eat well and exercise starting now. On that note, I’m off to the gym because I won’t give up.  And I won’t discount all of the work I’ve done up to this point. 

What is your biggest obstacle?  And are you winning the battle against it?

Extreme Makeover: Me Edition

This week’s topic is The Biggest Loser, and while I haven’t seen it yet I look forward to watching it this season.  Episodes are piling up on the DVR so I’m sure I’ll watch them when I return home. 

{ae filkins}

Do you watch The Biggest Loser?  And if so, what do you like/dislike about it?  If you want to take part in EM:ME, just head over to Amber’s blog for details.  

My progress this week has been decent.  I lost 1.2 pounds at my last weigh-in, but I won’t attend my regular weigh-in Thursday because I’ll be out of town.  I have lost some inches since last time I was measured at the gym, and I’m wearing pants that are a size smaller. 

I need to exercise more than I have this week, but I’ll be sure to do that so I can look forward to my weigh-in next week.  And I’ll miss the awesome people at my WW meeting this week, but I also plan to enjoy this special trip with a big part of my family.  

Life is good when you don’t want to leave home because you love it so much. ;)  

Extreme Makeover: Me Edition

This week on EM:ME, Amber is asking for advice on how to stay healthy during pregnancy. Obviously, I have no advice on this topic so I’ll just skip to the part about progress. ;)

{ae filkins}

I wish I had something fun to report, but I don’t. I gained two pounds last week, and I still feel sick thinking about it. It was the first time I’ve gained since I began this journey in April. I know, I know…”it happens.” I suppose I had just gotten comfortable with the fact that I always lose when I step on the scale, but now I know that it can happen. And I hope it doesn’t happen again for a long, long time.

One of my stellar friends from the blogosphere said something today which has encouraged me tremendously. She said “I’m so glad I didn’t give up after a gain.” And it comforted me because I know I’ll get through this gain too. If losing weight was an easy thing to do, none of us would struggle with it, right? But if I persist, I know I’ll continue to see the positive results.

This week I have done my best to concentrate on the fact that I’ve already come so far. And most importantly, that through the ups and downs, I will continue moving forward. It’s not easy, but it is totally worth it. I have eaten well, exercised and looked at the bright side of things.

Speaking of which, an awesome thing happened this week which definitely reminded me how well I’m doing. I went to Kohl’s assuming that I still would not be able to wear their clothes yet, but  I tried on six pieces just to see if I had gotten any closer to wearing them. And guess what…all six sweaters fit well! While it may not seem like a big deal to everyone, if you’ve ever been overweight then you understand why I found myself teary-eyed in the dressing room. It was such a accomplishment to walk into a regular department store(not a plus-sized only store) and walk out with new clothes. I feel like I’m one big step closer to my goal, and I’m looking forward to accomplishing more along the way.
I’m progressing, and though I wish it could be faster (don’t we all?) I have a smile on my face because I can honestly say that I’m a step closer today than I was yesterday.  But, in all honesty, I hope to be a couple steps closer when I step on the scale Thursday.  I’ll take it much harder if I show another weight gain this week though I don’t believe I will. 
Now I’d like to know how you’re doing. If you want to join a supportive group of fantastic ladies just click on Amber’s blog for details.  Wish me luck on the scale tomorrow please! =)  And wish Amber the best because she’s preggers now, and she definitely deserves to be as happy and glowing as she can be.  

Extreme Makeover: Me Edition

Time feels as though it has been flying for me in the last few weeks so I can’t believe it’s already time for EM:ME. And while the topic is not geared towards me today, I plan to answer anyway.

{ae filkins}
This week, Amber asks,
“How are you being a healthy role model for your children?”
This topic is moot because I don’t have children. But the truth is that one (of many) reasons I’ve chosen to live a healthy lifestyle is because I want to be prepared for the future and the possibility that I will have a family.
When I started law school I wasn’t really interested in having children, and the more people talked about it the less interested I became. And I still don’t have an overwhelming desire to have children now, but it does come to mind from time to time. And the hard truth is that I would not have a child now.
If I did, I would likely have a terribly hard pregnancy and worse, I’d be the mommy who is too heavy to ride down the slide with my baby. And I will NOT be that person. I know beautiful women who do it, but I would not be happy that way.
Luckily for me, I’m not married yet either. I do see that happening in the not-so-distant future though so it’s nice to know that my weight won’t keep me from starting a family if the time becomes right. :)
Progress continues to be steady, and as always, I hop you’ll wish me luck on my weigh-in tomorrow. Last week I lost over 4 pounds. If only I could lose that much every week. ::sigh::
I have been on my exercise bike a lot again this week, and I hope to see the fruits of my labor tomorrow.  Speaking of fruits…I have been lazy about eating fruits and veggies in the last few weeks. I usually eat about 9 servings per day, but I have not come close to that lately so I will step it up starting now.
Now I would like to know how everyone else is doing. If you’d like to join a group of supportive and beautiful women on our journeys into better health, just click here.
Have a happy Wednesday friends!

Extreme Makeover: Me Edition: Success

It’s time for EM:ME again, and this week Amber wants to know about our successes this week.  If you want to join the fun, just click here for details. 

{ae filkins}

List of Success In The Last Week
  • At my weigh-in last week, I lost 1.6 pounds
  • I went on a long walk with a neighbor and our dogs. It was spontaneous, and I was feeling so bad before we did that so it really helped me get back into good spirits. 
  • I’ve been riding my recumbent bike a lot which is a little success every time I do it. 
  • I’ve eaten well…

My eating habits and exercise have been steady this week, and I hope to see a loss when I step on the scale Thursday.  There’s nothing particularly exciting about my little successes this week, but looking at the big picture I think it’s fantastic because all of the little things add up to something great.  

I’m feeling confident in my lifestyle and proud.  And that, in itself, is a huge success in my book.

Extreme Makeover: Me Edition – Secrets

This week, on EM:ME, Amber wants to know our “secrets.”  If you want to join some lovely ladies in supporting each other as we answer weekly questions and update each other on our progress, just click here for the details.   

{ae filkins}
Here’s today’s question: 
What is one of your favorite dieting secrets? 
(I know it’s a lifestyle not a diet, but you get the jist.)
I suppose if I had a dieting secret it would be to avoid eating a lot of sodium for 2 days before stepping on the scale.  Each of us should have no more than 2400 mg per day, and I am diligent in following this guideline because I do NOT like retaining excess fluids.  (Gross, I know…but it’s true.)  
So, for example, if I want to eat Chinese food, I am careful to watch my sodium intake throughout the rest of the day.  I drink more water and  do my best to work up a big sweat at the gym and at home. 
I track everything I am eating.  Even if I eat a piece of cake, I figure out the points before it goes into my mouth.  I cannot express how much this helps me.  It’s amazing how much I ate without realizing it, and now that I write it down I eat only as much as I should. While it can be tedious and a little time consuming at first, keeping a food/exercise journal has been fantastic for me.  
Today was a fantastic workout day — the best one I’ve had since before I went out of a couple weeks ago.  Though I felt sluggish this morning I perked up as soon as I half way through my 6th set at the gym.  Then I came home and went for a long, brisk walk with my dog followed by my daily recumbent bike routine.  
Though I was definitely down for a couple of days this week and a couple last week, I’m feeling much better and totally energized.  
I also hit a big milestone last week.  While I was away on vacation, I lost 7.5 pounds which means I have now lost more than 10% of my entire body weight. I’ve actually lost over 40 pound which is pretty exciting! 
I’m looking forward to hearing everyone else’s secrets. ;)  And I wish all of you a super Wednesday.

Extreme Makeover: Me Edition – Back To School Edition

This week, Amber wants to know how our schedules change when Summer ends and Fall begins.

{ae filkins}

Though I don’t have kids to send back to school, my schedule does change a little in the fall. Next year will be a big election year so if you know me, you know that work will get busier for me as a result.

The biggest change for me is that I plan to stay home for the next few months at least (except a short trip to the Bahamas.) It will be easier to eat well and exercise because I get into a groove when I’m home. Over the last couple weeks, while I was away, I managed to exercise some days, but eating well was much, much harder. And it wasn’t hard because I was in the mood to eat junk so much as it was beyond difficult to find healthy options there. I did not over eat, but I didn’t eat as many fruits and veggies, lean protein and whole grains as usual.

I am so excited to rejoin my weekly Weight Watchers meeting tomorrow night. I think I’m part of the best group of people ever, and I’ve missed being there the last couple of Thursdays. Whatever the scale says, I’m happy to be back into full swing so I’ll just keep moving forward.

Do you find it harder to maintain a healthy lifestyle during certain seasons or while on vacation? Or do you have ‘secrets’ that help you when you’re out of your regular routine?

If you’d like to join some lovely ladies in supporting each other on our journeys then head over to Amber’s blog to check out the details.

Extreme Makeover: Me Edition – Progress

This week on EM:ME Amber updated us on her week at Weight Watchers, and I’m happy to tell you that she lost 4 pounds. BIG congrats Amber! :)

{ae filkins}

If you want to update us on your progress or the progress you’d like to make, just click on Amber’s blog for details. Amber’s question this week was about progress. Here’s where I am with that. ;)

If you’ve read my blog then you probably know I was on vacation last week. I attended part of a Weight Watchers meeting (where I was on vacation,) but it was so terrible that I left only a few minutes in. It made me abundantly thankful attend the meetings I regularly attend because the group and our leader is fantastic.

While I was away I attempted to make wise choices. Though I ate things I definitely would not eat at home, I wrote it down and counted the points. And I’ve eaten very well since returning home over the weekend, but I weigh in tomorrow. It has been two weeks since my last weigh-in, and I’m nervous. I’m nervous because I ate some things I shouldn’t, but more than that, I’m nervous because I didn’t have access to my recumbent bike last week. Grrr!

I went for walks and swam in the ocean, but nothing seems to work as well for me as my precious recumbent bike. My friend, Todd, who is a brilliant doc in CA, joked with me a few days ago. He asked if my “recumbent bike is made of gold or something,” and my response was “nope, but it’s worth almost as much to me now anyway.”

Whatever happens on the scale tomorrow, I don’t think it will be too disappointing. I enjoyed my trip, and now I’m back into my regular routine. I’ll be away again for two weeks in August, but this time it will be much easier to stay in my groove. I’ll purchase a guest pass at the gym so I can ride a bike and do my regular circuit training. And I’ll eat well (for the most part.) That’s all I can do, and it seems to be enough so far…:)

Extreme Makeover: Me Edition – Weight Watchers

It’s time for Extreme Makeover: Me Edition, and this week the topic is Weight Watchers. Is this a great topic for me or what? :) 

If you want to take part in EM:ME, just click here for details then share your thoughts on the topic.  And don’t forget to update your progress too.  

{ae filkins}
Now on to the topic…
Weight Watchers

I have been a member of Weight Watchers for 16 weeks (almost 17 now,) and I’ve lost 36.2 pounds so far.  I have enjoyed the meetings immensely because I usually leave feeling recharged.  And I have met so many people at my particular meeting that I now call friends. 
Being on vacation means I will miss my meeting this week so I attended one here last night.  I’ll blog about it tomorrow, but for now, I will just say that going yesterday makes me so grateful to be a part of such a tremendous meeting on a regular basis.  
Weight Watchers has been an excellent tool for me so far because I’ve learned to control my portions.  I am aware of how much I should be eating in order to lose weight, and it is working. But I also exercise everyday.  If you know me, you know I’m on my exercise bike  a lot.  (I cannot express how much I miss it this week!)  And I’ve also started learning about the kinds of foods I should be eating.  
Each of us has to make a decision to lose weight on our own, but having unwavering support and accountability every Thursday has made it much easier for me.  And that’s why I would recommend it to anyone trying to lose weight.  But I also recommend that you take time to find a group that works for you, and a leader who is sensitive and sincere.  Good people make good meetings, and it has made a big difference in my life in the last 16 weeks. 
As I’ve mentioned (as many times as possible) I’m on vacation this week.  And it’s been a lot of fun though I am definitely looking forward to getting back home — and back into my routine.  Friends and I are staying in a beach house all week, on an island with beaches, fudge, burgers and tons of other junk food.  
I’ve made decent choices for the most part.  I brought some of my own foods and picked up an egg poacher yesterday because I can’t stand using pots and pans that have been used by countless others.  Does that make me weird?! 
Yesterday, in addition to eating 5 servings of fruits and veggies, I ate a bacon cheese burger with fries and onion rings.  I ate half of each side, as I planned to on the day I ate at the burger joint.  And it was fantastic!  It settled a craving for fattening yet delicious foods (that I haven’t eaten in months.)  Oh, by the way, I had two slices of pizza for dinner too.  Um, this was officially the worst eating I’ve done in weeks, but I make no excuses for it.  It was delicious, and now it’s over.  I’ll eat egg whites and veggies for breakfast then follow up with healthy lunches and dinners just as I have been.  And I’ll continue to walk and be active in the water and on the beach.  
I think it’s okay – even necessary to enjoy what you want (even if it’s unhealthy) once in a while which is why I love WW.  I am able to count points (even for a burger and onions rings.) And for that reason, I believe I have made healthy changes that will last a lifetime.