Chasing Normalcy

I spent some time talking to someone who is close to my heart yesterday afternoon. I met him when we both lived in New York in late 2007, but neither of us live there now.  He’s very tall, extremely intelligent and says exactly what he means. He has a very dry wit, and sometimes his words cause me to raise my brow at though I don’t think it’s ever intentional. He accepts my flaws and knows my hopes for the future.  He is a real friend who knows my thoughts and (most) of my desires,  but he cannot know how much his words affected me today.

Both of our lives are changing now so he has a deep understanding of the unknowns that I’m facing.  And yesterday I was talking, once again, about how my weight has held me back in many aspects of my life.  I never like admitting that, but if you read my blog then you already know that I’m trying to move outside of my comfort zone and into a place of self-honesty and self-acceptance.

As I went on and on about how my size plays a role in holding me back, he said he didn’t understand why it would now.  He said that because he understands the transformation that my body is making that he understands my point of view.  He knows that I’m trying to reach a certain goal, but if he knew nothing about me, he would just see me as a normal person

I realize that his words were not profound or complimentary nor will they impact everyone the way they have impacted me, but to someone who weighed nearly 400 pounds at one point, normalcy is a dream come true.  I can’t tell you how many times I walked through the mall or across Park Ave. longing for the day that I would blend in with the other normal looking people.  Forget supermodels.  I’ve never aspired to that, and I don’t now, but to walk down the street without hearing snide comments from strangers or feeling winded is something that I dreamed about for a long time. 

I spend so much time working toward the future that I sometimes forget to appreciate the present.  I’m still overweight, of course, but it’s been a long time since someone was blatantly rude to my face.  And walking down the street without feeling winded is as common now as wearing a coat that I can button.  It’s easy.  I even passed everyone at the track today.  Who knew that would ever happen?

Maybe my friend is right. Maybe his theory – that the way I see myself is the biggest road block now – is accurate.  Maybe I’m no longer so grossly overweight that teenage boys feel the need to tell me how ugly I am or so heavy that a potential employer won’t give me a chance.  He believes I will win a triathlon someday or complete the NYC Marathon if that’s what I decide to do.  Perhaps I should believe in myself as much as he seems to.

It’s obvious that I need to try harder to appreciate what I see in the mirror – a plus-size woman who takes care of herself, wears nice clothes, designer shoes and knows how to apply makeup and nail polish.  I see beauty in other women in my daily life and in the blogosphere everyday.  Maybe it’s time to start seeing the beauty in myself.

This guy makes me think about life from different perspectives on a regular basis, but this topic is definitely my favorite.  I hope I can express my gratitude for his words…his belief…at some point.  But if I did today, he’d probably wonder what the big deal is.  After all, he was only stating what was obvious in his mind.

Though he doesn’t know it now, his words made my day, and it reminded me just how important it is to keep working on the inside as I work on the outside.

Before and Now

Last weekend I took full-length photos because I want to be able to look back at these photos this time next year.  I love looking at before photos because it’s the simplest way to remind myself that I’ve come a long way.

I wish I had taken the jacket off in the photos this weekend because I’m a little smaller than I appear in that picture through the middle, but you get the idea.  I’ll keep working to get back into my groove so that we can do the same thing with these current photos next year.

Losing Control: Seeking To Regain My Mental Grip (Not Pounds)

I knew this week could be stressful so I wrote posts in preparation for being away from the blogosphere for a while, but this post is important. I am too important to let myself regress so I’m going to workout right now then I’ll come back and write.

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I’m back after completing a big, sweaty workout. I’m not sure how to begin this post so here it is: I feel like I’m losing control. I’m making choices that I know I don’t really want to make, and I can’t explain why I’m doing it. Over the weekend I indulged in cupcakes and sushi, but what happened on Monday that allowed my brain to think it was okay to eat Kit-Kats? Yes, you read that right..it’s plural.

Over the last few months my eating habits have spiraled, and while I don’t usually eat more than my daily POINTS allowance, I don’t feel as good as I do when I make healthy, responsible choices. I’m not happy with where I am today. I have consumed too much sodium. I have consumed too much crap in general. I started the day by eating a candy bar. What?!

It is so easy to make healthy dishes that are filling and satisfying, but it has been even easier to make lame excuses in my own mind as to why I should just grab something to go. I’m not talking about fast food here. That stuff is gross. But even if my choices could be worse, they are not nearly as good as they have been or should be.

I often say that nothing is off-limits, and that statement is true. But I could be/should be doing so much better with my food choices overall. I typically consume healthy foods (veggies, fiber rich foods, lean proteins) about 85% of the time while eating things like candy or cupcakes or hot chocolate about 15% of the time. And this strategy has worked well for me in the past. But I’m not doing that now…not even close.

When I arrived in Oklahoma over the summer, one of the first places Dad and I ate was Charlie’s Chicken. I had three fried chicken chunks, a side of mashed potatoes and fried okra. It was delicious and easily within my daily POINTS allowance, but that kind of meal is something I should have rarely. And it was the beginning of my downward spiral towards lower quality foods. Thankfully, Charlie’s Chicken is far, far away from New York, but as you can see in previous posts, I’ve managed to eat a few incredibly fattening foods here lately too.

Eating fattening, unhealthy foods is acceptable in my mind when I do it with purpose. When it is my plan to eat something unhealthy, I usually make up for it with healthy choices the rest of the day and week. But my eating and exercise habits have digressed quite a bit over the last 7 days or so. Just one week ago I wrote about regaining control, and I find myself desperately searching for the strength I found to get back in the game. I ate well a few days last week, but I haven’t had a truly healthy day since last Wednesday! This is not acceptable.

I’ve been losing just a little for far too long now. A little loss here and a little loss there is great, but I am capable of so much more! And it’s time for me to start acting like it. My choices need to be better. I feel happier with myself when I make dishes that I’m proud to post on my blog. I feel fuller and more satisfied when I eat 5 to 9 vegetables per day. And I feel proud every time I go to bed knowing that I had enough water that day.

So I’m going to say it again today. I have learned that I have many strengths on this journey, but I still have so many weaknesses. My body craves exercise and healthy foods. I know that because I feel so much better when I give my body the things it needs. I feel it after every workout. And I feel it when I feel satisfied without having a rock in my stomach.

This journey is long, and I’ve come a long way. I’ve come far enough to know that I cannot/will not go back! I love this new life even with my imperfections. I love being a gym member, swimming laps (can’t wait to find a pool again) and working on healthy, satisfying cooking projects.

Perhaps I haven’t fallen off any wagons, but I’ve been dwelling in mediocrity for too long. I have so much to accomplish and so much to live for…and even when times are tough I’m happier knowing that I’m taking care of my body and mind.

I worked out today, and I’ll do it again tomorrow. I’ll make good food choices today then do the same again tomorrow. I’ll do my best right now because that’s all we have. And right now is always a good time to make changes. I can’t do anything about yesterday, but I will do my best once again to be sure that tomorrow is better than today.

One Day At A Time Started Today

Today was a much better day than yesterday. I felt hopeful all day, and I’m looking forward to getting some things figured out in the coming week.

I ate well today, drank a lot of water and exercised too. I tracked everything I ate, set goals for the week and starting accomplishing them. I just have to say that my Weight Watchers tracker makes me want to journal my food. It’s so easy. I can’t believe that it took me so long to remember how much I love writing everything down. I also noticed that I ate more fruits and veggies and drank more water because I enjoy filling in the boxes inside my tracker. :)


Earlier this evening I told Dad that I needed to have sushi. I eat sushi a few times per week when I’m at home, and I had not had it since I arrived in Oklahoma so we had sushi for dinner. Well, I had sushi and Dad had a beef dish. He’s not a fan of sushi, but he went because he knew I waned to go. It’s been nice spending one on one time with Dad…just saying.

Following dinner, I ate a junior frozen yogurt cone from Braum’s which was only 3 WW points and so satisfying. It’s amazing how much I can eat and still lose weight with a little planning.


Dad and I had lunch together today too. And I ate the first few bites of my salad before lunch quickly ended because I noticed a black bug on my fork. Dad watched me put my fork down. He examined the bug and said “you’re done, aren’t you?” Yep..I was definitely done. Ewe.

After “lunch” I headed to the YMCA and worked out for 40 minutes. I hit the elliptical hard and burned 400 calories while I was there. I plan to do the same tomorrow, but I’ll bring my swimsuit so I can swim laps as well.

I made my first pita pizza tonight after eating Sean‘s last week, and I have to pat myself on the back because it was incredible. The whole pizza, including the turkey pepperoni, was was only worth 4 WW points! It’s an excellent point value and definitely my new favorite snack/meal. The next one I make will have onions and mushrooms on it as well which will make it more filling without adding points. Don’t ask me why I put only 3 pieces of pepperoni on top when I placed 5 pieces under the cheese. That makes no sense. =)


As you can see, I felt more satisfied and focused overall today. Jill left a comment on my last post that really made me think about the importance of concentrating on the present. She said “I think that the key to success is to be in the present. You can’t change the things you’ve already done, but you do have the power to make good decisions right now.” Thanks friend – for reminding me that long-term success happens step by step.

I made good choices today, and I’m going to rest then do it again tomorrow because making those good choices one day at a time adds up to big success long-term. I’ve experienced a great deal of success so far, but I have a long way to go. And while the scenic route has been nice, I’m ready to start experiencing real progress again. Wish me luck please…

Finding My Confidence

It’s already weigh-in day, and I’m relieved to say that I’ve made many healthy choices this week. The treadmill and I have renewed our relationship because it’s been a little too cold to walk/jog outside, and I realized that it’s much easier to push myself in the gym because there’s no lagging on machines. Regardless of weather, I’ll be on the treadmill again this week.

After last week’s terrible food choices and weight gain, I am hoping that the scale is kind today. Today I deserve it. This week I did my best. There will always be room for improvement, but I controlled myself which makes me victorious. So why am I still so nervous to step on the scale?

I’ve weighed in over 50 times over the last 13 months, and (including last week) I’ve only gained 5 times. And in the weeks following those gains I was nervous to step on the scale – afraid of not seeing the fruits of my labor. But that fear was in vain. I saw losses again.

Each time I step on the scale I remind myself that I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight, and it won’t be the last time I do it if I keep trying. But it’s hard to remember how far I’ve come when my confidence has been shaken. When that happens, I look back at old photos. It still hurts to see them today because the pain the I covered up/refused to feel is so prominent in the expressions on my face.


Last week I said that I’ve been happier since moving to New York than I’ve been in my entire life, and it’s absolutely true. But the happiness started to expand and multiply when I started to believe that I am in control of my life and my choices. So while it’s sad to look back, I think it’s important to remember how I felt and how I feel now because I don’t want to go back to feeling the way I did.

I have a long way to go before reaching my goal, but the happiness you see on my face today is real and unscathed. I’m happier on the inside because I’ve changed on the inside, and I’m changing on the outside too. I am doing my best not to let the scale dictate my belief in myself. It’s real. It’s growing as I shrink, and that’s just as black and white as the numbers on the scale.

So bring it weigh-in day. I’m ready for it.

Just Because It’s Fun…

It’s another gray day in New York, but I feel like bloggin’. One of my favorite bloggers, ByHillary, posted this little quiz on her blog so I decided to do the same. If you haven’t checked out her blog, you should. She’s awesome…Now, on to the questions..

1.Do you lie about your weight? And if so by how much? Nope…and I’m proud to say that I currently weigh 298.6 pounds (95 pounds down from last year.) I’m no longer in the 300’s! I reached the 200’s milestone this week..yay! I still have a long way to go, but I’m proud of where I am and where I’m going…


2. Whats your dream job? why? I’m excited to say that I love my job…it’s definitely my idea of dreamy, and I feel fortunate..

3. Your walking down the street and come across an elephant. Whats you first reaction? “Um, there’s an elephant walking down the street. Whaaat?” Eh, it’s New York. It could happen.

4. Is there any song you play on repeat. Might not even be your favorite, but you can’t stop listening to it over and over. “Lover Be Strong” by Gavin DeGraw is a staple in my life for personal reasons. He is extraordinarily humble, supportive and encouraging. I love this man. ♥


5. Favorite lyric. There are too many to choose just one, but one of my all-time favorites is… “No matter how cold the winter, there’s a springtime ahead.” -Pearl Jam

6. Favorite quote. I have several, but one that speaks to me regularly is “A year from now you’ll wish you had started today.”

7. How tall are you? 5′ 3.5″, but I seem much taller…seriously.

8. What color are your eyes? hazel/green..plain…eh..

9. What did you think the future would be like when you were a kid? I dreamed of having an amazing job, amazing boyfriend and living in New York…:) And I can honestly say that it’s even cooler than I thought it would be.


10. Have you ever played a practical joke on anyone? What was it? Nothing too exciting, no..but I considered putting on a fake engagement ring for April Fool’s this year. I decided against it after considering how silly I’d feel when I had to say ‘April Fool’s’ after the joke.

As always, please copy and paste the questions with your answers in a comment or on your own blog because I’d love to read your answers too.

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It’s also a new week which means it’s time fo Friend Makin’ Monday! This week Amber wants to know 5 things that we love (aside from the obvious.) If you want to join FMM, just click here. Now I’ll attempt to list a few things I love that are not obvious already. Is that even possible? :)

Five Things I Love
1) Playing ‘Words.’ It’s like Scrabble for the iPhone. I play with a friend who lives far away, and it helps me feel a little closer to him. :)

2) Being spontaneous. I like planning a trip out of town or just to another part of town on a whim. Those days are often my favorite days. :)

3) Thai food…I cannot get enough Pad See Yew. Seriously…it’s ridiculously tasty. I’m so glad it’s only 4 WW points per cup!

4) Thursday nights…at some point last year, Thursdays became my favorite day of the week. I am always so excited about weighing in then I enjoy a great meeting and an evening with some of my closest friends.

5) My sneakers. I wear Nike Shox that I typically buy custom from NikeID.com. I spend a lot of time in my sneakers these days so it’s important that they’re comfortable and cute.

As you can probably guess, I love answering questions like this. And I really love reading your answers too. So feel free to answer these questions too! I’m looking forward to it.

She Has Already Done It

I find inspiration in many things, but few things are as inspiring as seeing someone reach the same kind of goal that you’re trying to reach. And Sarah has done it. She has lost 185 pounds and kept it off for over five years!

(Before)

(After)


Though I’ve never seen her face to face she has quickly become one of my favorite people. But it didn’t start that way. When I first connected with her on Twitter, I found it very hard to read some of her posts – so hard, in fact, that I quit following her for a few days. Then something clicked in my mind. She was an awesome person, but it was extraordinarily hard to read her posts because they seemed so far away from where I was – and exactly where I wanted to be.

But guess what…it took Sarah quite a bit of time to get where she is. And she works at it to stay that way. It’s not easy, but it can be done. She’s done it, and I’m half way there. I asked her to share a bit about her weight-loss, maintenance and life because she has done something phenomenal. And if you get to know her, it will be nearly impossible not to respect her.

So here are my questions and her answers. I hope you’re as inspired by her as I am. Thanks for taking time to answer my questions Sarah!

1) How long did it take you to lose 185 pounds?

The actual time that it took me to lose the weight was a little over two and half years but the process took 5.
When I lost that first 100 pounds I was going from 345 to 245. I arrived back at a weight I was familiar with (that had been my max in high school) and now that I was taller in my early twenties I felt thinner.
After losing 100 pounds in just under 18 months my body had had enough and I hit a massive plateau. It did not matter what I did, my weight was stuck. I convinced myself that 240 was my set point, the weight I was supposed to be and stopped trying to actively lose weight.
Due to some changes in my personal life ( I met the man who would become my husband) and a history of diabetes I decided in 2004 to see if I could take off the rest of it. In November of that year I hit my goal, even though it would take me a while to realize I was there.

2) Is your life different now? If so, will you share how it’s different?

My life is so different now. But at the same time I am still the same person? My life was going to change anyway. I was growing up, but I think the biggest difference is that I actively live my life now.
I think that through this process I realized that we only have one chance to make the life we want for ourselves. It’s as simple as working towards what you want and figuring out that no one else is going to do it for you. It’s cliche but nothing is worth having that you don’t have to work for.

2a) Assuming it’s different, what’s the biggest difference?
I think I pretty much covered this. But if you are looking for physical ways it is different then my weight no longer holds me back. There is no fear of planes, restaurants or airports; Walt Disney World and Six Flags are loads of fun. I get to be me without that extra layer of fear that my weight surrounded me with. I get noticed now because I am nice person with a genuine heart and also great sense of style, not because I’m twice the size of an average adult.

3) You’ve maintained this weight loss for over 5 years..how have you done it?

I credit that plateau in 2001-2002 with really helping me figure out this maintenance thing early. For once the scale was not going up or down and that was a huge accomplishment for me.
I had never really been a yo-yoer and had no intentions of becoming one. When I lost it I wanted it to last, I didn’t want to have to do it again and I knew that it had to be permanent.
I go up and down a bit– 6 pounds or so (3 on either side of 158) and a few more than that after a nasty knee surgery, but for the most part my weight has settled.
I eat around 1800 calories a day, more protein probably than most but not enough fiber. I eat 5 times a day, mostly 3 meals and two snacks, however occasionally the evening can involve two small dinners based on my husbands schedule. I drink water and iced coffee, still trying to kick the caffeine free diet coke habit, but other than that I have rule about not drinking calories.
As for exercise, you will not hear me say that I MUST exercise to keep the weight off. I’d rather not eat the donut. My knee will not tolerate 45 mins of cardio a day everyday for the rest of my life to keep off the weight. There are lots of thin people who stay thin without exercise, because of my physical limitations (pain) I have had to figure out how to become one of them.
One last thing that has helped my maintenance was learning to embrace being beautiful. I have had to learn how to take a compliment. This sounds fundamental and basic, but it was something I used to be incapable of. I never knew what I looked like under all that weight. Turns out I am a good looking girl, and embracing the woman I have become has brought me a self confidence I did not know I had.

4) What has been the hardest part of your journey to shed these pounds and maintain it?

It has to be the physical limitations that have come with my bad knee. In high school I had my ACL replaced for the first time after a skiing accident. I’d go back and say no to that now if I could. It was the beginning of the end. 11 surgeries later I am left with no ligament, chronic instability, and arthritis that pains me with every movement. When I was actively losing weight I walked 4-6 miles a day and now I try and keep up a pace of several every other day or so. I live downtown and walk as much as my knee will let me but it does limit me.

5) Are you happy with your body now that it’s much smaller? Will you elaborate?

Yes! Yes! Yes! omg Yes! I love being small. I hesitate to use the word tiny, but I weigh 13 pounds less than half my highest weight.
When you have carried more fat around than what you weight now, I don’t think you can’t help but be happy with your body. It is so resilient and so functional.

The skin is what it is. I lived with it for years and skirts and dresses went a long way to camouflage problem areas. That being said I did finally have some plastic surgery last summer and will again this May. It took me a several years after reaching goal to make peace with the idea. 11 knee surgeries has made me scalpel shy, but after a great deal of thought I went ahead and had a panniculectomy (for below the belly button) and abdomniplasty (for above the belly button) last summer. I am artificially flat but again, so happy with the results despite the complications involved in my healing process. The novelty has not worn off.

6) On an average day, what makes you happy?

Getting up and living life. I know many people who are heavy are out there doing their thing. And I was too, but not to the extent that I could have been. On a regular day looking in the mirror and liking what I see makes me happy. Hugs from my husband when his arms go all the way around me and then some make me happy. Letting other people know that great change is possible also makes me happy.

7) Any advice for people who are struggling to lose or struggling to get started?

If you have already started… do not give up. There will always be another tomorrow, but the only way to get to where you want to be in the future is to be working at it in the present. If you have a bad day, take it back immediately. Don’t wait. If you haven’t gotten started there is no time like right now. This is a process– try not to get overwhelmed by how long it will take. The weight didn’t come over night it is not going to come off over night either. These last 10 years that I have been on this journey have felt like a lifetime, but have felt like no time has passed either.

Wow Sarah….thanks for taking time to give us such honest and thoughtful answers. You can connect read her blog by clicking here.

Though most of us are on a similar journey, each of us will experience it differently. But Sarah is a source absolute and unwavering proof that we can reach our goals and become the person we want to be. And I’m glad she took time to remind us of that today.

Twenty Questions

If you haven’t noticed, I tend to talk about myself a lot. Isn’t that kind of what blogging is all about? ;) And over the last several months I’ve gotten to know some of you all very well. I even spent an afternoon in Vegas with one of my favorite bloggers.

And while many of us are on similar journeys to healthier lives, sometimes I forget that I don’t know the most basic information about my bloggin’ buddies. So I’m going to share twenty random things about myself – a few regarding weight loss, a few random things and several things that I’d like to know about you.

If you read my blog then you already know how grateful I am for each comment of encouragement, advice and empathy. I’d also be grateful for the opportunity to learn more about those of you who take time to make me feel good on a regular basis.

So I’ll answer the questions below, and I hope you’ll answer some or all of them as well. If you answer them here, obviously I’ll know quickly. If you post them on your own blog then let me know so I can read all about you there.

Either way, I’m looking forward to sharing more of myself with you (yes, I guess it is still possible..hehe) And I’m looking forward to learning more about you too.

1) What is one of your favorite ways to spend a Saturday? I like to sleep in late then spend the day shopping, working out and going out with friends and/or my boyfriend in the evening…

2) List your top three favorite TV shows…White Collar, Big Bang Theory and 24

3) Would you rather be in pictures or take them? I enjoy taking pics, but I love to be in them too…Does that really come as a surprise to anyone? ;)

4) Why do you blog? I started blogging because I wanted to hold myself accountable and remember where I started. Now I blog because I love the encouragement I receive, and I love to encourage others.

5) Share five websites that you visit everyday…
See the links on he side of my blog. I visit those everyday and about a zillion others…;)

6) If you could have lunch with one person from your Twitter list who would it be? I don’t think I could pick just one..I’d choose @DizFatty, @TXMarianne, @dkirchhoff, @Jacksht, @FoodieMcBody, @joyarises, @bubblyheart…you get the idea…I adore so many people on Twitter that I may not have met otherwise. It’s fantastic.

7) List a few of your favorite snacks…almonds, crunchy natural peanut butter, 100 calorie pringle packs, every Fiber One product, giant red delicious apples, bananas, Special K chocolate protein shakes, etc.

8) Do you have a pet? If so, what kind? I do..! I have an adorable cocker spaniel who is 2.5 years old. She’s a constant source of joy and arguably loves to cuddle more than any other living thing…


9) Which three material possessions would you struggle to live without? My laptop/iPhone, my home and the scrapbooks I’ve made..

10) What’s your favorite drink? I like mojitos, but I prefer water. It’s so thirst quenching. And I have no interest in wasting calories and bloating on sugary drinks…just sayin’.

11) Do you enjoy cooking? I enjoy cooking sometimes, but I love baking! It feels so rewarding to cook and meal and genuinely enjoy it. I’ve come a long way in the last year…

12) Do you have children? Nope…I think they’re cute, but I haven’t considered having my own..who knows what the future holds?

13) What are your favorite hobbies? Scrapbooking, reading, hitting balls at the driving range, traveling, shopping, making jewelry, singing, etc.

14) Would you consider yourself to be shy or outgoing? Hmm…I think it’s safe to say that I’m pretty outgoing. :)

15) If you could change one thing about yourself, what would you change? I’d change exactly what I’m changing…I’m working one day at a time to turn myself into the healthy, well-rounded person I want to be.

16) Who is your favorite actor/actress? I am in serious lust with Matt Bomer from White Collar. Not only is he a good actor, he’s also gorgeous, educated and from Texas. It doesn’t get much better than that…(Note to boyfriend: I want to marry you someday, but I cannot apologize for my infatuation with Neal from White Collar.)

17) What’s the silliest thing you’ve done this week? I tried on a swimsuit that had a built in ddd cup. Note to Lane Bryant: You have some really nice swimwear this year, but not every girl who wears my size can fill out a swimsuit like that which is why I left it on the rack and bought one somewhere else.

18) Do you live near your family or far from them? I live far from family. I know made that choice when I moved here, but I miss them everyday. I’m going to see my whole family next month, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

19) List three of your talents…vocal music, intelligence and humility…;)

20) What is your greatest attribute? I’m optimistic. I firmly believe that I can achieve anything I want to achieve if I’m willing to work hard and not give up. I have a very positive attitude (which I hope shines through on my blog) and a willingness to try again when something doesn’t go my way the first time. I believe in people, and I believe in myself.

Now it’s your turn…I’d love to know your answers to these questions. Feel free to answer as few or as many as you’d like. I’m looking forward to it.

Just Another Day

I weighed in last night and lost another pound, and that’s not too bad considering I weighed in on Monday. ;) Normally, I would not weigh in more than once a week. I just needed to get back into my regular, treasured Thursday routine.

So I was feeling good…87 pounds – that’s a nice, big number. I feel like I’ve come so far, but last night I was reminded (in a cruel sort of way that is too embarrassing to share) that I still have a long way to go. I’m still overweight and unattractive, and that light I see at the end of the tunnel is still far off in the distance.


But that light is there. I can see it. And I’m much closer to it than I was 11 months ago! I know without a doubt that I’ll reach a day when I’ll look in the mirror and like what I see regardless of whether anyone else likes it or not. And while I still have a long road ahead, when I put my hurt feelings aside it’s easy to see that I’ve come a long way.

There were days this week in which I felt pretty. And yesterday, I was told by more than a few people that I’ve played some part in helping them succeed in their personal weight loss. And though they did the work themselves, I don’t think I’d ever get tired of hearing that.

So will it be easy to move forward knowing that I’m still so unattractive to say many? Yes…I’ll continue moving forward because I’m not doing this for them. It would definitely be nice to be considered pretty in general, but that’s not even close to the top of my list of reasons. I want to keep feeling good. I want to be healthy and confident. I want to be able to ride my bike uphill without stopping. I want to wear stilettos. I want to jog in Central Park while looking like I belong there. The list could go on, but if you know me then you probably already know the reasons.

So…my feelings were severely hurt last night. And it will take some time heal, but it will. And while I can’t be sure when it will go from an open wound to just another scar, I’m hopeful that it will be soon because the good has certainly outweighed the bad in the last (almost) year. And I’m more than willing to deal with the pain because I’m moving forward so I won’t stay unhappy too long.

How do you deal with it when someone hurts you? Is it easier to forgive when you know they would never hurt you on purpose? Or is it easier to forget about it if it’s a stranger?

100 Questions To Ask Yourself by JackSht

One of my favorite tweeps, @JackSht, wrote a post yesterday that I’d like to share with you. I would guess you all know about his awesome blog already, but if you don’t go there now…(err, you know…after you read mine. hehe)

His post yesterday, 100 Questions To Ask Yourself, was probably meant to be rhetorical or something, but I decided to answer every question honestly and in print. It’s easy to gloss over the questions that aren’t easy to answer so I’m holding myself accountable by answering each one in this post.

I love reading Jack’s blog because he’s done what I’m doing, and reading his thoughts usually make me feel like I’m on the right track. Can you answer these questions honestly too?

Jack’s 100 Questions To Ask Yourself — And My Answers
  1. Do you want to lose weight? Yes, of course.
  2. Do you really? Yep…and that’s precisely what I’m doing.
  3. How much do you want it? I want it more than I could ever want a Kit-Kat or a piece of fried chicken.
  4. A little? Nope…
  5. A lot? See above
  6. More than you can say? Yes, though I’ve spent the last several months saying all kinds of things regarding how much I want it.
  7. Less than you believe? Nope, at this point I know what I want, and I’m more than willing to do the work it takes to get it.
  8. You do realize that wanting it is only one small part of this, right? Yep…it takes more than being inspired. I’m motivated.
  9. But it’s the most important part, isn’t it? Yep…I would have never started otherwise.
  10. Have you reconciled yourself to the fact that this is a lifetime pursuit? Indeed…that’s why I’ve made small changes that I can maintain for life. When I reach my goal, I won’t have to revert back to old habits because I like my new habits.
  11. As in “for the rest of your life”? Oh yes…
  12. Have you really embraced that idea? Hell yes…why else would I put so much effort into something like this?
  13. Are you good with this? Uh huh
  14. Really? Uh huh
  15. If you’re almost done, do you realize just how easy it would be to yo-yo back? I’m not almost done, but I’ve lost 87 so far…and yes, it would be easy to gain it back if I didn’t pay attention to what I’m doing.
  16. Do you honestly? I’m afraid so…
  17. Have you gone through it before? Nope, and I don’t want to!
  18. Maybe more than once? Nah…
  19. Like me, are you making a pledge to never let that happen again? I’m taking these changes one day at a time, and I’m convinced that if I continue doing what I’m doing that it won’t happen again. Yes…I pledge to not to be a yo-yo.
  20. Do you eat more than normal right after a weigh-in? Nope.
  21. I mean, like right after? No way…
  22. Do you realize how silly that is? Yeah…kind of worthless….
  23. If you’re cheating, do you realize that nobody really cares? I don’t really consider anything cheating. I plan what I’m going to eat, and sometimes I eat cake. Many times I don’t..
  24. That you’re only cheating yourself? Yep….I don’t answer to anyone except me..;)
  25. What good will that do? It won’t…so I won’t.
  26. Have you really committed yourself to this journey? I have.
  27. I mean, really committed yourself? Yes
  28. Do you have any idea how much harder this becomes if you half-ass it? Yes…there have been a few spots along this journey in which I’ve done that, and it feels awful so I try not to make it a habit.
  29. Aren’t you worth your very best effort? Yep…most days it’s easy to remember that…
  30. What excuses are you letting get in the way of your success? No excuses…
  31. Are you too busy at work? Nope…I have the best boss ever. He’s totally on board with this..
  32. Too busy at home? My friend, Josh, always says “The only time we have is the time we make.”
  33. Got health problems? The pain I felt in my feet is totally gone and has been for a while. Losing weight has been great…
  34. Got money problems? Hmmm…I can’t decide if I should get the necklace from Tiffany or a Michele watch when I reach 100 pounds lost. That sounds like a problem, doesn’t it? ;)
  35. Whatever problems you have, do you not understand that you’ll be in a better position to deal with them without all this extra weight? Definitely. It’s easier to deal when we’re confident and in control of other areas..
  36. Do you like the way you look? Nope…but I like it a hell of a lot more than I did..
  37. Like the way clothes fit on you? Yes, at least more now than before…even the smaller sizes are super loose.
  38. Aren’t you ready to start loving the way you look and being proud of the way clothes fit on you? I’m looking forward to when I can buy the clothes I want to buy…
  39. Ready to get a kick out of shopping again? Oh, I’ve always gotten a kick out of shopping…that hasn’t changed..it will only get better.
  40. Have you exercised today? No, but I will…
  41. Have you soaked your shirt with sweat? I will at 5pm, and I’ll be gross when it’s over.
  42. Will you work out tomorrow? Yep…
  43. Do you sleep better when you’re exercising regularly? I cannot believe the changes in the way I sleep after working out.
  44. Is your stress more manageable? Absolutely.
  45. Do you feel better? Yep…when I’m working out, I feel like a rock star…
  46. Can you push yourself a little more? I can always push myself a little more which is what I have to keep doing to keep losing the way I’ve been losing.
  47. Are you going to do it? Yep.
  48. Today? I won’t push myself too much until my ear is back in working order, but I’ll sweat my guts out for 50 minutes today.
  49. Must you eat so quickly? I don’t eat quickly.
  50. Do sparks fly off your utensils when you get after it? Thankfully, no…no one was hurt when I ate dinner this evening.
  51. Why don’t you set my fork down at least momentarily? You know…that’s not something I ever thought of doing until I read Jean Nidetch’s new autobiography. Now I try to do it frequently during every meal..and I’ve noticed that my friends that are in good shape put their forks down pretty often. It’s not a habit yet, but it will be soon….
  52. Did you know that it’s perfectly legal to leave some food on your plate? Um, of course…and I don’t eat left overs…I don’t feel bad about that either.
  53. How many situps can you do? I can do several sets of 25 — crunches, not situps…but hey…it’s awesome..
  54. Two? Yah
  55. More than two? Probably
  56. A few more? I do crunches..have you seen my body? The fact that I can do lots of crunches is awesome.
  57. A lot more? On a typical day, I do 36 crunches, 25 across the body, 25 for the transverse abs and 20 bicycle crunches…
  58. How many pushups? I do 36 per day…
  59. One? one times 36
  60. Do you realize that “lady pushups” like Jack does don’t really count? Listen Jack…when you’re a lady who used to weigh nearly 400 pounds, “lady pushups” totally count…I’m sure I can find pics of my arms shaking as I come up for the 34th, 35th, 36th time…(I’m so happy that I weigh less now, but I still do girly pushups…for now.)
  61. Do you own an Abdomenizer? Nope…
  62. Do you feel ridiculous? Should I feel ridiculous because I don’t even know what that is?
  63. Do you eat out a lot? Yes…
  64. Do you tell yourself that it’s a matter of convenience? No..sometimes I’m lazy.
  65. Do you tell yourself that you’re a terrible cook? No..I used to say that, but the truth is I’m pretty decent now..I cook a lot of tasty foods..
  66. Do you realize how much more difficult you’re making this on yourself? Yes..it would definitely be easier if I cooked everyday because I’d know exactly what I’m eating. I cook a lot more, but I’ve learned to make pretty decent choices when I’m out. And I’m not afraid to be a little high maintenance if need be.
  67. Does cake make you crazy? No, but I like it…white with white frosting…;)
  68. Why do you suppose that is? It tastes good..
  69. Do you think it’s mental or physical? It’s mental. Sometimes I want cake, and I’ll have it. Other times I decide it’s not worth it and skip it.
  70. Something that you can control or something that controls you? I control everything that I put in my mouth which is a good feeling, but it hasn’t always been that way. I work everyday to stay in control, and most days I do.
  71. How are you doing this week? Super…I’ve lost a couple of pounds. My ears are starting to feel better, and I’m back in my regular workout routine.
  72. Making some headway or getting in your own way? Headway, but I’d like to step it up a bit this week.
  73. Doing solid work or slipping and sliding? Pretty solid…
  74. Looking forward to your next weigh-in or dreading it? I love weigh-in day. I’m such a suck up…but seriously, what can I say? I love watching the numbers come down. I’m quickly approaching some pretty big goals.
  75. Why are you doing this? I want to enjoy this amazing life without regret. I don’t want to die young nor do I want my weight to prevent me from fully enjoying the fantastic opportunities that have come/will come my way.
  76. For your family? I know they’re proud of me…and probably breathing much easier knowing that I’m making the changes that I need to make to live a long and happy life…
  77. For yourself? I’m selfish like that.
  78. Do you feel like this is impossible? Before I started I wanted to believe I could do it. Now I believe it without a doubt because I am doing it.
  79. Do you even know what the word “impossible” means? I know what it means, but you won’t hear me say it very often. I am living proof that it may be hard, but it’s not impossible.
  80. Do you sabotage yourself? I suppose I have, but I don’t make it a habit.
  81. Put hurdles in your own way? Sometimes I make things harder than they need to be.
  82. Why do you suppose that is? I’m stubborn and sometimes a little arrogant, but most of the time I just do what needs to be done.
  83. Does this blogging stuff help you as much as it does me? OMG I cannot express how much blogging has helped me. In addition to holding myself accountable in front of others, I have gained support of friends from different parts of the world – many of whom are on the same journey as me.
  84. Does it keep your mind on what you’re doing even if what you’re writing about isn’t necessarily always on topic? Yep…
  85. Does it help you stay accountable? Absolutely. I post pictures of myself, videos….
  86. Connect you to a valuable support group? Indeed…
  87. Serve as your north star on this journey like it does for me? It is an integral part of my journey and success.
  88. Has it clicked for you? Yes. Yes. Yes.
  89. Are you confident that this is the time when it’s really going to happen for you? Yes!
  90. Do you know it in your heart? I do.
  91. Are you absolutely sure? I am.
  92. Do you think this is simply too much for you? No way…I’m rocking this!
  93. Do you feel overburdened? No…I feel lighter than I’ve felt in years.
  94. Overwhelmed? Not usually…but when I do, I lay it all out here. And I’m so thankful for the people who are willing to share in my burdens with me..who support me just because..
  95. Overmatched? Nah…
  96. Over it all? I love it all…It’s good. I’m happy.
  97. Would you believe me if I told you that you’re so much stronger than you think you are? I wouldn’t have believed you this time last year Jack, but this year….oh yes…I know I’m stronger than I realized. And I’m getting stronger everyday.
  98. Believe me if I told you that it’s within you to do this? Again, I would have wanted to believe you last year, but now it’s easy to believe you..yes.
  99. Shouldn’t you believe in yourself as much as I believe in you? I believe in myself. I know I can do this, and I’m doing it.
  100. Well, shouldn’t you? Yes…we should all believe in ourselves. There’s no magic pill to take…no shortcuts…just a little hard work, determination and a lot of patience.

Well, I answered each question honestly, and I feel like I’m on the right track. Do you want to lose weight enough to change? Are there things you can do to improve your current state? Are you taking this journey in stride?

If you’re doing it all the right way then please give yourself a big pat on the back from me! You know I pat myself on the back all the time. ;) But if you’re struggling, remember that today is a new day. And you’re worth the effort it takes to change. It doesn’t happen overnight, but time flies so start now. You’ll feel better knowing that you’re headed in the right direction.