Monday, April 18, 2016


Let me get this out of the way first: I have no progress to report. All numbers are the same. It's not a great place to be. I'd have to saw off a leg to win the HealthyWage challenge, but that's not what I want to talk about.

I've had a number of experiences over the last few weeks that feel significant. Not life-alteringly significant, but they sort of hit home how far I've come and I wanted to share. So here is a list of #FatGirlProblems that I didn't consciously realize were things until they were no longer things.

For example: I went to Disneyland. I love Disneyland. It's my happy place. And I rode rides. I love rides. And some of the rides have lap bars. You may be familiar with lap bars. You sit down next to a person and a single bar is all that stands between you and that person and CERTAIN DEATH. And normally, when the lap bar came down, I would say a silent prayer for the poor unfortunate soul next to me - the one whose death my massive thighs was going to cause - but this time, when I looked over at my fellow rider, we were both secure and safe under the lap bar! No one was in danger! It was a miracle! I was not responsible for the potential death of my co-rider! It was a huge deal!

A number of these recognitions happened at Disneyland, so let's stay there for a minute. My favorite ride at Disneyland is the Haunted Mansion. I love everything about it (not just the fact that the lap bar isn't really a lap bar, so I don't have to concern myself with the potential death of the person sharing my Doom Buggy), but there's a part of the Haunted Mansion that I've always just sort of ignored. The leaving part. Upon leaving the Haunted Mansion, you pass through a turnstile. And by "pass through" I mean "turn sideways and squeeze and cross your fingers that you don't get stuck". Except this time I just walked through it, facing forward, hips square, like the thing was built for me. I almost crawled back under and left again because I was so excited that I fit through the stupid turnstile.

It was warm when I arrived at Disneyland, but not so as the sun set. No problem! I was overdue for a new seriously overpriced Disney sweatshirt, so I convinced my comrades to wander through basically every shop in both parks and Downtown Disney that sold clothing while I tried on everything with a hood. After pulling a number of men's XL's off the racks and realizing they were way too big on me, I finally came to my senses and found an adorable, fitted, women's large that I think looks pretty nice. You guys! From a men's XL to a women's L? That's the equivalent of 2 sizes. And the most important part was that I didn't have to go for the bigger size because the thing wouldn't pull down over my hips. My hips were not in the way!!

Speaking of my hips, I flew on an airplane. Another activity I participate in frequently. Not usually a pleasant activity, as I'm not a huge fan of having to pop my ears or strangers. (To clarify: I've never had to pop a stranger. But I'm leaving the misplaced modifier, because that's funny.) I'm an even less big fan of being squeezed into a seat so tight that I can feel the thigh sweat of the stranger next to me because my hips don't allow the armrest to come down all the way and I have to spend the entire flight with my leg pressed uncomfortably into the leg of the stranger next to me. Except, this time, it didn't happen. I was on an American Airlines flight (they're not known for the roominess of their coach seats), and I fastened my seatbelt (by inserting the metal tab into the buckle and tightening by pulling on the strap. In case of emergency, my seat cushion could be used as a flotation device...) and reached up to rest the armrest on my leg. Except, it didn't rest on my leg. It came all the way down. In fact, it missed me by inches. I think I was still staring at it when the stranger came to sit next to me. The stranger that I didn't touch at all during the entire flight! It was a huge deal. I was giddy.

So, yeah, I'm not going to make my May 15 goal of 160. I will make my goal of 160 - don't you worry - but I'm going to miss the deadline by a few months. But, you know something? I've come a long way, baby. And I look good!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Happy Dance Crying

Well, hello there! It's been a while hasn't it? months or so? Before we do the numbers, let me get you caught up:

The holidays happened. I basically survived on a diet of cookies and turkey. Surprisingly, this was not a great recipe for weight loss. (I know, right? Who'd have thunk?) My only consolation was that I didn't *gain* any weight during my holiday adventures. I did, however, fall WAY behind on my goals to stay on track to winning the HealthyWage challenge. Months behind. It's not a good feeling. But I haven't given up yet! The race ain't over 'till it's over!

So, after ringing in 2016 and vigorously shaking off the sugar coma, I woke up to find myself in a desperate position calling for desperate measures. I decided to try cutting out carbs. I have been notoriously bad at sticking to any kind of diet plan that restricts what I can eat, but I needed to get back on track and fast, so I thought I'd give it a shot. First order of business: I set a goal for myself to not eat baked sweets (you know, the things I'd been living off of for the last two or so months?) for 100 days. Call it lent. Call it crazy. Call it what you will, but I'm on day 61 of 100 without cheating and I've stopped having dreams where I casually start eating a cinnamon roll before I realize what I'm doing and wake up riddled with guilt. I am counting this as a win.

Next on the agenda was to cut down on all the starch in my diet. Mostly big obvious things, like pasta and rice and bread and potatoes. Basically an experiment in gluten free-ish to see how it would go. Not too shabby, I'm pleased to report. It helped that there's a pizza joint near my house that does a pretty awesome gluten free crust. And at this point, I wasn't too crazy (read: strict) about it. A breaded chicken breast or a rogue crouton here and there weren't ruining my life. Mostly I was actively making myself more aware of where my calories were coming from.

It's probably worth noting that I am still using MyFitnessPal to track my calories, as I have been since the beginning of this adventure. I also learned that it's significantly easier to achieve my daily calorie goal when I'm not loading on the calorie heavy carbs at every meal. One of those "duh" moments.

This was enough to get the weight loss ball rolling again, but I was going to miss my February goal by miles. I was discouraged and defeated and beating myself up for the months of wasted time, not to mention getting desperate, so I started doing more research.

What I found was the ketogenic diet. (Think Atkins on steroids.) The goal of the diet is to put your body into ketosis (hence the name) which is basically the state in which your body starts converting stored fat to use as fuel (fatty acids and ketones (incidentally, the name of my ska band: Fatty Acid and the Keytones)) instead of relying on easy to burn fuels like carbohydrates converted into glucose (sugar). It's a high fat, moderate protein, super low carb diet. I found a guy who had written a 4 week diet plan complete with recipes that sounded delicious (spinach and cheese stuffed bacon anyone?), convinced my roommate to jump off this cliff with me, and off we went!

We are in week 3 of 4, and have been really successful so far. We've been cooking dinner almost every night. My roommate bought some keto test strips so we can make sure our bodies are doing what we want. We found a recipe for keto friendly ice cream which is really the only food I'd been craving. I've been drinking more coffee than ever before in life (part of the diet is "Bullet Proof Coffee" for breakfast every morning. It's a cup of coffee with a tablespoon of butter, a tablespoon of coconut oil and a tablespoon of heavy cream blended in with an immersion blender. I add a bit of liquid stevia for some sweetness. It's actually pretty delicious.) and have lost a serious amount of weight in a relatively short time. About 10 lbs in 2 1/2 weeks.

And with that, I would like to reveal to you today's weigh in:



I'm still behind schedule. The Feb 15 goal I missed was 183. I'm still not there yet. And it's going to be a serious challenge to get to 160 by May 15. BUT YOU GUYS! I'm under 200 lbs for the first time in the last probably 20 years!

I had to weigh myself twice because I couldn't believe it. The second time, when I did believe it, I stood on the scale and cried of happy. Then I did a happy dance. BECAUSE YOU GUYS! This was a HUGE milestone for me.

It's still a race for the finish. And I'll be honest, I don't know if I can make it at this point. But I'm stepping up my game and not giving up. It's my race to lose and I wanna win. Badly enough to give up donuts for 100 days. Badly enough to try the first "crazy fad diet" I've ever done before. (I will say, it helps that I can basically have all the cheese and bacon I want. Sounds like a diet win to me!)

P.S. My mom used to tell me that losing weight would make my boobs smaller. Turns out, she was right. My bras are now all too big. It's a pleasant problem to have, in my book, except that bras are expensive and I'm pretty broke, so I'm annoyed. But happy annoyed. Annoyed in the best way possible.