Archives for the month of: December, 2011

Size 18 LBD 2009

On Christmas Eve my husband sent me on a Christmas shopping trip. I think it was partly because I’d whined so much the evening prior because the dress I’d planned to wear Christmas Day is now too big. It’s a size 18. I squeezed myself into it Thanksgiving and Christmas 2009; now it hangs on me like a sack.

I went to Macy’s without much optimism; when I’d gone on December 8th looking for a dress, every one I liked looked awful on me.

This time I brought four-year old Ringo with me. I found a good replacement for the black dress right away–a simple wool Calvin Klein. The only problem it was a 14 and I’m a 16. After the success of my measurements last week, I thought, “Why not see how far away from 14 you are?”

So, laden down with eight dresses in two different sizes, plus the Calvin Klein, Ringo and I set off to the changing room.

It took a long time to try on all the dresses, but I knew right away that was was getting more than one. They all fit–all the 14s! Maybe Ringo was my lucky charm?

Size 14 Christmas 2011

Anyone who has been fat–really fat–for a long time understands that seeing “normal” sizes looming on the horizon is a big deal. I’m in a 14 now…by late winter I hope to see a 12 on my clothing tags. Did I mention I also bought a t-shirt, with a tag that says “Large”?

Losing slowly but surely

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In the past month I’ve had a lot of ups, and not many downs–on the scale, that is. Before Thanksgiving I had hit an all-time weight loss number of 91.5 pounds lost. And the week after Thanksgiving I went to Weight Watchers and found I’d gained over eleven pounds in two weeks. Yes, eleven.

It’s taken me almost a month to get back to that magic number. When Trainer Paul took my measurements today I had only lost half a pound in over a month, so I really didn’t expect any change in my measurements. But here’s what I learned: the scale is a good reminder of not overdoing the food at night (burritos weigh a hell of a lot). But it’s not indicative of progress when you’re building muscle.

Drumroll, please!

Pounds lost: 92
Body Fat: 33.3%

Pounds lost since November 13: 0.5
Body Fat change: -1.1%  (total since starting with Trainer Paul: 3.9%)

Since November 13 I’ve lost inches, too:

Chest: 1.5″ (5″ total)
Waist: 2″ (10.5″ total)
Hips: 0.5″ (4″ total)
Calf: 1″ (2″ total)
Upper arm: 0.5″ (1.5″ total)

Did I mention that I am now in a size 2 Enell bra, which I couldn’t fit into at the beginning of August?

Trainer Paul asked me if I feel stronger. Hell yeah. I know I’m stronger. Tonight the stability ball push-ups finally showed up on my exercise schedule, and I was looking forward to trying them. The fact that I can now do 3 sets of 15 push-ups, REAL ones–not on my knees–is a testament to the fact that I’m much stronger. Sure, I’m not going all the way down to the floor, touching it with my nose or anything, but I’m doing real push-ups. This is a big accomplishment, considering I thought I would die my first time with Trainer Paul.

So what does this mean?
I’ve only lost .5 pounds in a month. But oh, what a change in my body! Don’t let the scale get you down. It doesn’t tell the whole story when you’re exercising. Start taking your measurements now, so you can see your progress later.


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Last night I ate butternut squash. On purpose.

I hate squash. Absolutely despise it.

But on Thanksgiving I drank a good amount of wine and decided that I would try everything I’d never tried before. That resulted in trying sweet potato casserole (dizzyingly sweet) and butternut squash (savory and delicious).

So when I saw the bag of diced BS in my Fresh & Easy, I knew I had to get it. My preparation was simple, and the result? Pretty darned tasty.  No, it doesn’t look great in the picture, which I took on a phone, without a flash, in a kitchen with one light fixture burnt out. But it tasted pretty good in my mouth, and as a post-workout snack it was satisfying–savory and sweet. Kind of like kettle corn. Or Chubby Hubby. Well, maybe I won’t go that far….

Fresh & Easy Butternut Squash
Serves 1-2 as a Main Course, 4 as a side

One bag of pre-cut Butternut Squash (BS)
1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp 2% milk Italian cheese blend
Dash of garlic powder
Salt, pepper, cooking spray

Crank your oven to 400 degrees. Spray a pan large enough for all your BS to have its own space (no crowding–you want these puppies to brown). If you don’t love BS, I recommend cutting big chunks smaller so you don’t have large cubes. Put the olive oil in the pan, add the BS. Add garlic powder, salt, pepper (all to taste), and spray the BS lightly with cooking spray. Toss all until well coated. Cook for 40 minutes. Check for doneness around 30 minutes, stirring if it seems well-browned.

Some may want to add nutmeg. I like the garlic powder instead.

When I’d lost about 50 pounds I tried Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred. I thought I would die just from doing the jumping jacks. I wouldn’t do it in front of my husband, because I knew I looked pathetic.

Eventually, I got comfortable enough to do it in front of him, and he joined me. For a few months we got up early and jumped around to “the mean lady.”

It was still not easy, but certainly easier after working at it on and off for a year. We stuck to the Beginner level, and I used 3-pound weights; he used 8-pound weights.

As things like this do, our early morning dates with Jillian dwindled off. And then, I joined the gym and started working with Trainer Paul.

I couldn’t go to the gym on Tuesday night, but decided to try out Jillian’s Advanced level, using the 8-pound weights. I didn’t know how I’d do. Would I pass out? Would I persevere?

My husband wandered in and sat down about a third of the way into the workout. At the end I was sweaty, a little shaky, and happy. I rocked those exercises. My husband looked at me and said with a smile, “Wow–you looked really good!” and later on, he commented on the fact that my upper arms and shoulders are noticeably toned and muscular.

That’s definitely not something THIS person could have said!

Fat (Six Years Ago)

Yesterday I had an epiphany. You know the kind–you stop what you’re doing and think, I need to write about that right now. In my journal. On my blog. On my Weight Watchers message board. Any where before I forget it.

Well, I didn’t. And I forgot it.

The good news is, I do know why I went crazy for four days eating sugar and carbs and all sorts of things that I had been able to control myself from gobbling (Taco Bell bean burritos, for one). It’s that time.

Hopefully you’ll excuse me for oversharing. But I’ve never had a hormonally-driven binge, at least, not that I was aware. And had I realized that was what was going on, I probably might have been able to deal with it a lot better. How? I don’t know. Doesn’t Midol make a pill for that?

As for the epiphany? I just remembered. Someone on the 100+ Pounds to Lose Weight Watchers Board “What was the best thing you ate this weekend?”

I thought and thought, and realized that none of it was that wonderful. The french fries. The cookies. The popcorn. The best thing I ate happened to be the healthiest: a simple honeycrisp apple.

Epiphany: enjoy simple, fresh food. It’s better for you and in the long run, will may be more memorable.

I need to learn why my will power and self-control suddenly turn off at about 10am Thanksgiving morning and doesn’t turn back on until January 2.

Yesterday we went for a nice little 80-minute walk with the kids. Then we came home and watched Elf, accompanied by popcorn and homemade cookies.

I need to learn not to bake cookies. Like pizza they are a red-light food. I can’t hold back. I’m worse than my four-year old. At least he stops when he’s full. Why is it about the obese brain that fatties keep going until our stomachs are stretched and over-filled?

While pizza and cookies are red light foods, I think December must be the red-light month. All I’ve wanted to do all month is eat, drink and eat some more. Tree-trimming party at my mother-in-laws? Must have comfort food. First holiday movie? Must have holiday treats. Holiday shopping hell? Must have take-out since we’re too tired to cook.

Of course, I know this is all wrong. I know it’s all just food–fuel–nutrition. And there’s no need for it to be bountiful or fat-filled or sugar-powered. Rationally, away from the kitchen, I know this.

Why can’t I have the self-control I practice having when it’s really the time I need it?