Archives for category: Victory Log


12 months of bad eating and not exercising looks like this. I won’t let myself give up.



I could dwell on the negatives. Instead I’ll give myself a bravo.


I hit 100 pounds lost on Friday night.

I hate to say it, but I’m sure I bounced up a bit after too much Easter candy, tortillas, etc.

My next goal is to make sure I get back to that 100 pounds lost, and lose 7 more.

Why seven more pounds? Because at 160 I’ll be in the “Normal Weight” BMI zone. At that point I’ll get my fat tested with skin calipers to determine how much more fat I need to lose, and I’ll decide what I want my goal weight to be.

I started out saying I wanted to lose 120 pounds. That may not be the case now. I might lose 120 pounds of fat, but gain muscle. If I’m a lean 157, that’s great. Then again, if I need to get down to 145 to be healthy, I’ll keep at it.




Drumroll, please!

Pounds lost: 95
Body Fat: 33.1%
BMI: 26.9

Pounds lost since December 22: 3
Body Fat change: -0.2%  (total since starting with Trainer Paul: 4.1%)

Small losses add up. I’m just hoping these small losses start coming a bit faster!

Yesterday I celebrated losing 95 pounds at my Weight Watchers weigh-in. The road has been long, filled with sweat and cravings, false modesty and humiliation, pizza and pudding. The group cheered, which I thought was very sweet–there were lots of celebrations yesterday, including a 20 and 30-pound loss. Afterwards a few women asked me a battery of questions, which I thought I’d share.

1. How long has it taken you? I started Weight Watchers in June 2009, so it’s been two years, nine months.

2. Why has it taken so long? Yes, someone asked this. In these days of Biggest Loser rapid weight loss and stomach stapling, people want instant transformation. It’s taken me this long because I’m not just losing weight, I’m changing who I am. I’m no longer the fat woman who scoffs at people who exercise, I am a person who exercises. I used to love to watch cooking shows and whip up big dinners filled with butter, oil, cheese and meat. No more.

3. How many pounds per week did you lose? According to my Weight Watchers e-Tools chart, I’ve lost an average of .7 pounds per week. But really, there’s nothing average about my weight loss. Some weeks I had big losses. There were periods in the first year when I’d have three big losses and then a gain, then three healthy losses and a gain, etc.  You’ll see in my weight loss chart that in 2011 from May 2010 to June 2011 I “Mastered the Art of Maintaining”. That means, over that year, I had a net loss of 2.8 pounds. But I kept going to meetings–I didn’t want to gain the weight back.

Weight Loss Chart

4. Do you exercise? I didn’t when I started. At 267 pounds I was just too out of shape physically and mentally to do much. I remember trying to learn swing dancing with my husband, but I was so out of shape that I gave up.  So what was the turning point? I got a pedometer and beginning walking CD by Debbie Rocker. 20 minutes of this optimistic woman in my ears. The first day that I tried it it was 85 degrees in August 2009 and when I was done I collapsed on the couch, thinking I would never be able to get into shape. But I kept at it, walking more after Debbie was done, adding weights, walk/jogging, and by Thanksgiving 2009 I completed my first 5k.

Now I try to get to the gym five times a week where I do cardio and weight training, with a goal of becoming a strong, fit woman. And I love how my body feels as I get stronger.

5. Is your family fat? Your husband? My husband is overweight right now. I pulled him down the unhealthy path–when we met years ago he ran daily (and I scoffed at him). But he’s on his own journey and I think he’ll be celebrating being fit and healthy by the end of 2012. My kids are in the normal weight zone, as are my parents. Family history and long-term effects of childhood issues are a different post altogether.

6. What do you eat daily? Can you send me your meal plan? I won’t send you a meal plan, because I don’t have one. These days I’m trying to eat six small meals a day, pairing protein with carbohydrates. A sample day might be:

7am: One slice Dave’s Killer 21-Grain Bread with 1 tsp honey mustard and 1.5 oz low-sodium sliced turkey meat
10am: Handful of carrots and 10 almonds
1pm: Beef & barley soup
4:30pm: Small apple, orange and wedge of low-fat Laughing Cow cheese
6pm: Salad: 3 oz Skinless chicken breast, LOTS of spinach & arugula salad mix, 1/2 C brown rice, 1/2 bell pepper–sliced,  1 tomato quartered, 1/2 C steamed brocolli, handful of baby carrots, sliced purple onion. Dressing: fresh lemon juice & 1 tsp olive oil. I might have a little heel of bread with this to soak up the dressing.
9:30pm: 1/2 Cup dark chocolate pudding from Fresh & Easy

But, a sample day could also easily be:

7am: One slice Dave’s Killer 21-Grain Bread with 1 tsp honey mustard and 1.5 oz low-sodium sliced turkey meat
4:30pm: Small apple, orange and wedge of low-fat Laughing Cow cheese
6pm: Four slices of pizza plus the piece my four-year old handed me, saying, “Here Mommy, can you finish this please?”
8pm: a bowl of ice cream, a candy cane, a handful of chocolate chips, and a stale cookie

7. Do you have special tools that you use? No. Yes. Sort of.

E-Tools. When I signed up for Weight Watchers’ E-Tools in July 2009 I geeked out on tracking, and it really helped. That first year I was a tracking fool. I used the recipe builder and activity tracker and participated on the 100+ Pounds to Lose message board a lot. Now I do my best to track daily, but if I’m honest, I’m at about a 30% success rate.

Polar heart rate monitor watch. This helps me track my activity, calories burned, and if I’m getting my heart rate in the zone I want it.

Good running shoes & an Enell sport bra.If you’re large-busted, the Enell sport bra is a god-send!

Trainer. Okay, Trainer Paul isn’t a *thing* but definitely joining the gym and signing up for a trainer has helped a lot.

Food scale. My $20 food scale was one of my best purchases. Weighing my food keeps me honest.

Other gadgets: I’ve tried all sorts of gadgets on my phone. The PointsPlus calculator from Weight Watchers is good. I have an Android so most of the other WW apps don’t work well on it. I’ve downloaded Loseit! but it’s just a tracking app so I decided to stick with e-Tools. Trainer Paul showed me the 6 Pack Abs Promise so I’ve downloaded it and will try it out today.

Books: Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean series really jump-started me out of maintenance in June 2011.

8. What big changes have you made? Since June 2009 I’ve made a few changes, including:

I don’t stop at Burger King for breakfast.
I have black coffee instead of a venti non-fat, no-whip caramel mocha.
I bring my lunch about 90% of the time and when I don’t, I look for the healthy options on the menu.
When I go to parties, I *do* bring something healthy that I’d like to eat.
I’ve really cut back on drinking.
I exercise. Sometimes I hate it, but most of the time once I start doing it I enjoy it.
I don’t shop in the fat womens’ stores anymore. No more Macy Women. No more Lane Bryant. I went from a 24 to a 14. At a 38C, Victoria’s Secret can sell me bras again.
I do still get french fries, but a small instead of a large, and I balance out the rest of the day.

I don’t beat myself up for days where the fat girl comes back, and doesn’t exercise and eats everything in her path. Instead, I try to figure out why I’m sabotaging my efforts.

How did I lose 95 pounds?

I joined Weight Watchers
I started exercising
I kept at it.

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

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.

This year I ran my third Thanksgiving Turkey Trot.

In 2009 I “wogged” it. (That’s what Lori Gibson Washington, my wonderful 2009-2010 Weight Watchers leader, calls walking and jogging.) The morning was beautiful: the sun lit up all the different colors of the trees in the Suisun Valley and it just was a glorious way to start the day. There were people dressed in costumes à la Bay to Breakers and it helped me to run, as I swore I wouldn’t finish behind someone dressed up as my dinner. I’d never participated in a 5k and didn’t know what to expect, so I didn’t get a timing chip. I think I finished somewhere between 40 and 45 minutes, and I was very pleased with myself.

Last year was freezing cold and sunny. I walked less and ran more. I finished in 36 minutes and I was very pleased with myself.

This year it threatened to rain and it drizzled a bit, but the real rain held off. Supposedly there were close to 2,000 people running. I ran as hard as I could. I wanted to run the whole time without stopping. I wanted to finish in 32 minutes. Pushing myself, I only looked at my heart rate monitor watch once–at the halfway mark. Little boys kept running in front of me then stopping, then running again, spastically, whooping and hollering then stopping right in front of me. Once I nearly fell on one of them when he stopped dead about two feet in front of me.

I didn’t walk. I finished strong. In 30 minutes.

When I crossed the finish line and realized my accomplishment I started to cry. I don’t know why. Pride? Exhaustion? Either way, this was a huge accomplishment for me. Goal for my next 5k? Finish in under 30!

Today was my Weight Watchers weigh-in day; Thursday was measurement day with Trainer Paul.

Drumroll, please!

Pounds lost: 90.8
Body Fat: 34.4%

Pounds lost in past month: 10.4
Body Fat change: -1.7%  (total since starting with Trainer Paul: 2.8%)

What did I do this month?

Nutritionally: I waffled. A lot.  And when I got back on the bandwagon, I did not track. However, I *did* try to focus on making good choices and stay away from sugar. And small portion sizes, no wonder what I ate.

Physically:  I’m working on strength right now. My big accomplishment: completing 30 regular push-ups with my hands close together. I do cardio on alternate days, sometimes doing intervals with my “burst” level at 8.0. Have tried Zumba, burned 434 calories, but the music was so damn loud I don’t know if I can handle it again.

Goal for the next month: get stronger, stay on track nutritionally to hit 100 pounds.

First, I strained my neck muscles.

Then, a horrible strain of strep throat felled me for a week.

A week to get back on my feet, physically.

Now I’m finally working all my muscles and trying to run a bit again. Oh, it’s hard. And cooking healthy is hard, because I’m terribly behind at work and at the gym, and I seem to need more sleep, and…I’ve been very selfish with my time.

I’m working seven-hour days at work, max. I’m not cooking dinner for the family and eating most of my meals in the car on my commutes. I go to the gym and just do what I can. And then I get up, and repeat.

So how’s it all going? With all the set-backs, I anticipated maintenance, at best. However….

Today I hit 85 pounds at weigh-in. Actually, 86.2 pounds, total.

I’m in between sizes for many of the clothes I try on. Some size 16s fit great. But some are a little too big. Yesterday, as I ran sprints on the treadmill, my XL pants kept falling down, over and over and over. As I repeatedly tug them up, risking injury and falling down and massive embarrassment, I realized I needed new pants, but knew a size large would be too small.

I’ve got to work very very hard to get out of these XLs and into Ls. From 16s into 14s.

These are sizes I haven’t seen since 10th grade, when a boy told me, “You’re beautiful, from the neck up.”

I can’t wait! Click here for the latest transformation pictures…

October 22, 2011