Thursday, December 22, 2011

Looking Forward

Where to begin?

I have a job interview this afternoon - first one in 12+ years.

I ran a 5k last weekend - ran it. Ran.

I've gained weight but am still down 80 pounds and expect to get the 15 or so that have crept back on off at some point.

I haven't bitten my nails in about three months.

I have had my "band" for 18 months now. 18 months of not being ruled by food. Of not beating myself up constantly about what I'm eating or not eating. 18 months of a journey, not an all or nothing.

I didn't train like I should have (or rather, maybe wanted to because who says there is an absolute on how you should train) for the 5k. The day or two before, I was talking to myself in my head a lot about what I could "count" as success. I wanted to run the entire race. If I ran the entire race, that meant I met my goal. No wait, it's not all good or all bad, there is an in-between. No wait, I wanted to be able to say I ran the entire thing. I found myself going back to "dieting". If I stayed true to my plan - whatever plan it was for the given attempt - I was good. Successful. On track. If I had one peanut outside of the plan, I was bad. Black mark. Off the wagon.

Nope. Life isn't an absolute. People that have a regular relationship with food don't binge after they have an extra peanut. People that run the entire 5k except for up 3 or 4 of the steep hills after never having run further than one mile in their entire life get to say that yes, they ran a 5k. No qualifications. No ifs ands or buts.

Is my life perfect now that I can wear a size 14/16 and walk up stairs and run a 5k. Nope. But there is so much more peace in my head. Room for other things. Like finding a new job. The next step in my career. Letting someone else know that they would be lucky to find me and hire me and value me.

If this gig works out, awesome. If not, there's another one out there. But I have skills. I have options. I have possibilities. This may be getting a bit too "after-school special" but I believe in me and that is what is most important. Interestingly enough, I think weighing 300 pounds is part of how I came to understand that most important lesson of all. I'm still the me I was then. Now, I just value her the way I should have all along.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Good Numbers!

Biometric testing at work today.

While my weight is still up about 15 pounds from my low, I've been holding steady at that number for a few months now. Bad news - still up. Good news - not going higher.

Additional good news - all numbers at the testing are super-duper. Now, I was someone who at 100+ pounds overweight was still considered "fairly healthy" but things were starting to creep up - blood pressure, glucose reading, cholesterol.

Now - I'm good.

35 inch waist which puts my height/waist ratio at the tippy top of the healthy range (I think) for my height.

Overall cholesterol is awesome at 183. Overall ratio is a little out of whack since my "good" cholesterol is too low and my bad cholesterol is too high. Bad cholesterol may be affected by high protein diet. Exercise should help.

Blood pressure good at 112/80.

I'm still bummed my size 14 dress pants aren't fitting yet but I'm confident they will - once I get my bum in gear.

Super happy with the other numbers though! And, total NSV in that the nurse sort of gushed that I looked great. Yay me.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Listening to the Universe

Does anyone remember that episode of “The West Wing” when Jed Bartlet – the president was wrestling with whether or not to pardon someone on death row. He consulted with his priest who relayed a story of sorts about God not answering questions – or rather people not listening to the answers he/she is sending.

The priest tells Bartlet this story:

Father Cavanaugh:
You know, you remind me of the man that lived by the river. He heard a radio report that the river was going to rush up and flood the town. And that all the residents should evacuate their homes. But the man said, 'I'm religious. I pray. God loves me. God will save me.'The waters rose up.

A guy in a row boat came along and he shouted, 'Hey, hey you! You in there. The town is flooding. Let me take you to safety.' But the man shouted back, 'I'm religious. I pray. God loves me. God will save me.'

A helicopter was hovering overhead. And a guy with a megaphone shouted, 'Hey you, you down there. The town is flooding. Let me drop this ladder and I'll take you to safety.' But the man shouted back that he was religious, that he prayed, that God loved him and that God will take him to safety.

Well... the man drowned. And standing at the gates of St. Peter, he demanded an audience with God. 'Lord,' he said, 'I'm a religious man, I pray. I thought you loved me. Why did this happen?'

God said, 'I sent you a radio report, a helicopter, and a guy in a rowboat. What the hell are you doing here?

Religion notwithstanding, I do often times get the sense that the universe is conspiring to tell me something. Sometimes, I think we look for reassurance to corroborate a decision/thought we’re already having.

Sometimes it’s your pants telling you – no, you haven’t regained 101 pounds and you don’t weigh 300 pounds again. However, you have regained 18 pounds and you cannot wear your size 14 trousers without violating obscenity laws.

Yep, it’s happened to me. I hit my low – 196…. 6 lowly pounds away from my goal – earlier this summer. I was too tight for a long time and started to rely on a lot of sweets/sliders. The good news – if that’s all you’re eating, you’re not gaining weight. The bad news, I started to experience some stomach upset and reflux.

I had two unfills (the second after a fluoroscope) and it opened everything right up. I was ready to eat and eat I did. Not binging. Not drive thrus. Not anything too awful, relatively speaking. But, I was eating a bit more than a good bandster should on the “food food” front. Plus, I was keeping up my ad hoc intake of sweets. I just haven’t been mindful. If I want to eat something, I do. Am I hungry? I don’t know. Not really thinking about that. Sound familiar? Might have contributed just a bit to getting within a hair's breath of 300 pounds.

So, my three pairs of size 14 dress pants are too tight. I am not buying new pants. I am not buying new pants. I am not buying new pants.

A few other things I’m not doing….
I’m not going on a crash diet.
I’m not going to stop eating.
I’m not going to wig out.
I’m not going to start thinking I’m fat again.
I’m not going to keep gaining weight.
I’m not going to self-sabotage.

Because frankly, I’ve got enough sabotage from which I can draw in the world around me. Oh yeah, I got called fat today at work. At work. By one of the principals of our firm. In front of other principals and colleagues. And yes, I guess I’m still fat 80 pounds down. God knows what she called me 80 pounds ago.

Afterwards, a co-worker couldn’t believe that I wasn’t more upset.

I’m not upset because I’m numb. I’m numb to a workplace that sustains, rewards and tolerates inappropriate behavior, misogyny, bullying, and just plain social skills poorer than those seen at most junior high school dances. I’ve wanted to leave for a long time. I haven’t because frankly, I was scared to look for a job at my heaviest. But, it’s go time. I’m getting my resume in shape. I’ve got my outreach plan kicking. I am leaving. I’m leaving soon. And that is good.

But back to my weight. I have to say, this little incident has prompted some questions…. Namely, am I still fat? Have I lost 80/100 pounds and I’m still fat? Does the world still see me as a blob – just a smaller blob?

My goal throughout this process has never been to be supermodel thin. Not going to happen. But, I want to be healthy. I’d like to be pretty. I’d like for my pants to fit. I’m good with being chubby. But I’ve worked too damn hard to still be the girl in the room that people think – Man, I hope that chair doesn’t give out on her. I don't want to be the girl that asks to take a middle seat on the airplane and the aisle/window people think.. Aww man. And I don’t think I am that girl anymore. I don't think I'm delusional on this point. The space in my head is working really hard to stick with this viewpoint.

So the idiot commenter came by later in the day to apologize. She tried to say that what she meant was that I had a tall, totally different frame from the other petite woman who was standing there. Who knows, maybe she did. Maybe she was just being a bitch. Maybe she was just being an idiot. Maybe it was all three.

What do I know?

I know that I wear the same size pants as Meryl Streep does and I don’t think anybody is worrying about her going around and breaking chairs.

And I know that I’m getting a new job. My resignation will be my fu*k you to you and you and you. And when I resign, I will be wearing my size 14 trousers and they will look awesome. Some may call this sour grapes but I call it my armageddon. It’s a reckoning. The chickens are coming home to roost. Don’t know how many more metaphors I can mix but I do know that this place isn’t going to have Susan to kick around for much longer. Yeah.

And, I know that I'm going to enjoy a good amount of wine this weekend. 18 pounds be damned.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Awesome NSVs

While I saw the lowest number ever (thus far in the journey) on the scale this morning - 193.6, the NSVs have been super rewarding over the past few days.

I had a work meeting over the last days and saw clients I hadn't seen since January. Everyone seemed bowled over by how I looked. I even got called skinny and slim multiple times. Remarkable! Everyone asked how I had done it and I felt semi-bad not fessing up but I just don't want to open up to that depth with my work community. If there had been anyone in the group who was a candidate for the band, I would have told people but luckily :), I was by far the heaviest.

And.... I went to shoe store over lunch and tried on a pair of tall boots (knee high) just for fun and guess what??? They ZIPPED UP!!! All of the way!!! Zipped. Totally zipped. I have big calves. Always have, always will. Just the way the genetic dice tumbled. They fit. They fit. They fit!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Overweight and it feels so good!

As of this morning, I am officially part of the thousands of Americans who are overweight and I couldn't be more thrilled. 195.6. .4 pounds under the marker between overweight and obese for my height. Being overweight means I am no longer obese. Nope. Not anymore. What an awful word that is. Yuck.

Overweight though is music to my ears!! 15.6 pounds until my goal of 180 which will still be overweight but I'm confident that that will be a good weight for me. I think if I got down to 163 (which is the tippy top of the healthy weight category for my height), that I would look gaunt. What a concept.

I'm chubby!! Not fat anymore - yippee!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thank You

I created this blog for me - largely to have an account of my journey and to have an outlet for many of the crazy things that bounce around in my head. I also created this blog because the blogs of so many other "Bandsters" have been incredibly meaningful in so many parts of my journey: learning about the band, understanding the changes that I'd need to make, understanding the reality of living with the band, seeing hope and success and a possible solution.

I'm not a great member of the blogging bandster community. I'm a horrible commenter and a class A lurker. I read consistently but don't reach out a lot. That doesn't mean though that the words of others aren't hugely important to me and that they haven't been a huge part of what has given me inspiration, sustenance and camaraderie over the past year+.

Thank you en masse to the bandster blogging community. The Internet is a funny thing. We all share a common experience in sitting down at our individual computers and typing away. Sharing intimate details of a common experience, warts and all, and then sending it out into cyberspace.

Before my surgery, I would read and then re-read and sometimes re-read again blogs just trying to soak in the success. I would look at their tickers of 40 pounds, 80 pounds, 100+ pounds lost and dream. The before and after photos. What they could eat.

After my surgery, I went back and re-read again. The blogs were so helpful in reassuring myself that I had made a good decision. Especially when all I wanted to do was just eat something for some kind of nurishment. I read about how people ate real food and had real lives and knew that I would get there too.

Now, I often go back and re-read parts of my own blog and remember where I was and celebrate how far I've come.

So thank you. To everyone who puts their feelings out there. To everyone who dares to hope that the band might be their own solution. To this wonderful community. Thank you for all of the support. My apologies for my crappy commenting skills but please know that there are many others out there in the ether who are supporting you too and wishing you all of the success in the world. And, who know the road you're traveling as we are on it as well.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Other Side

Roughly 364 days and 18 hours ago, I was going under the knife. I was ever so slightly coming up from my bottom. I was cautiously, fearfully, oh-please-God, hopeful that this time might be different.

I was too scared to say difinitively that I would lose the weight. It was too much to hope for. It was too incomprehensible. Of course, being a hair's breadth away from 300 pounds was pretty incomprehensible too.

June 16, 2011 is just another day. But, it's an important milestone. An important marker and definite cause for celebration. It's a big day.

In twelve months, I have lost 100 pounds... almost on the nose. 100 pounds. 100 pounds. That's too many sacks of sugar to count. I meant to go to Petsmart to see if I could pick up two fifty pound bags of dog food at a time but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to. How then, could I live with that much more weight with me all of the time? I tell you what, it's a whole lot easier to live without it.

What has changed...

I don't sweat anymore. Unless I'm actually exerting myself or it's really hot. A miracle.

I'm a dynamo around the house. I cook. I clean. I do laundry. I play with Grace. I pick things up.

I wake up and even though I don't like mornings, I'm ready to go.

I go to the mall and buy clothes.

I easily fit in airplane seats.

I look around rooms with lots of people in them and know that I'm not the heaviest.

I've gotten more used to compliments.

My wedding rings are too big.

I wear a size L top and a size 14 pants.

I'm proud of myself for working my band and losing the weight.

I can run a mile. And consider doing more.

The biggest change though...

The space in my head that used to be consumed with weight and food and the resulting pain 24 hours a day is remarkably peaceful. Just peaceful.

I still go through the Dairy Queen drive thru occasionally. Or eat too many chips. Or not enough protein in the day but most days, the vast majority of days, I have an almost unconscious sense of peace about food, weight and exisitance.

I know my body isn't perfect. Absolutely far from it. But I still occasionally catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and do a double-take. I am happy with my weight. I am estatic about my weight. I feel healthy. I feel strong. I feel at peace about my weight. This is a miracle.

A few random thoughts as I round out the year...

Does anyone else sometimes like to just like to look at your ticker? In so many ways, I feel like everything has changed, yet everything has stayed the same. Sometimes, looking at my ticker and seeing the numbers there seemed more real than looking at my own body. The period of time when I kept thinking that every mirror was a "skinny mirror" for example.

I guess when some people lose weight, they end up smaller than they have ever been before. I was this size (or within 20 pounds of it) until the rails fell off of things after I got married. I look like me again. However, this time I appreciate it. When you're 100 pounds overweight, 20 or so doesn't seem that bad. I'd still really like to lose at least 10 more pounds and probably 20 more pounds. And I will. And we'll see how that feels. But this feels really good too.

The peace inside my head about what to eat, when to eat, how much I ate, all of that is beyond a miracle. The contentment I have about my weight is another mini miracle. I'm good with it and that is all that matters. I'm good.

So, what's next. In the immortal words of Matthew McConaughey, "just keep livin'". I expect to reach my goal weight in the next 2-4 months. Hopefully, closer to 2 months. I will keep taking care of my band so it remains a healthy partner in my heatlth and wellbeing. And I will run - acutally run - a 5k. And I will be proud as punch of myself.

One year ago I was too scared to fully hope. I lost 100 pounds. WOO HOO!

Here are the numbers by month:

June 2010 - 22 lbs
July - 9.6 lbs
August - 13 lbs
September - 8.6 lbs
October - 8.8 lbs
November - 8.4 lbs
December - 6.0 lbs
January 2011 - 3.2 lbs
February - 4.8 lbs
March - .2 lbs
April - 8.8 lbs
May - 3.4 lbs
June - 2.2 lbs

My before measurements:

Bust - 52, Waist - 49.5 , Hips - 59

My "now" measurements:

Bust - 43 inches, Waist - 38 inches, Hips - 45 inches

That's a total loss in inches (thus far) of 34.5 inches.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Progress pics - 299/203

I ran.

I ran a mile. Actually, I ran slightly over a mile. A mile plus. And I didn’t die. And I maybe could have gone further. Maybe. I wasn’t setting the world on fire in terms of speed. But I jogged. I trotted. I ran. So far away.

I ran a mile. Four laps around the track. I sprinted about 50 feet at the end and my legs were wobbly but generally, I felt ok. I was working. I was sweating. My throat had that 8th grade P.E. burning feeling. After, we walked up and down the stadium seats and then walked another mile-ish.

I had to do a stress test as part of getting approved for surgery – as I’m sure many of you also did. In a stress test, you have to walk until your heart rate reaches a certain level. I remember the nurses saying that you should then walk/run for as long as you can after you reach the heart rate level. I barely made it to the heart rate level. I remember the lady asking me if I wanted to go on or stop and I definitely needed to stop. I couldn’t inhale a breath. I told her this after I sat down and she said I was hyperventilating. Literally.

Before the surgery, I spent a lot of time dreaming, hoping, bargaining, etc. about what it would be like to lose the weight. What I would look like? What could I wear? How would I walk up stairs? How would I fit in airplane seats? How I could dry my hair without sweating to death. Maybe I could run a 5k. Actually run it. Cross the finish line. My own personal marathon.

My old neighbor Jenny remembered that I’d said I had this pipe dream and suggested we register for this local race (loosely using that term). Maybe I could run the last mile she said. Yes, let’s do it I said. Without her push, this would always be something on the list that I hope to get to one day. But probably never will.

So, we went up to the track last night and started.

Long before the surgery, I remember hearing Elisabeth Hasselbeck talk about wanting to get back in shape and have her daughter be able to say “My Mommy is strong.” And that really resonated with me.

I desperately want Grace to be healthy, strong and happy with her body. Please God – don’t let her have the weight issues that I have had. And her father has had. And so many in our families have had. The odds are stacked against her genetically. I so want to be a good role model for her. Healthy and fit. Not hung up on nuances of imperfection.

I had a revelation last night while I was running. We were talking (and I was huffing) about being active and how we were active with our families growing up. I realized that I don’t have any positive memories about being active as a child. My memories are wrapped up in athletics. Playing a sport that I wasn’t good at, didn’t enjoy.

I played sports because I thought that’s what was expected – and it most likely was. My family was very wrapped up in team sports. I played softball, volleyball and basketball until my sophomore year of high school. Why? Because that’s what you did. My brother is a successful athlete. My dad is an athlete and coach. My mom is a fan.

I remember shooting lay-ups with my dad and trying hard to do it right but not succeeding really well. Playing sports was always a high stress situation because I never had confidence that my body was going to do what it was supposed to do. I am not coordinated. I can be more coordinated if I really try but I still am only marginally successful. I am not an athlete. When I think about being active with my family growing up, it’s usually a frustrating, high stress kind of memory. It wasn’t fun. I didn’t enjoy it.

I have maintained for quite a while now that I hate to exercise. And I do. Now, if I go for a walk or something, I do feel good after but I’d still rather sit on the couch, read a book and eat chips. I realized that I associate exercise/being active with something that you HAVE to do rather than something that people might choose to do. They might choose to do this for many different reasons. But it can be a choice. On their terms. And about what is important to them, not about living up to someone else’s expectations.

I’m sure this is like saying that the sky is blue to most people but I don’t think I’ve ever thought about this before. I always assumed that I just didn’t like to exercise because that is how it was/is. I never thought about how that might be a conditioned view. Maybe I don’t like to exercise/be active because I haven’t ever had a positive experience? Because I haven’t ever chosen to do it? Because I haven’t ever chosen what I wanted to do? Because I haven’t ever said – I wonder if my body can do this? Let’s find out.

Am I going to run a marathon? Nope. That is still something that isn’t going to happen. Why – because I don’t want to. I really don’t want to. However, there is a glimmer in my mind that maybe I could if I wanted to. Maybe. Still don’t know.

But I am going to run a 5k. The whole way. With a number pinned to my shirt. I can run. And Grace can say “My Mommy is Strong” and so can I. Because I choose to, because it’s important to me and because it’s meaningful to me. And that is all that matters.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Inching closer

I had a fantastic girl's trip to Texas this past weekend with two of my best girlfriends. So fun! And such an easier packing/dressing/stressing experience being 98 pounds down.

That's right - 98 pounds. So close to one of the biggest milestones of them all.

I did a modified three-day liquid diet last week to try to close the deal but didn't make it. That's ok.

My band was super tight while I was in Texas which was kind of a pain. I was thinking it was from flying but I haven't ever had flying problems in the past. It finally dawned on me as I was leaving that I was pre-menstrual. Being much tighter for roughly the week before my period is pretty common.

So, I'm kind of being lazy eating-wise for a bit and then I'm going to try to do the modified liquid thing and at least get down past 100 pounds down. This will also get me into "onederland".

It was so weird when I was packing. We expected Texas to be super hot. I actually checked my packing list twice because it seemed like there was so little clothing in my suitcase. Before, any trip would have been hard to pack for, let alone a trip to someplace hot. It's so much easier weighing 98 pounds less. Finding clothes, buying clothes, wearing clothes, moving, being.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I'm at the mall. In a regular store. Buying size 14 pants and L tops. Truly bizarro world. Time to start getting dressed facing the mirror in dressing rooms. This still doesn't feel real!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

13.6 To Go!

Liquids stink but it's nice to see downward movement!

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Long and Rambling Update

I've got about eight post it notes floating around with thoughts and ideas for a blog post. Why I'm still at essentially the same weight that I've been in what feels like forever. Why I'm anxious to get to goal. How this size/body is starting to feel normal. How I can eat just fine after my un-fill and having gotten a glimpse of maintaining (after having essentially maintained for the last few months), I'm feeling pretty good about that. - But, we'll get to those thoughts in more depth at some point. Maybe. - I went and saw Dr. Minkin today. I'd lost 3 pounds by his scale since I last saw him for my unfill. I think that was around the end of January. He gave me a bit of a pep talk which is totally warranted and said again though that I was doing well. - He had put .5 ccs into the band with my last fill and took that out. He put .4 back in today. I chugged the cup of water after and it went down just fine - I could feel it a little though. He said he felt a bit of a push back when he put the fluid in. Not sure what that's about exactly. - I'm hopefully that this gets me back to a good spot (not that I've been in an awful spot). Restricted but no reflux. Hunger diminished. Sailing on to goal. - Speaking of the goal. I'm so freaking close! When I was super heavy, it was so daunting to think about the huge (pun intended) amount of weight that I needed to lose. I had always been able to lose 20 pounds, no problem. Losing one hundred plus was impossible. Now that I am 16 pounds away from an even 100 down, 25 away from 190 which would be "overweight" and then 35 away from my final goal.... it's so very very close. Close enough that I guess it's not too bad where I'm at. But, it's not the end. It's not goal. - I'm not really ancy to get to the goal because I think I look awful where I'm at and if I lose 35 more pounds I'll look good. Relatively speaking, I look just fine. Not that there isn't incredible room for improvement like hopefully these next 35 pounds will mostly come off of my midsection but it's an entirely differently ballgame these days than it was less than a year ago. - I want to see the numbers though. I want to say I've lost 100 pounds - to me at least. It's a little embarrassing to tell someone else. I want to know that I'm no longer "obese" but merely overweight. I want to go GOOOAAAALLLLL!!!! on my blog. And, I want to buy pants, and shirts, and dresses, and belts (who knew) and fancy jeans and and and. And I want to know that when I buy them, I can invest if I want to. I won't have to worry if I'll be able to get them taken in or not. Or, that I'll have to get rid of my new favorite pants because they don't fit anymore. Oh, the challenges of the weight stable population. - And again, how do people that consistently wear a regular size deal with all of the selection options out there. It is really overwhelming. - So, my doctor says liquids for one day, soft foods the next then your regular diet. Last fill I pushed it (nachos on day three or four as I recall). I'm going to do liquids today and tomorrow and then soft foods for the next two days before easing back into a regular diet. Hopefully this will help the fill settle in and provide a nice little dip on the scale. - Three more goals - 16 to 100 down, 25 to 190 then 35 to 180. It's time to get it done.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Checking In

Still 80ish pounds down. I'm glad I track my weight weekly on my handy-dandy spreadsheet. It feels like I haven't lost anything in months. Overly dramatic much? Looking a gift horse in the mouth much?

I've lost 80 pounds in 8 month - part of me tells myself to quit my bitching. The spreadsheet helps to bring me a bit back to reality.

Turns out, I've lost 10 pounds since the beginning of December. 10 pounds over the last 2 1/2, almost 3 months. So, more than nothing but definitely not setting the world on fire.

For essentially all of January and February, I have bounced around between 221.6 and 215.6. The good news - I've gotten a taste of maintenance and I think it will be fine. I haven't been making the best choices. Been eating too many sweets, not enough protein, not enough water, too much grazing. But, staying pretty steady at about 218 ish.

But, 218 isn't the goal. Time to kick this into gear.

I've had many of the inevitable internal discussions with myself about to fill or not to fill. Do I need one? Can I eat too much? Is that the issue. I had an appointment with my Doctor for tomorrow and I just called and rescheduled it for April 4. I've decided my fill level isn't the issue.

Now, I can eat a whole bunch of things. I've had rice. I've had bread. I've had toast. But, my portion size needed to get full is still pretty minimal. For example, I made steak for dinner on Sunday. I've never cooked a steak before. I'm always afraid I'll ruin it but it turned out great.

So, for dinner I had about 4-5 bites of salad with a few pistachios, asiago , vinaigrette, about 4-5 bites of my steak, about 2 bites of bread and about 4 bites of mashed potatoes. Plus maybe an ounce or two of red wine. I could eat everything. I had to take small bites and chew well. This was a very modest amount of food though and I was full. Very satisfied. Plus, we had this for dinner and I'd had very little to eat throughout the day - essentially just coffee and a spoonful or two of chunky peanut butter.

If I want to continue to lose weight, I need to limit the sweets and up the protein and water. It seems like I lose if I'm between 800-1000 calories a day. This seems like nothing but I think I can actually eat that much and be satisfied. I'm starting to track what I'm eating again so I can get a real sense of my calorie intake and protein intake.

Does anyone else get the shoulder pain still? I find that my shoulder hurts both when I'm really full and when I'm hungry or I should be hungry. I don't eat much during the day on the weekends (as long as I'm busy) besides coffee and I find that my shoulder starts to hurt well before my stomach starts to growl. I've gotten used to it and it's not awful but it's sort of funny.

I saw 215.6 this morning. Hopefully we'll see it again (and lower) soon! It's time to go shopping!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Just set a goal already!

I am amazed that I am close enough to a "goal" number that it is in spitting distance. Bizarre. If anything, having lost weight is even more intangible to me lately. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I just feel good in my skin. I feel sort of like "normal" me.

My "small" size 18 jeans that I bought at the regular Gap are getting a bit too big. Still ok but I can start drying them in the dryer :).

I've even gotten a few - "you don't need to lose anymore weight" comments. Nuts! Of course, I get those wearing all black and modern shapewear garments. But still.

So, I've been thinking a lot about the end game. What is the goal? How close am I? How much more do I need to lose? I'm starting to get a little antsy.

Originally, I'd set my goal at 190. It was the lowest I could remember being as an adult after college. I knew that was a weight at which I could shop in most stores and feel good. Also, it had a 1 at the beginning of it. And, it was at the tippy top of the overweight BMI category - officially not obese.

I think I started to get a little greedy though. Intoxicated by the loss. If I could get to 190, then I could get to 180, then 170. And then heck, if I could get to 170, why wouldn't I bring it on home to a normal BMI at 163.

163 is a weight I haven't been at since at least junior high. 163 would mean losing roughly 60 more pounds. That's a lot. When I look at me without the shapewear, there are still a lot of lumps and bumps. I don't think I'm ever going to be bikini material and that's fine. But I think 60 more pounds is going to be too much. Dear God - is that possible?

Yes, I think it is. So, I've thought a lot about what is a good goal. For now, I've changed my ticker to 180 - and removed the second ticker. To get to 180, I need to lose 36 more pounds. I can see where those 36 pounds can come from and it will be good to have them gone. I think at 180, I'll be thin (for me) and hopefully not too saggy/droopy/strained looking. At 180, I should be a solid size 12. Beyond awesome. Any store, any where, any time. Except for Louis Vuitton or the like which should be fine.

So, that's my goal and I'm sticking to it. For now at least. 180 lbs. Size 12. A solid 120 lost (which would actually be 179 but who's being nit picky). 36 more pounds. 36 pounds. Amazing. And amazingly wonderful. I'm even looking forward to the swimming pool this summer.

Oh - and another NSV, I went to the Gap Outlet this weekend and stocked up on new tee shirts. All size XL and a pair of size 16 cargo-ish pants. I actually got a little fatigued when I turned the corner and saw that there were yet more regular size garments to look at. The women's department is conveniently spartan. Learning how to deal with options.

I think I'll always have a particular affinity for the dressing rooms at the Gap outlet which was the scene of my first successful NSV in selecting regular jeans. It's become a happy place for me.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mom Brand

Did you know that Talbots, Ann Taylor, J.Jill are "Mom Brands"? I didn't. I mean I know that Talbots isn't the hippest and frankly most of my wardrobe has come from there over the last few years because they carried women's sizes. I will say, the new stuff they are doing is much, much better. Definitely like the new direction. Just not the final sale policy.

I like to read this fashion blog which graciously educated me about the Mom brand thing.


That's cool. I can embrace labels. Just, can we had "hip" for a Hip Mom Brand? Better than Hippy!

Size issues

The good news is - I'm wearing a size 14W dress today and it's too big. The bad news is I just bought it from Talbots online and it's a final sale.

I am out of women's sizes. Done. Finito. Don't need to go there anymore. Can I get a woo woo! The arms on the dress are way too big. The stomach is way too big. Until I got super big, I always had a relatively good shape - meaning, my girth was pretty proportional.

Funny moment... I was shopping at Saks one time a long time ago and the sales person commented on my shape and said something like I was a big girl but I wasn't "big". She was trying to be nice I think in saying that I was larger but had a good shape. Luckily I've had years of messed up compliments from my family to give me the context I needed to take such a comment appropriately.

Back to my current size. I also purchased two size 16 (regular) skirts from Talbots and both fit just fine. Yeah!! So, I believe that right now, I wear a size 16. All recent purchases (Talbots skirts, Gap skinny jeans) have been size 16. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

So when I extrapolate out to what size I'll be when I get to my initial goal weight of 190, I'm guessing it will be a definite 14 and even maybe a 12. 28.4 pounds to go.

Crazy to think what I might be if I make it to 163. Still not sure I want to end up there. We'll play it by ear. With a 15 pound allowance between sizes, I'm estimating a definite 10. Maybe even an 8 which is impossible. I have never ever ever in my adult life worn anything that was a size 8. I remember a had a dress that was a size 10 during the Phen-Fen days and it was obviously a mis-sized 10.

For now, no more internet purchases that are not returnable. And, no more internet purchases unless they are fantastic. Time to start shopping in stores. What a concept.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Add another "did you get your hair cut?" to the ticker...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Taking the skinny out for a spin

I lost the memory card for our camera and for some reason, my phone keeps taking blue photos so this is the best picture of the unleashing of Susan in skinny jeans on humanity, not very good but all we've got.
I got a number of compliments on New Year's Eve. Remarkable, the jeans were super comfortable. Weird.

I've adjusted my ticker to reflect my new goal weights of 190 and 163. 170 is fine too but somehow it seems silly not to try to get to a normal BMI if I'm going to try to get that close.

When I was talking to a friend recently, I was saying that I had about 35 more pounds to lose and she asked if I really had that much to lose - as in, would it be too much. Amazingly, that's a totally valid question. I'm really comfortable with losing 35 more pounds. I know that will be just fine. However, when I think about losing 57 more pounds, that's kind of crazy.

I don't want to look like I'm sick - you know that look when someone really loses too much weight, or their skin just doesn't look healthy. I don't want to look like that. As I said when I started this, I know 190 is a weight that would be "just fine" for me. I could shop in most stores. I'd be relatively healthy. It would be reasonable to maintain. I'll just have to play it by ear after that. Bizarro world to even have that as a possibility.

Oh, and the fill is definitely working. I'm super tight in the morning and frankly, for most of the afternoon. Even drinking is pretty slow for a while in the daytime, even with a hot liquid. I really have to be careful not to eat and drink to closely together, either before or after eating. I think the band is working how it is supposed to in that the food is hanging out in the upper portion of my stomach for a longer period of time.
I get full, really full, much more quickly than I did before. That's new. Before, I had restriction in how quickly (or not quickly) I could eat but I didn't have that "I've only eaten 3 or 4 bites and I'm stuffed" experience. I'm having that now.

Also, not much hunger kicking. My brain sort of feels like when I took phen-fen. I'm not really thinking about food. Not craving food. I think occasionally - I need to eat because I need to eat not really because I'm hungry.

Good news on the weight loss front though. I saw 220 on the scale this morning. Yeah! 79 pounds. Amazing. It's nice to get moving after sort of bouncing for most of December.