Week 25 Weigh-In

All that shoveling last week paid off! And the walking… and the yoga-ing (Thanks, to Amanda over at Getting Fit for 30!)… and well, you get the point!

  • Starting Weight: 353.4 lbs
  • Last Week: 273.8 lbs
  • Current Week: 271.4 lbs
  • This week’s change: -2.4 lbs
  • Change overall: -82.0 lbs!

So, I’ve passed the 80-pound mark, which is monumental. AND next week marks half a year since I started on this journey.

But I want to talk about something a little more substantial. So much of the time, I have been feeling really great, but lately, there’s been something else. One day last week, I was out shoveling my sidewalk, and there was a group of teenagers playing basketball in the alley behind my house. I don’t even know that it was directed at me or if she was heckling her friend while they were playing, but one of the girls yelled, “Big Booty Judy!” and I immediately felt like I had a target on back. I guess I would know if it was directed at me had I been able to make eye contact. I know I can’t be tied up in the number on the scale, but I also know that yeah, I’m still very large. While I know I shouldn’t put any stock in the words of a teenager, I just feel so many things related to this experience: uncomfortable, failure, sad, pathetic, torn, guilty.

So, my question is this: When does this part stop? I’ve lost 80 pounds. When do I stop being so affected by the negative opinions of others in regards to my weight? I’ve worked so hard. I know it’s still early in my journey, but how much longer do I need to work through this? More importantly, what do I do to work through this? I feel like I’m constantly giving myself pep talks, and I avoid negative self-talk.

I know I’ve briefly touched on self esteem before. In general, I have excellent self-esteem. I know that I am pretty and smart, and what I weigh doesn’t usually affect that. Every so often, though, that doubt creeps in. The I’m-not-worthwhile feeling. It infuriates me that these feelings can show up just because of one remark from a stranger… and I’m not even sure that remark was directed at me!

Do you have any advice? How was your week?

Week 24 Weigh-In

Well, thanks to Rachael’s step challenge, I’ve gotten my groove back!

  • Starting Weight: 353.4 lbs
  • Last Week: 276.4 lbs
  • Current Week: 273.8 lbs
  • This week’s change: -2.6 lbs
  • Change overall: -79.6 lbs!

What? Almost 80 pounds? I can hardly believe it.

The last 6 months have gone by so quickly. Even though I still have a long way to go, I can’t believe how far I’ve come so quickly! NSV-wise, I bought 2 new pairs of Old Navy’s Pixie ankle pants – in a size 20! My last ones were a 26, and since I don’t have to unbutton them to take them on and off anymore, I thought it was time to replace them. The good thing about them is that they have quite a lot of stretch, so they fit when you’re bigger (as long as you don’t put them in the dryer!) and they fit 80 pounds later, too! Plus, I love colored/patterned pants since I am an old lady at heart. I seriously have the same clothing taste as my husband’s grandmothers – no exaggeration. We all love colored pants.

As for the step challenge, I put together this collage of the first 8 days. My goal in week 1 was 5,000 steps per day. This week (beginning yesterday) is set at 6,000 steps per day.

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It all averaged out to above my daily goal! I also went for a few legitimate walks around my neighborhood. Yesterday, I walked down to the river and back (1.5-2 miles… I didn’t map it, but I will next time). Six months ago, I wouldn’t have even attempted that journey. The walk back is all uphill, and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make it back. Yesterday, that wasn’t a concern! My knees and hips are a little achy today, but I really enjoyed myself.

Also, thanks to Aubrie, I rediscovered my love of the Wii game Just Dance. She reminded me of it the other day, so I pulled it out and danced through a few songs. Consequently, I ordered one of the newer versions. It came today, and I am excited to give it a shot too!

I had off work yesterday thanks to MLK day, so I caught up on some heavy cleaning around my house, made my awesome buffalo chicken meat loaf, and Skinnytaste’s chicken taco chili – for the third time!

Annnnnnnnd! My husband won a contest at work. His prize was $250. Do you know what he did with that $250? He knew how much I wanted one, so he bought me a Dutch oven!!!! He told me that I deserve it, that he’s so proud of me for losing nearly 80 pounds, and that he’s not surprised at all that I did it. I have the sweetest, most thoughtful, mac-and-cheese-loving husband in the history of all husbands! It just came today, and I am excited to get started using it. I feel like Ree Drummond.

Do you know how hard it is to take a selfie with a 25-pound Dutch oven?

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So I called on D to take a few shots of me. Things quickly escalated to weird.

So much Dutch oven love. No, I didn’t purposely match my dress to it!

Tell me about your week! How were your steps? Any new, exciting NSVs??

Week 23 Weigh-In – Milestone Edition!

Well, I did it. I have officially lost over 75 pounds!

  • Starting Weight: 353.4 lbs
  • Last Week: 278.8 lbs
  • Current Week: 276.4 lbs
  • This week’s change: -2.4 lbs
  • Change overall: -77.0 lbs!

Somehow, 77 pounds seems like way more than the 74.6 I was down last week. To be honest, I hadn’t even considered the enormity of hitting the 75-pound mark since I was focused on my 25% goal (265.1), so now here I am, pleasantly surprised by how pleased I am with myself.


This morning, I worked from home. I signed off around 11, did some cleaning up, watched an episode of Mad Men while folding laundry. When I took the laundry upstairs to put it away, I really looked at my closet. I thought, “You’ve lost 75 pounds. You can’t wear size 28 pants anymore. You need to get rid of the things that don’t fit.” This is a lesson I learned the last time I embarked on a weight loss journey. While I bagged up the bigger clothes, I never got rid of them. I thought that when I got closer to my goal, I would take the plunge, and that didn’t happen. So, as I gained weight, I simply pulled the old clothes out as the newer ones didn’t fit. I’M NOT DOING THAT AGAIN.

I’m terrified that I’m going to get rid of these clothes and gain weight and not have anything to wear. Anyway, the clothes have to go (even the really pretty ones that I only wore once or twice… or not at all!). I’m moving forward, right? On the up side, I’m sure my boss would be understanding if I texted to say I was going to work from home because I didn’t have any clothes that fit.

It’s a big step. But I did it. I bagged them up.

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And here’s what’s left!

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Since today was the kick-off of Rachael’s walking challenge, going through this exercise was a good way of getting extra steps on what would normally have been a very sedentary day (working from home and it’s snowing). I also have a new body weight circuit workout lined up for tonight (I believe this is one that Gen had recommended a while back).

I’ve been toying with another idea. I would love to be able to give some of these clothes to good homes. It breaks my heart to send them to a thrift store in my tiny town, where no one will appreciate them! Tops range from 22/24-26/28 or 2X-4X (and Modcloth’s wonky sizing… they still fit in that range): 2 pant suits (jacket is smaller than the pants on both of them), a lovely ponte knit jacket, and more gorgeous blouses! Peter Pan collars and lace galore! Bottoms/dresses are in the 24-28 range (more Modcloth here too): some pants, pencil skirts, a maxi skirt, regular skirts, a few dresses (at least 2 of which were never worn). Would anyone be interested in seeing any of it? I’d be willing to send them to you, just as long as you cover the cost of shipping, or I’m sure we could come to some mutually-pleasing arrangement!

Anyway, I think that’s all I have for today. I do have another recipe planned for this week – a household favorite!

Slowcooker Chicken Corn Soup with Egg Rivels

If there’s one thing the Pennsylvania Dutch do well, it’s cook. Oh Lordy, do we cook! Pennsylvania is known for having at least one pretzel or chip factory, bakery, or some sort of bologna named after towns roughly… everywhere. I can safely say that I live within 15 miles of a potato chip factory in one direction, and there’s another potato chip factory 30 miles in another direction. And how could I forget Hershey, PA? I work just 15 minutes from Hershey!

Anyway, you fellow Pennsylvanians know where I’m going with this post. Chicken corn soup is some sort of religion around these parts. It is comfort food at its finest, loaded up with a whole chicken, eggs, butter, RIVELS. It’s not exactly usually waistline-friendly. If you are from outside the realm of Pennsylvania, you’re likely thinking, “What’s a rivel? Did she make that up?”

I was looking through my Betty Crocker cookbook from 1950 when I was inspired to remake this delicious classic. When I mentioned to my husband that I was going to make it today, his eyes lit up like it was Christmas, and then he said, “REAL chicken corn soup?” The poor guy.

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I’m on Social Media?

I mentioned to someone the other day that my goal this year is to share my blog with people I actually know.

I know it doesn’t make much sense that I can shout my weight from the top of Blogosphere Mountain day and night, but when it comes to cluing in people I know, I’m hesitant. Something about sharing all of this really, truly private information with people who really know me or see me on a regular basis is intimidating… scary… terrifying.

So, even though I am on just about every social media platform there is (and really bad at keeping up with all of them), I put off creating a Facebook page for my blog. Actually, I created one back in August, but I never published it because, gasp! My family and friends and, err, acquaintances are on there!

Last night, I did it. I uploaded some pictures, updated some links, laid out the red carpet. I published my very own facebook page to promote my blog! And I invited LionessLives to Like it. And my sister-in-law. That was it. As I looked down over my friend’s list (which seriously consists of about 30 people since I swore off personal social media and decided to only use it to connect with family), I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing these faces cloud over with pity the next time we spoke in person.

BUT, the page is out there, and if they stumble upon it… so be it. I think it’s time that I came out of the closet! And of course, you are all more than welcome to visit my NEW Facebook page here!

Measuring Up: Month 5

This post includes awesome measurements and another awesome NSV! I really did take these measurements on January 1, but I have been dragging my feet about posting them! No specific reason, other than the I’m-missing-Christmas-vacation blues. I did shed 4.5 inches this month!

I know I mentioned it before, but I did not work out at all during December. I know I could have done better inches-wise if I had! The plan for this month is to get back on the workout wagon… and I know I’m going to pay for my lack of diligence!

Total Inches Lost: 29.5″

Waist to Hip Ratio: 0.711 (getting ever closer to that perfect pear!)

Waist:

  • Starting: 49″
  • Last month: 43.0″
  • Current: 41.25″
  • Overall Change: -7.75″

Right Bicep:

  • Starting: 21.0
  • Last month: 18.5″
  • Current: 18.5″
  • Overall Change: -2.5″

Bust:

  • Starting: 51″
  • Last month: 45.5″
  • Current: 43.25″
  • Overall Change: -7.75″

Right Thigh:

  • Starting: 35.5″
  • Last month: 32.0″
  • Current: 32.0″
  • Overall Change: -3.5″

Hips:

  • Starting: 66″
  • Last month: 60.0″
  • Current: 58.0″
  • Overall Change: -8.0″

Look at that! Those stubborn hips shed 2 whole inches last month! I’m actually very impressed.

NSV-wise, I signed up for Gwynnie Bee last month. For those of you who don’t  know, Gwynnie Bee is like the Netflix of clothes for plus-sized women! The first month is $10, and you can cancel at any time. I signed up thinking that I would cough up the $10 to try it out, and if I didn’t like it, I could cancel before paying $35 a month for the 1 garment at a time plan. Let’s just say that I am in love so far! As for the NSV, my first dress from them was a size 22! Considering I was wearing a 26 or 28 dress just 6 months ago, this is a huge deal. I don’t know how many of you follow me on Instagram, but I did post a photo of myself wearing that dress yesterday.

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Of course, it was big in the bust and a little snug across the hips, but c’est la vie! I felt so elegant and 60s-fabulous (though the hair was not cooperating, ha!). I added one of my vintage brooches to complete the look.

There’s something about the 70-pound mark that seems significant. Right around that milestone, I’m able to see big changes in myself (as I mentioned in this post), and work acquaintances start to stop me to ask me if I’ve lost weight and what I’ve been doing. It’s definitely an exciting time.

So, let’s get this body back in the swing of things! What are your favorite workouts? Any DVDs or websites you recommend?

Week 22 Weigh-In

I rang in the new year with a little loss!

  • Starting Weight: 353.4 lbs
  • Last Week: 279.4 lbs
  • Current Week: 278.8 lbs
  • This week’s change: -0.6 lbs
  • Change overall: -74.6 lbs
  • Month 5 Change: -10.4!

I’m satisfied with that number. It was definitely a struggle! BUT I would like to point out that from the Monday before Thanksgiving until today, I have LOST 13.0 pounds. That’s pretty snazzy for 7 weeks during the Weight Watcher’s most feared season!

For me, New Year’s was harder than Christmas. We went over to my mom’s house and played Cards Against Humanity; I laughed so much that my face hurt. I did end up drinking, though I didn’t get drunk. I had 4 drinks, but I also had 2 hot dogs with sauerkraut on New Year’s Eve. Let me tell you about these hot dogs. My mom had regular hot dogs and Jennie-O turkey hot dogs both in the crock pot with the sauerkraut. Everything looked the same, so I’m not sure if I used 2 PP each or 5… It was a crapshoot!

Then, New Year’s Day, D’s parents took the whole family out to a pork and sauerkraut buffet (I had one small plate and no dessert)! After that, D’s brother spent a few days at our house, and many high-calorie food choices arrived in his wake. I tracked everything, and I was within my daily/weekly allotments, but I am so glad that the holiday season is behind me! I am ready to get back to “normal.”

For the first time, I truly experienced the peer pressure of, “Aren’t you taking a day off?” or “Is this a free day?” OR “Aren’t you having dessert?” I know they didn’t mean to make me feel badly, but it did. I felt like I was offending people because I wasn’t able to throw caution to the wind. I have been there, done that – a thousand times. I know what happens when you add “cheat days” to your food vocabulary. I don’t believe in cheat days. I don’t want to eat until I make myself sick. I don’t want to weigh 350 pounds again! In the same turn, I don’t know if my mindfulness perhaps makes people feel guilty about eating themselves into a food coma. I think that maybe they really were offended that I wasn’t willing to eat myself sick, like maybe they thought I was looking down on them. It’s not the case at all! But I’m not putting other peoples’ feelings ahead of mine anymore.

On the other hand, there are the, “You’re having ANOTHER one?” or the “Are you allowed to eat that?” people. Both definitely know how to rock a guilt trip. And yeah, I ran into both of these types this week. For the record, I am ALLOWED to eat whatever I dang well please! And if I want “another one,” that probably means I’ve already calculated it out for myself or I am absolutely aware of what I’m getting into!

I wasn’t intending for this to be my moment up on my soapbox, but it just kind of turned into that. It seems like everyone has an opinion on what I’m putting (or not!) in my mouth.

How was your New Year’s celebration? Are you as ready as I am to get back to normalcy?

2015 Goals

Everyone keeps posting about goals for 2015. I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, so all I have to say is that this year, I want to take more photos with my actual camera. I have a nice DSLR that I don’t use as much as I used to, thanks to the convenience of smartphones. I used to shoot for my college newspaper (mostly theater productions), but I’ve fallen away from it in recent years, and I want to use actual photographs with my recipes instead of phone snapshots. I also want to learn more about food photography. I’m considering buying a book on the subject.

Any suggestions for food photography books?