Spring Came Early!

I live in central Pennsylvania, so I’m normally buried under snow drifts and shivering in sub-zero temperatures this time of the year. This year? No way, Jose! The last few days have been absolutely gorgeous, hitting nearly 70 degrees at times. Is it likely to last? No. BUT I think that makes it even sweeter, and I’m enjoying it while it’s here.

The biggest impact of this weather (other than on my mood) is that it makes me want to be outside to soak it in. I’ve been going for walks with the baby (who is also loving the nicer weather), trying to get those steps in. My daily goal is 5000 steps, but I’ve been aiming for 7000, and I’ve been doing pretty alright! These walks have taken the place of my time on the recumbent bike.

All’s been well on the diet front since Friday. I had a pretty big binge on Thursday that included 2 dinners, but I bounced back. I’ve been journaling to try to nail down my triggers, and honestly… I can’t figure this one out. I was fine, had recently had a snack along with plenty of water that day when all of a sudden, I was pulling into a drive-thru. And later, I pulled into another drive-thru even though I was still full from the first time.

It’s silly of me to hope that I will never binge again, but it doesn’t change the extreme disappointment and shame every time it happens. During the first year of my “rebirth,” I didn’t binge — at all. But as soon as I did it once, it was like my body remembered how  wonderful it felt and never wanted to go without it again. I haven’t been able to get it under control for more than a few weeks at a time since then.

My next doctor’s appointment is on Wednesday, and I’m nervous about how she’ll react when I tell her about the past 3 weeks since she was so pumped up, positive and encouraged at my last visit when I’d lost 12 pounds. I hate disappointing people. I also need to prove to her that I am dedicated to making a change if I ever do decide that I want to move in the direction of a weight loss surgery.

I’m not sure that I’ve explained the way I’ve been doing my meal planning this time around. I don’t have all the time that I had before the kiddo came along to spend so much time prepping meals on Sunday, so I created an Excel template that allows me to 1. Plan my lunches/dinners for the week, 2. Create my shopping list as I go, and 3. Save these plans so I can easily go back through for inspiration. The usual plan is to make enough at dinner to provide leftovers for lunch the following day. I also periodically compile and freeze a few meals to make life easier (oven, crock pot, and skillet meals). Here is my dinner meal plan for the week:

  • Saturday: Skinny Beef Casserole
  • Sunday: (amended) Turkey sandwich
  • Monday: Ground pork and cabbage
  • Tuesday: Ritz cracker chicken with steamed asparagus
  • Wednesday: Meat loaf (freezer meal) served with sweet potatoes and green beans
  • Friday: Eat out/leftovers

Reviews:

  • Skinny Beef Casserole was pretty good, but could have used Worcestershire sauce, though I did use crushed tomatoes from our garden that I canned after a harvest last summer instead of tomato sauce like it called for.
  • Ground pork and cabbage was phenomenal just as written. Could maybe have used a touch more turmeric. I also divided into 4 servings instead of 3.

How’s your week??

New Beginning

So, the last time we talked, I announced that I was pregnant. I’ve read one too many weight loss blog that turned into a pregnancy blog that immediately lost me as a reader to know that I didn’t want to go that route with my blog.

That being said, I’m a mom!

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With my second re-birthday on the horizon, I’m feeling a little sentimental, so let’s catch up! The day I found out I was pregnant, I weighed 219.0 pounds. The day I delivered, I tipped the scales at about 282 (I think). I gave birth to a beautiful little 7 pound 2 ounce baby in mid-May and officially weighed 240.0 pounds as soon as the fluid melted away (within about two weeks). Since then, however, I have battled the following things:

  • Breastfeeding hunger
  • My baby’s milk protein allergy (meaning I went dairy free)
  • A lingering sweet tooth from quitting smoking
  • The inability to bring myself to routinely prepare healthful and appealing meals while caring for a needy newborn

As a result, I somehow weighed 257 lbs at my doctor’s appointment on Monday of this week.

In spite of all of this, I need to pause to remind myself that I used to weigh 353.4 pounds and even though I’ve gained weight, I’m still nowhere near 353.4 pounds. So, how do I get back on track? Honestly, I’ve become complacent and fallen into the not tracking and not caring trap once again, though for most of my pregnancy, I did track my food. Lately, I’ve been so consumed by the baby that the “nice” thing I do for myself is eat horrible food that tastes amazing but is leaving this totally saggy gut in its wake.

Since having the baby, I initially started by making one goal each day to get back into the swing of things. My house is now back in order, the baby has a routine, so now I need to take those few poorly executed attempts at meal planning that just haven’t panned out and actually get back in the saddle.

How did I do this before? How did I lose 133 pounds in one year? I started with simple guidelines. I reread my first month’s recap where I discussed the keys to my success that first month. I’ve had so many false starts with tracking my food over the past few months, and now with the baby, the last thing I want to do is to have to remember one more thing like tracking every little thing I eat. The answer? My very own advice:

  1. Simply filling.
  2. No soda or booze for the first month.
  3. If I’m hungry, I’m going to eat.
  4. No obsessing.

The other way I set myself up for success? I religiously wrote in this blog and posted my weekly weigh-ins, milestones, measurements, everything.

I’m going to take tonight and tomorrow to prep my grocery list and pantry for the week ahead. Friday will be my first official postpartum weigh-in!

How are the rest of you doing?

Catching Up

So, I’ve been absent for about ever. I mentioned previously that I had been promoted, so I’ve been in my new role for a month now. It has been a big adjustment! Pretty stressful and time-consuming as well.

  • Starting Weight: 353.4 lbs
  • Last Post (Week 34): 253.4 lbs
  • Week 35: 248.8 lbs
  • Week 36: 249.0 lbs
  • Week 37: 246.2 lbs
  • Week 38: 246.2 lbs
  • Week 39: 246.2 lbs
  • Week 40: 245.2 lbs
  • Change since last post: -8.2 lbs
  • Change overall: -108.2 lbs

I met my goal of getting under 250 AND my 30% (247.4) goal! Great scale victories. Next up on the goal-front: getting under 230, which coincides with my 35% goal of 229.7 pounds. 230 is a HUGE deal for me, as it is my lowest adult weight. It’s about what I weighed when I graduated from high school. If you remember my story, I was able to get down to 230 a few years ago before gaining back the 95 pounds I’d managed to lose. There’s a definite mental block in place here. I honestly can’t imagine being under 230, even though I’m just over 15 pounds away. And getting under 200 pounds? I still can’t even begin to fathom it. I will get there, but I still have a whole lot of work to do on my mindset.

I think it’s pretty evident that the stress and changes from my new position are affecting me, weight-wise. I have been eating more carbs, not drinking enough water, and using most, if not all, of my weekly PointsPlus allowance. The stall in my weight loss is definitely not due to a natural plateau! More often than not, I’ve found myself wanting to stray from the plan, but I haven’t given in. I’ve had more beer and pizza in the past month than in the past 10 months combined, but I counted every last bit, even when I didn’t want to. And I weighed in, even when I didn’t want to. I haven’t gained, which is great, but the change in attitude is concerning. I have been preoccupied with work and really wanted to fall back into my old habits. Anyway, thanks to Rachael, I’ve decided to make some changes.

  • I changed back to Simply Filling this week to help kick the habit of excessive carbs, granola bars, and pizza. I haven’t decided how long I will stick with it, but the change is refreshing!
  • I switched my weigh-in days from Monday to Friday (my first Friday weigh-in was 5/1/15 (Week 39). I initially chose Mondays to keep myself on track over the weekends. It was good in the beginning, but I’m at the point now that I want to be able to have a beer or two on the weekend and not worry about the water retention ruining my Monday weigh-in. I think this will be a good change!

The thing is, even though I’ve only lost 3.6 pounds in the past 5 weeks, the tape measure still showed major progress! I move around a lot more in my new job, which is awesome. Plus, I think the stall in my weight loss is a good thing – it’s giving my skin a chance to catch up and possibly tighten up. Since March’s measurements, the following changes took place:

  • Bust: no change (41.25″)
  • Waist: -1.75″ (37.5″)
  • Hips: no change (55.0″)
  • R arm: -0.75″ (16.25″)
  • R thigh: -1.25″ (28.75″)
  • R calf: -1.0″ (18.5″)

Do you see that?! My calves have been the same size since at least September 2014 (when I still weighed well over 300 pounds). Boom! Just like that, a WHOLE INCH. Huge deal!


I also mentioned in my last post that I had to fly for work. I was really nervous about it, just because I have avoided flying since I was 18 years old and weighed about 230 pounds – it was a close fit then, so I was worried I wasn’t going to fit. It was still a close fit, and there was more of me spilling into the seat next to me than I would have liked, but I didn’t need a seatbelt extender. This was such a big deal for me! I feel like I can go anywhere or do anything now. D and I have been planning trips ever since! Next big goal? Riding rollercoasters! I won’t try that until I’m closer to 215 pounds.


What else is new? The weather has been gorgeous, and I’ve been spending a lot of time outside doing yardwork and the like. I’m thinking about buying a new bike, and trying to plan for a good weekend to go kayaking with my awesomely handsome husband. Speaking of my husband, he’s lost even more weight too! He’s now tipping the scales at about 165 pounds. Since he’s over 6′ tall, he’s within his healthy weight range. He looks great, and he’s more active than ever!

We also remodeled our pantry. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m really proud of it! We worked together on a concept, and D built the whole thing himself. I was in charge of decorating and organizing… and a little painting.


And finally, I kept up with my tradition of taking bimonthly progress pictures (also updated on my Progress Pictures page). I can’t believe the changes I’m seeing in myself! In spite of being stressed out and exhausted lately, I feel amazing. I can’t imagine how I would have coped with this change a year ago.

I was going to wear the same pink tank in April that I wore for February’s photos. I put it on, and it was WAY too big! Also, I showed a comparison photo to one of my friends recently. She said, “I love that you’re still bootylicious after a 100-lb weight loss!” Excuse me, 108.2-pound weight loss!

And of course – I received my Blogger Care Package from Harley! She was so creative, and I loved everything. I can’t even pick a favorite at this point, though I have been carting that adorable cup around with me everywhere! D has also been enjoying the Crystal Light packets 🙂 I hope everyone else has had as much fun with the package swap as I have! Did everyone get to send out their packages? Tell me about your experience! I need to get back in the loop, stat!

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And because I love comparison pictures…

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Week 32 Weigh-In

While last month was slow and steady, this month, the weight is just falling off.

  • Starting Weight: 353.4 lbs
  • Last Week: 258.6 lbs
  • Current Week: 255.6 lbs
  • This week’s change: -3.0 lbs
  • Change overall: -97.8 lbs

I have lost more in the past 2 weeks than I did in the entire month of February! I haven’t been doing anything differently, except I had cake… twice (it was D’s birthday!). Oh? You mean that you can have your cake, eat it, and still lose weight? Who knew? Obviously, I didn’t indulge in mass amounts of cake, but yes. It’s possible to indulge and lose weight.

I’ve been thinking a lot about that balance lately. When I’ve been “off the wagon,” everything was extreme. I wouldn’t have a sliver of cake, I would eat half a cake with ice cream and chips… and probably a burger or two… and chicken tenders with ranch. So many chicken tenders. Life doesn’t need to be like that!

I would be lying if I said I didn’t still sometimes get the urge to binge. I don’t think that every urge is even triggered by something particular. Sometimes, they’re just there. Sometimes, you just have “hungry days.” I know that if I give in to these urges, it will start an entire downward spiral, wherein I would binge every day. So now, when this happens I make allowances. I try to fill that emptiness by making smarter choices. I eat small amounts at a time and track them as I go. I might as well buy stock in baby carrots because they are my go-to when the binging urge strikes. I can sit on the couch with a bag of baby carrots and mindlessly eat them like potato chips, at a fraction of the calories.

This balance is part of my life now more than ever before. Sometimes, I think that I don’t care and I want to let go, but I know that’s not true. I matter. I can’t continue to kill myself by binging wildly. I don’t want to let go, and I don’t want to throw away all the progress I’ve made. I still have a long way to go, and I know that I will struggle with this for the rest of my life. I’m striving to eat like a “normal” person. I make good choices and prepare my own food 95% of the time, so when I do indulge, it seems special, and it’s something to be savored.

How do maintain balance in your daily life? Any tips or tricks?

Measuring Up: Month 6

Can you believe it? Six whole months! In some respects, it feels like I’ve been at this forever (I guess I technically have been), but the last 6 months have absolutely flown by.

Total Inches Lost: 33.0″

Waist to Hip Ratio: 0.707 (WOWZA, va-va-voom! Haha)

Waist:

  • Starting: 49″
  • Last month: 41.25″
  • Current: 41.0″
  • Overall Change: -8.0″

Right Bicep:

  • Starting: 21.0
  • Last month: 18.5″
  • Current: 17.25″
  • Overall Change: -3.75″

Bust:

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

Right Thigh:

  • Starting: 35.5″
  • Last month: 32.0″
  • Current: 30.0″
  • Overall Change: -5.5″

Hips:

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

I think it’s very interesting that in the beginning, I pretty uniformly lost weight everywhere. Now, I’m seeing big changes in one area and no change in other areas! For example, I lost TWO WHOLE inches from my right thigh this month, but my bust stayed the same as last month! Last month, I lost 2 inches from my hips, and this month they stayed the same. And what’s up with losing 1.25″ from my right bicep? How does THAT happen in only a month’s time?


I don’t know how many of you follow me on Instagram, but the other day I posted a comparison shot that I want to share here.

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In the first photo, I had already lost about 50 pounds (304.4). The second photo is about 35 pounds different from the first (271.4). I couldn’t believe the difference that 35 pounds made. My shoulders are less broad. I can see a difference in my ELBOWS. Obviously, the most noticeable difference is in my hips. They don’t seem to be up so high as they were before. Of course, I had just finished working out in the first photo, and in the second one I had just finished getting ready for work. It does sort of make me feel bad for bigger Alison… always represented in such an unfortunate manner. I avoided full-body photos before. BUT I did find this face shot from the day before I started on my journey.

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It honestly upsets me to see the look on my face in this photo. 7/30/14. I had just gotten that shirt with the Peter Pan collar, and I was so excited for it. When I put it on, I didn’t look cute or vintage-y, and I didn’t like the way I looked. You can SEE how miserable I was. I remember how much pain I was in, how I could barely walk anymore because at 5’1″ with a small frame, my body was not designed to carry 353.4 pounds. I had seriously injured my left knee simply by walking down the stairs at work in April 2014, and the next few months were comprised of one over-compensating injury after another. Every morning when I woke up, I braced myself for the pain I was going to feel when I tried to stand up out of bed. D and I vacationed in the Finger Lakes in New York in June, and we didn’t do much of anything except drive around, eat, and hang out in a casino. Watkins Glen was right there with all those beautiful waterfalls, and I couldn’t walk to see them and photograph them. What kind of life is that? How was that fair to my husband, who wanted to do those things and couldn’t just because I couldn’t? I had just turned 29 years old, and I felt like I had absolutely ruined my body. That body used to be so strong, and I ruined it.

Inspired (and slightly obsessed with comparison photos), I put it beside a photo I had just taken that morning to show off my regular-sized (not plus!) sweater.

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My eyes don’t look so sad anymore.

People say that the number on the scale doesn’t define who you are. I say that those people have never weighed 300+ pounds, or they are in denial about what they are doing to their bodies. At 350 pounds, my life was absolutely defined by how much I weighed. It dictated every decision I made. I can’t go to amusement parks because I can’t walk all day and I can’t fit in the rides. I can’t sit there because the chair arms are too close, and my hips don’t fit. I can’t fly to see my family because I’m too afraid I will have to buy two seats. I can’t cross my legs because.. I just can’t.

Honestly, at 260-odd pounds now, some of those things are still concerns. But I am not in that same sort of pain, and I do fit in close-armed chairs now! When I get up in the morning, I literally am able to leap out of bed instead of gingerly hobbling across the floor. I can walk over 2 miles without my back aching or my legs cramping. I am looking forward to vacation this summer because I am going to hike and maybe even kayak!

Oh, and I can SORT OF cross my legs now. Thunder thighs be damned!

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?

Weeks 19 and 20 Weigh-Ins

So, I have been a bad, bad blogger. I bet you all thought that I up and gained or gave up completely! Not the case at all. I’ve just been busy, what with the holidays coming up.

Without further ado…

  • Starting Weight: 353.4 lbs
  • Week 18: 289.0 lbs
  • Week 19: 284.4 lbs
  • Week 20: 282.4 lbs
  • Change since last blog: -6.6 lbs
  • Change overall: -71.0 lbs

I hit my 20% (282.7) goal! Just in time for Christmas. My reward for this goal was to be new undergarments since all of mine were much too big, but I couldn’t pass up Black Friday deals and bought those a few weeks back.

Next up: 25%/265.1. I think I will reward that effort with a new dress! I’d better start looking…

In many ways, I feel as though I’ve really hit my stride. I have a routine, and I rarely crave things that are “bad” for me. On Friday, my husband and I went out for dinner at a local restaurant for the first time since we went to Applebees with his parents a few months back. I decided that I was going to get a burger with a side salad. Nothing crazy, just one patty, no mayo. I decided on a Mushroom Swiss Burger, and I ate half of it at the restaurant (7 PP). I drank a couple waters with lemon and housed my (enormous) garden salad with oil/vinegar dressing.  Continue reading

Week 17 Weigh-In

This is my week 17 weigh-in or the week in which I showed Thanksgiving who was boss.

  • Starting Weight: 353.4 lbs
  • Last Week: 291.8 lbs
  • Current Week: 289.2 lbs
  • This week’s change: -2.6 lbs
  • Change overall: -64.2 lbs
  • Month 4 change: -15.2 lbs

15.2 pounds in one month! That’s twice what I lost in October. I am very pleased.

I followed Rachael’s tip: 1 plate of food, whatever I wanted, so long as it wasn’t piled high and my food didn’t touch.

Turkey, sweet potato, mushroom stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and a little gravy

Turkey, sweet potato, mushroom stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and a little gravy

I had also prepared Weight Watchers Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Bars for the occasion. I subbed in nonfat Greek yogurt for the sour cream, and they came out to 4PP per bar. Totally delicious and worth it! They were a hit; no one had a clue they were eating “diet food.”

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So, Thanksgiving dinner was a success. I valued it at about 25 PointsPlus, which was well within my dailies. Afterwards, my brother-in-law came over, and much drinking ensued. I had two Captain and Pepsi Max drinks (I’ll admit I pour them strong). I had told myself and my husband that I would only have one drink, so that was a bit of a fail. In turn, those drinks led to a little binge. I had half a piece of the cheesecake above, half a piece of pumpkin pie, and 3 cinnamon graham crackers with peanut butter.

The binge was better than it would have been in the past, but it was still a binge. It was still that feeling of being out-of-control. I have felt it nipping at my heels ever since, that urge to just let go and do it again. I’ve fought it, but it’s scary how easily that comes back. Lesson learned: Captain Morgan is my gateway drug. As such, I am whole-heartedly joining helloallyson in #nodrinkdecember.

In other news, the Skinny Snowman Challenge started yesterday. So far, it’s been a very positive experience, and I’m excited to try something new to help get through the holidays!

I plan to do my measurements tonight, so we will see if the tape tells a different story from the scale!

How was your Thanksgiving?

Week 12 Weigh-In

I knew this day would come! Since I’m 12 weeks in, it’s not a surprise that I would have a gain. I’m taking it in stride. Instead of pouting, I went grocery shopping and spent today cooking and cleaning the house (I took off Friday and today for some “me” time).

  • Starting Weight: 353.4 lbs
  • Last Week: 303.0 lbs
  • Current Week: 304.4 lbs
  • This week’s change: +1.4 lbs
  • Change overall: -49.0 lbs
  • Month 3 change: -7.2

In spite of a gain this week, I still have lost 7.2 pounds in the month of October. Check out my weight tracker for an overall picture of my progress. I also measured today, but I’m saving that for a post later this week!

I know that I wasn’t perfect this week, but I did stay in my daily/weekly Points allowances. I drank on Friday night (yes, I measured and tracked it!), and the drunkenness wasn’t as satisfying as I had thought it would be. I guess I will wait another 3 months to drink again and see if it’s any better next time!

My sister-in-law somehow finagled getting a second 21-Day Fix for free and gave me a set of the workout DVDs. I’m going to try it out after I finish writing up this post.

Goals for November:

  1. Work out 3-4 times per week
  2. Plank challenge
  3. No pizza!

What are your goals for November?

Week 11 Weigh-In

So, I had a good week weight-loss-wise, but a not-so-good week in terms of choices. I’ll get to that after the numbers.

  • Starting Weight: 353.4 lbs
  • Last Week: 306.0 lbs
  • Current Week: 303.0 lbs
  • This week’s change: -3.0 lbs
  • Change overall: -50.4 lbs

I hit 50 pounds! But I didn’t deserve it.  Continue reading