I’m Back!

In my last post (way back in July), I talked about my weight struggles since having a baby in May. After that post, things did not get better. I went back to work at the beginning of August, continuing to binge and steadily gain weight until the beginning of 2017. I had a hard time adjusting to going back to work. I’d get a handle on things for a few days to a few weeks at a time, but ultimately, I’d succumb to my demons.

I made some decisions and discoveries near the end of 2016. The main decision was that I needed to get medical treatment for my binge eating disorder. The big discovery was that I was diagnosed with ADHD, which is where much of my impulsive behavior (i.e. binge eating) and anxiety stem from. I’ll delve more into the specifics of this in another post.

So, I’ve been taking a 2-pronged approach to the issue at hand. I see a therapist every other week to address the behavioral issues: ADHD, binge eating, debilitating anxiety, other demons. And I go to the Center for Weight Management and Nutrition at my local hospital once a month to deal with the weight problems; we have not yet ruled out the possibility of weight loss surgery, but at the very least it’s a good, old-fashioned hand-holding.

I’m hoping that the therapy will be effective since I plan to continue breastfeeding for quite some time and am not able to take any medications to treat the ADHD or anxiety. I like my therapist, but I’m not yet sure if she’s totally equipped to deal with an eating disorder. I’m giving her a chance though! I just had an entire week off the rails after being on the right track for over a month, but the last 2 days have been better. I haven’t been weighing myself at home, only at my doctor’s visits, so I am nervous to see how this all pans out at my appointment next Wednesday afternoon.

  • 1/10/2017: 288.1
  • 1/31/2017: 276.4

There! The numbers are back out there in the blogosphere, so now I have to curb my impulses, right? Right??!

Goals:

  • 80-100 g protein per day
  • Less than 24 g added sugar per day
  • Meet daily step goals
  • Recumbent bike 3-4 times per week

Now I need to go catch up on all the blogs I have been neglecting! What’s new with you? Has anyone successfully managed ADHD and/or anxiety without meds?

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?

Progress Pics – Month 7

I have been taking “official” progress photos every other month since October. When I realized tonight that I’d almost missed February, I immediately ran to change and snap some photos.

I’m pretty sure I’m wearing the same pants in the first and last photos. I can’t believe there’s just 40 pounds difference, and I really wish I had started taking these photos in the beginning.

It’s been a busy weekend around here. We’ve been working on our pantry, which turned out to be a complete overhaul, including having to tear out the floor joists and footers. This has actually been passively going on for a few months, but we kicked it into high gear this weekend!

Don’t forget to check out my Progress page! How are you guys doing?

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!